I still remember the day I joined PRSSA. Along with roughly 50 other organizations, I added my name to the email list. At that time, it was just another organization with a mission I didn’t understand yet let alone embrace.
It’s funny how quickly something can feel like home. From the very moment I joined PRSSA, I had this feeling in my heart that I was supposed to be here. I continuously attended meetings every Monday at 6pm, until it became a part of me. I stopped going because I felt like I should, and I was going because it became the best part of my week. In the blink of an eye, PRSSA stopped being just another organization to me, and it became something I couldn’t live without. Now, I sit here moments from graduation and blinking tears from my eyes, trying to imagine what a life without PRSSA will even be like.
From the very first day, a series of fateful moments developed and morphed me into the person and professional that I’ve become today.
At the very beginning of my freshman year, I started walking to PRSSA meetings with a girl on my floor wearing a pink fuzzy North Face. In my first semester, I was paired with a mentor who believed and encouraged me when I didn’t even have faith in myself. I traveled to Philadelphia, D.C. and Atlanta and shook from excitement each time as we all did our roll call together. I made a weird breakfast sandwich in a 7/11 next to a girl who I hardly even knew. I started becoming really good friends with my AVW account. I almost puked while giving my speech for the VP of Member Relations position. I unhealthy worshiped my peers on the executive board, who seemed to teach me something new every day. I was given my own mentee, who I still think has taught me more than I will ever teach her. I was elected as this year’s president. Our executive board inspired me every day, and always brightened my Tuesday night. I was given two more mentees, who remind me everyday to never lose my passion and excitement for this industry. I drove a 12-person van to Atlanta. I was somehow trusted enough to make the Thanksgiving turkey. We danced for 12 hours as the biggest fundraising student organization involved in BobcaThon. We went on a networking trip in the city filled with all of my childhood memories. I attended countless socials and events with each of you.
These moments, and so many more, that seemed so small at the time affected me more than I could ever know in that moment. It’s each of these moments that pulled me into PRSSA like a magnet, and it’s each of these moments that grew me closer and closer to this Chapter, until you all became another family to me.
That girl in the pink fuzzy North Face eventually became my roommate and one of my very best friends. That mentor turned into one of my biggest role models and support systems. That girl in 7/11 is now the Vice President, and the girl that’s helped to make this year not only possible, but more than I could have ever wished for. That van ride was one of the best days of my college career. Those mentees bring a smile to my face each and every day. That executive board became friends I can rely on, trust and turn to for anything. Those socials and events brought me my best friends, and hopefully future bridesmaids.
With time, I accomplished all of the goals I originally set when joining PRSSA. But what I didn’t realize was all of the additional, life changing moments I would experience along the way. I undoubtedly joined PRSSA to grow myself as a professional, but the personal experiences are the ones that have affected me the most.
Leaving Athens means I’m leaving a second family; a family that held my hand through some of the toughest moments of my college career, and encouraged me in some of my best.
You, the members of Scripps PRSSA, have eternally changed my life. It’s each of you that took the time to show up every Monday at 6pm, it’s you who believed in me enough to vote me onto eboard and again as president, you who turned into those I’ve traveled with and shared endless laughter with, you who became my best friends, and you who I will forever look up to, respect and adore. I truly can’t express in words how much you mean to me, and how thankful I am to know you. I think Alphaba said it right, “who can say if I’ve been
changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Thank you for four years that I’ll always wish I could go back to just for a moment. I’ll always cherish our time together, and more than anything, I promise to stand by each of you beyond Athens, wherever life may take us. Together we’re unstoppable, and nothing can limit the bond we’ve grown together. Thank you for changing my life in every way imaginable, I hope I’ve been able to help you half as much as you’ve helped me.
Forever and always,