Last night was the premiere of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I have been watching Colbert on television for as long as I can remember and I could confidently say that he is a leading factor in why I am here at BU. Now Colbert isn’t an alumnus, nor is COM directly related to his show, but he as an entertainer is what inspired me to want to become a comedy writer. I believe the inspiration that I have drawn from Colbert throughout the years, and from other people I’ve met, is why I am the person I am today.
It’s important to find people throughout life that teach you how to become a better person. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re supposed to model their exact personality or career, but that certain aspects of their character initiate a development in your own character. I like to think of myself as an individual, however I would be nothing without the role models and mentors in my life. Although I draw inspiration from nearly everyone I encounter, I’m just going to focus on three different categories of people that have taught me a lot about what kind of person I want to be and want kind of impact I have in the world.
Obviously I am going to start with Stephen Colbert. As I have a laundry list of comedians that inspire me, I always say that if I could be anyone on the planet I’d be Stephen Colbert (ok he is tied with Lorne Michaels). Character traits spanning from his amount of energy to his captivating sense of excitement, allow him to light up an entire room with just his spirit. His use of satire that extends from the Colbert Report to outlets such as twitter is not only witty but also insightful. He challenges people to not only see the corruption of the media but to question the moral validity of trends and issues in society. He points out absurdity in everyday sexism and continuously challenges people to be active on solving problems. He also uses his platform to fight for things that he believes in and uses politics to solve issues. Does anyone remember the Stephen Colbert Super Pac?
Its inevitable to have a teacher and/or professor that does something that makes you think to yourself “wow you’re smart and I want to be like you.” That happens to me a lot more than the average student so there are multiple people I can write about, however I am going to single out my high school English teacher. Mr. Foley is one of those teachers that can get even the students who only care about math or science to care about writing and literature. Not only have I become a better student because of learning from him, but he also taught me a lot about myself and the type of person that I want to be. I could go on and on about him but here is one quote from him that really resonated with me: “There’s not much in this world that you can control. The only thing that you can control, though, are your actions and what you do. When you’re going through life make sure the actions and choices you make reflect the type of person you want to be and the one that you think everyone else would want to be.”
If there were one thing that I’ve learned since coming to BU, it would be that there are so many incredible people here to learn and grow with. At my job in Undergraduate Affairs alone I have so many mentors and peers that have shaped me throughout my first year in COM. One specific role model of mine is my co-worker Jon Mayer (not the singer, I know). From the moment you meet Jon Mayer, his welcoming personality and sense of authenticity intrigues you. I don’t think I ever even had a constant work shift with Jon, but the conversations I’ve shared with him are ones I’ll never forget. Our deep talks about life and philosophical issues range from social and economic equality, the film industry, and education all the way to music and old television. Jon not only recognizes what is going on in the world around him, but he actively seeks out ways that we can create a better future. Jon’s passion for knowledge, film and people in general is something I try to emulate everyday and I am so thankful that COM brought him into my life. It’s people like Jon that you see every now and then on campus that become constant motivators and reminders of the bigger picture.
It’s important to recognize the people that have influenced you to be the person you are today. I hope anyone that is reading this is not only reminded to reflect on those kind of people but also reach out to them and let them know the impact that they’ve had in your life. Or at least write a letter dedicated to them for your COM blog post.