Senior Farewell: Alyssa Murtagh – You Are What Make Goodbye So Hard

It’s 9:00 p.m. and I turn on some sad music. It’s 9:15 p.m. and I start scrolling through all of my college pictures. It’s 9:30 p.m. and I start writing. It’s 9:35 p.m. and I erase it all. It’s 9:45 p.m. and I pour myself a glass of wine. It’s 10:00 p.m. and I start writing again. It’s 10:15 p.m. and I start looking at inspiring quotes. It’s 10:30 p.m. and I erase it all.

How do you properly thank, acknowledge and give credit to something that has given you everything?

After this unfortunate series of events for an hour and a half (that’s an accurate amount of time – just ask my roommate Sadie), I have officially decided to start writing. I was asked to write a “senior farewell” to PRSSA. At the time, it sounded like a perfect way to gain closure on an incredible college experience and share my learned insights. Now, not so much.

My PRSSA career began freshman year with the first meeting of the year. It only took one night to convince me this organization would change my entire college experience. I came back every week, decided to attend the National Conference in Atlanta and before I knew it, I was jumping into leadership positions. I went from a member to a National Conference chapter development session presenter; from a Bateman team member to vice president of member services; and, from the Chapter’s executive board to the PRSSA National Committee.

With each of these steps, I of course gained knowledge and experience but what I did not expect to gain was friends for life, connections for my career and people that became a different type of family.

In my four years, I have traveled to Atlanta, Indianapolis, Boston, Miami, Phoenix, Austin, Chicago and Portland because of PRSSA. Before college, I think I had been to five states total.

This organization is a propeller for college careers. It will give you your best friends; it will give you relevant experience; it will give you purpose. If I had not joined PRSSA, I don’t know where I would be. I am sure I would be okay, but I certainly would not be thriving. I wouldn’t know what I wanted to do. I wouldn’t feel like this industry can change the world. And, I definitely wouldn’t have friends near and far who provide open invitations for couch crashing.

So, there is one thing I know for sure: I am going to miss Athens, Ohio with my whole heart. It will not be because of the beauty of campus or the bars or the delicious food (shout out to Casa Nueva), but it will be because of all of you. You are what make goodbye so hard.

Thank you for always being there. Thank you for always having a seat in Schoonover saved. Thank you for the late nights, the fun nights and the constant love.

And, for everyone left on this paradisiacal campus, lean on each other and Scripps. Use your network, your professors, your journalism school. Scripps, along with PRSSA, is one of the strongest support systems. You will find your way, but don’t be afraid to ask for a little help.

With love,


Alyssa Murtagh is a graduating journalism-strategic communication major. She is also the outgoing 2018-2019 National Vice President of Career Services at PRSSA. Follow her post-grad adventures on Twitter @alyssamurt

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