They say that college is suppose to be the happiest four years of your life, but no one ever tells you how quickly those four years go by. One day you’re completely carefree and the next you’re ordering your cap and gown realizing you have to do this thing called the ‘real world’.
I started my journey in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I thought I found my place. I knew the science field interested me so in my mind, that automatically meant I could be a doctor…boy was I wrong. I didn’t have a single clue what I wanted to do with my life. Long story short, I changed my major about four times and eventually ended up moving to Philadelphia to start a new chapter.
Little did I know, this new chapter would turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to me. It gave me a place to discover who I really was. It gave me a city to leave my mark in. It gave me, a die hard Eagles fan, A SUPER BOWL PARADE. Bottom line, Philadelphia gave me some of the best memories and experiences I could have asked for.
I learned the advantage of being a PR student. I can’t even begin to count how many times people told me over and over that I had the easiest major or constantly ask, “What can you do with that?” PR is not solely writing a press release and calling it a day. It’s an accumulation of social media strategy, event planning, a cross with marketing and advertising and so much more. Because of my major’s diverse nature, Philly provided me with the largest array of markets to enter and learn so much from. Without those experiences, I wouldn’t be the well-rounded professional I am today or have the confidence to enter a full-time position.
I learned the value in letting your wall down. While this might come as a shock to those of you who know me, for the longest time, I kept myself in this little bubble of comfort and refused to get involved on campus. By going against the very thing I swore I’d never do, I built up my resume but also learned what I was capable of. I joined Temple PRSSA and PRowl Public Relations, honestly, just because. A semester later, I found myself on both executive boards in challenging positions that taught me a lot about myself and my abilities. Getting involved also helped me learn how to open up to people and form lifelong friendships.
I learned that school didn’t have to be everything. Yes, grades are important and so is trying find an internship but at the same time, I deserved to have fun. My need for good grades drove me insane, but once I started to cut myself some slack and enjoy “me time”, I noticed how much calmer I started to seem and how desperately I needed that time. Finding the balance between a social life and school life is definitely a process but that very balance is absolutely essential to finishing on a high note.
I learned how to accept failure and power through by being persistent. Having 15 internship interviews in one semester sounds like a dream come true but when you get denied by every single one, it sucks. It crushes every ounce of confidence you ever had and makes you question if the hard work is worth feeling like this. After taking a step back and talking with people, I slowly began to live by the motto “It is what it is.” The best thing to do is keep your head up and keep trying. In the sports world, everything comes down to timing and soon enough, it was my time.
Lastly, I learned that trying to do life by yourself means setting yourself up to get hurt. I have always been a very independent person, never wanting to rely on anyone for help or happiness. When I moved to Philly, I was closer to home but really wanted nothing to do with it. Not because of anything bad but because I was convinced I could ‘adult’ on my own…what a reality check that was. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, it simply makes you human. Surrounding myself with a healthy group of family and friends I could go to in times of need helped make the transition to adulthood a lot easier despite being an emotional wreck 90 percent of the time.
College has been the best time of my life but it has also been one of the most overwhelming and terrifying experiences too. Realizing you have only four years to basically becoming a functioning species of society creates a huge knot in your stomach but I promise you, you aren’t alone. I have been there, my friends have been there and so are thousands of other college students.
So to whoever this post may reach, I hope my story resonates with you. I hope it shows you the value in taking a risk. I hope it shows the good that can come from putting yourself out there. I hope it inspires you to make a name for yourself wherever you may be. Finally, I hope it teaches you how to make the most of any new experience you find yourself in.