Surviving the Beta Blues

July 15, 2014
By

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the halfway point of your education. By the time you reach Beta you’re at about 800 hours, half of what you need to get your Cosmetology license here in California. You’ve survived Intro and Alpha and now you’re starting to get more comfortable on the salon floor as well as with your class room. But you have no idea what’s in store for you yet!

A Row of Heads and Sinks at Cinta Aveda Institute.  Photo by Pipsqueak Productions.

The Beta phase will start to test you as a student as well as a stylist. If you were lacking when first in Alpha, you’re starting to get better. Your services aren’t taking as long (hopefully) and your skills are getting better with each service. You’ve probably spent your fair share of time in dispense as well as at your station with guests. You’ve gotten used to the six hours on the floor and four in theory. But now that’s changing. All your service times need to be faster. You don’t get to spent as much time in dispense coming up with color formulas. Your classmates are starting to wear on you. In Beta, things start to change. Gone are the cheery “We’re the best friends” and now it’s all about focusing on where you’re going to end up after you leave school. You tour salons to see what’s out there and possibly where you’ll want to work (or not want to work). While in Beta, you’ll hit the hour mark when you can start externing at a salon, something that will really open your eyes to how things are outside of school.

All of these things start happening faster and faster all the while you’re still trying to learn what you need to do before taking your state board test. But what really starts to happen is the blahs. You’re done with being at school. You’re done with some of your classmates. You feel as if those last 800 or so hours are simultaneously speeding at a million miles an hour and crawling like a snail up hill in a head wind. You get the Beta Blues as they’re called. If you don’t take care of them, just like the real blues, the emotions start to get the best of you. Myself, I let them get a hold of me a bit too much but there are things you can do to make sure they don’t get you for too long. Here’s what I did:

  1. Stay focused—Write down what your goals are: for school, work, life, etc. Keep those goals in a place where you can see them every day. Memorize them. Burn them into your head. Remember that those goals might not be attained in a day, a week, a month, a year or soon, but they will be attained when you remain focused.

  2. Acceptance—This goes along with staying focused. Learn to accept that some things are not going to go your way when you want them to. That’s all right, it happens. Learn to accept that not everyone is you and people do things differently. That’s what makes us all unique and similar at the same time. Have a fellow student that grates on you like nails on a chalkboard, accept them for who they are.

  3. Don’t Get Cocky—While you’re starting to get better at things you still need to remember that you’re still in school. What you think you know, you don’t know. While you might have a different, faster way of doing something, that doesn’t mean that you are a gift to the world and that everyone should bow down to you and worship the ground you walk on. Remember this: The higher you climb up that pedestal, the farther you have to fall.

  4. Get Rid Of The Negative—A negative attitude will suck the life out of a room quick. Think about it, the last time you walked into a room with a bunch of people and one of them was in a bad mood, you could feel it. Negative energy brings not only yourself down but those around you. Get rid of that negative energy. Having a bad day? Write out a gratitude list, listing everything you’re grateful for at that time. It will change your day immensely. Have a friend that is negative, talk with them about it. See what you can do to help. If you can’t, try not to let it affect you. Just because someone else is having a bad day, doesn’t mean you have to have a bad day.

Surviving Beta isn’t that hard but during those fourteen weeks, it seems like an eternity. With the right frame of mind and focus, you can do it! If you think you can’t, talk to someone. Talk to someone that went through what you’re going through, you’ll see that we’ve all been there. You’re not alone and you don’t have to do it alone.

Students at the Cinta Aveda Institute Campus.  Photo by Jeffry Raposas.