By Samantha Tischler
As I sat in the Convocation Center, surrounded by familiar faces from the past four years, it finally felt real. We were graduating.
I wanted to jump up and down. I wanted to burst with excitement about having my whole life ahead of me. But, in reality, it was all I could do not to sob like Kim Kardashian every 20 minutes. How were we supposed to do this? Why did we all have to pack up our lives and leave a place that seemed like it was begging us to stay?
In my four glorious years at Ohio University, I made friends who became family, ate breakfast at Union Street Diner and watched performances at Donkey, Mem Aud and Front Room. I played a million games of euchre. I travelled to Italy, Germany, Chicago and San Francisco. I ate cookie dough out of the tube and stayed up all night with my roommates talking about everything and nothing. I fested and Halloween-ed. I tried to pretend like I appreciated craft beer. I ate Tornado Potatoes (dill-flavored, because obviously), laid out on South Beach and camped in Hocking Hills.
I knew the best coffee, sandwiches, Greek and hotdogs. I knew what to buy at Wal-Mart and what to buy at Kroger. I knew which streets were one-way and which meters were safe from parking tickets. I could walk up Court Street at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. and be completely at home.
But then the magic ended. We tossed our caps in the air, loaded the U-Hauls and moved on. I spent the next few weeks alternately letting go and putting down roots. I moved to Cleveland where I was offered a job at PR Newswire; a job I never would have found had I not joined PRSSA.
I became a member of PRSSA my sophomore year and never looked back. Not only can I credit almost all of my professional development to this organization, it also gave me some of the greatest friends and memories I could have asked for. PRSSA was and is a family of driven, passionate men and women who share a love for all things PR.
The thing I’ve realized is that PRSSA, Ohio University and Athens gave me everything they had to give. They made me independent, capable and confident. They gave me the tools I needed to be successful in a new career, in a new city, with new people. And really, what more could I ask for?
So yes, all of life’s most fabulous things must come to an end. But when one door closes, another opens. Because of the opportunities OU and PRSSA offered, Cleveland’s door is wide open for me now. I can only hope what’s inside is half as good as what I left behind.