Ever since I joined PRSSA, I knew this moment would come – a graduation filled with proud moments and painful goodbyes. I never expected it to be like this, virtual and non-existing and way too soon, but we’re still doing the best we can to make memories.
I think my journey to PRSSA is one a lot of us know pretty well – started news and info, didn’t really fit in, felt completely lost, switched tracks on a whim, attended my first Scripps PRSSA meeting and completely fell in love with an organization that has given me professional development beyond words, amazing experiences and my best friends. At that first meeting, I felt the first sign of hope of my college career. I saw a glimpse of the future I always dreamed about, and it finally felt like dreams I didn’t even know I had were in my reach. Throughout the last three years, I have cherished the crazy, amazing, fun journey to discovering those dreams more than I can put into words. This organization has given me the constant support system and opportunity to dream outside of the box, and I will forever be grateful for the memories I have made, even though our time was cut short. In my typical fashion, I’ll share a list of all the moments that made this the best time of my life.
- My first PRSSA Ugly Sweater Social and not knowing anybody. I was so nervous, but that first social really helped me see how I fit in the organization.
- PaRtners Conference and taking pictures with people I barely knew who would grow to be my best friends. If I could go back to that moment, I would shake myself and tell myself to stop being shy and make friends SOONER (also, to fix my hair).
- All of the weekly meetings that made me think, laugh and cry and left an impact on my career. Our meetings were my favorite part of every week, where I could take an hour out of my time to catch up with my friends and grow professionally a little bit more every week.
- My first PRSSA trip to Austin, which was also my first time on a plane and first time at any professional conference. I attended so many impactful sessions, ate the best barbeque I’ve ever had, sang the best Cardi B-themed roll call, rode Bird scooters in 90-degree heat, and WON OUTSTANDING CHAPTER. It was truly an unforgettable trip where I began to make friends, from sharing my terrible sleep habits to bonding over our mutual idea to start an Instagram account dedicated to our favorite ice cream.
- The hOUmecomings filled with alumni and friends who made me confident that I picked the right student org.
- My time in Bateman, from getting to know my team and their strengths to laughing hysterically at 3 a.m. in Kate Ansel’s apartment editing the final report. All of the Chipotle we ate and the sleep we lost was worth it when we got to celebrate our Honorable Mention together.
- Networking trips to Pittsburgh with amazing companies, adorable Airbnb’s and free shots with random people.Our first date party when we all dressed up and truly celebrated our accomplishments.
- Our Wednesdays spent with slice nights and summer shandy at Courtside, spelling bees and Moscow mules at Cat’s Corner and pitchers and Lizzo at Lucky’s.
- Traveling to San Diego for PRSSA International Conference, where we snuggled into an Airbnb on the beach, “scooted” all across the city, sang with random country singers on stage and COMPLETELY lost my voice.
- My time on e-board and how passionate I was to help the members of our chapter feel the same magic I do – I learned so much about myself and where my strengths lie, while helping move our chapter forward to more success.
- Traveling to New York City for a networking trip with my best friends. I truly don’t think I’ll ever have the words to describe how I felt flying over the city at night, walking into Times Square for the first time, sharing Milk Bar’s infamous cake and truffles with Haley and touring companies beyond what I could have ever imagined. That entire trip was truly magic.
- Finally, driving to the Jonas Brothers concert and crying in the car (and at the concert) when Sami said “Rollercoaster” reminded her of senior year. I never knew how true that would become with the way things have turned out this year. I can’t wait until the day we can gather and truly celebrate our accomplishments and memories together, but I know we are all strong enough and dedicated enough to make it happen someday. It was fun when we were young and now we’re older, but I will always go back and ride that rollercoaster with my PRSSbAes.
Hannah Schuller is a graduating senior and served as the VP of Member Relations for the 2019-2020 academic year. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.
We thank Hannah for her contributions to the Chapter and wish her well in her future endeavors!