When you go to college, it’s inevitable that you’re going to hear these two phrases over and over:
“Get involved!!” and “You’re going to meet your best friends for life!!”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say these two things, I may just be able to put a nice dent into my student loan payments. Upon my arrival at Ohio University I was really looking forward to two things. The first was meeting new people, and the second was joining organizations and get involved on campus.
I remember my very first PRSSA meeting; a room full of intimidating people chatting away, faces sparkling. I was nervous yet excited to learn more about my industry and meet some like-minded people in major.
Now, I like to consider myself a live-in-the-moment kind of person. I try not to yearn for days of the past or anticipate too much into the future. But, If I could, I would absolutely stop time, march over to my 18-year-old innocent freshman self and give these four pieces of future wisdom:
You will find your career path and define your passions. Right now you’re probably feeling pretty overwhelmed. Your 1000-level journalism classes are only scraping the surface of what there is to know about PR. Then, you come into these once-a-week, one-hour meetings and you are bombarded with information. How are you supposed to form your own opinions and find your passions? Believe me, it’ll come with time. You will change your dream career path many times over the four years. You will get some amazing internship opportunities, fall in love with social media and have a killer resume by the time you start to apply for jobs. You will realize your biggest passions, and you will find a way to mix public relations into them to form a killer career path that you’ll be so, so excited about. Don’t fret, for you don’t need to have it all figured out right now. Hint: you won’t have it all figured out come graduation, either.
The best friends you’ve ever had are or will be sitting in this room. You see that girl with the curly hair, decked out in pink and floral, talking a mile a minute? Yeah, she’ll eventually become your roommate and best friend. She will be there for you every step of the way throughout college with nothing but support and compassion during your best moments and your biggest breakdowns. See the girl with the brown hair who’s listening to Scotty McCreery and looking at pictures of her adorable brown labradoodle? You will keep each other sane throughout your years here. Also: the separation anxiety when you have to leave each other will be so real. Flash forward one year: you’ll meet an incoming freshman. One that loves all the same music you do, views life the same as you, dresses just like you and is basically your unbiological twin. Although you don’t openly express your gratitude for each other because ew emotions, it will come through in so many other ways. Towards the end you’ll also get close with a red headed girl who has an intimidating fiery passion for everything she does. She has a take-no-sh*t attitude that you aspire to have and you’ll eventually create an inseparable bond over beer, boys, the great outdoors and Game of Thrones. These people will become your people. You won’t be able to imagine life without them
Don’t give up. There are just those days where you want to break down and cry. I’m not going to lie, you will have many. Through a tough Sophomore year filled with hard classes and over-involvement, to the days of being a Junior where you’ll start to become a mentor, onto being a Senior where the unknown of the future taps you on the shoulder every day. When you feel lost and overwhelmed, just remember that you WILL make it through. The work will get done, the stress won’t stay forever and you’ll eventually grow to love being busy and constantly on the move. This will become a big part of who you are professionally.
Enjoy every moment. Although sometimes it feels like the days are never ending, it’s important to remember that they won’t always be the norm. Classes will turn into 9-5 jobs, and there will be no more Monday night meetings at 6 pm. And you know what? That’s okay. Because all good things come to an end. Just make sure to enjoy the ride while you’re on it, because once you’re off you’ll probably want to hug those memories pretty tight. Make sure they’re good ones. Spoiler alert: they’re pretty freaking great memories.
Fast forward four years from that fateful first meeting, and I can honestly say it’s been one heck of a ride. Through the laughter, the tears, the days filled with too much caffeine and the nights of no sleep, I really did it all. So thank you, Scripps PRSSA, for molding my college career. Without you I wouldn’t have a career path, the will to push through tough times or a set of really great best friends. You’ve changed me for the better and for that I am forever grateful. I can’t wait to see the amazing things the chapter is going to do in the future.
This is Mira signing off. Scripps PRSSA 4 life ❤