Things I Learned When I Started Taking Chances

Life’s too short to not take chances. This is a statement that didn’t fully resonated with me until my twenties. I’ve always been stuck in this mindset where I have to have a set plan in life, and everything has to go accordingly or else I won’t ever be truly happy. Turns out that’s not true at all and sometimes taking those random leaps of faith (big or small) can build on or develop an interest that you weren’t sure you were passionate about. It can also open doors to opportunities that you’d never consider to be possible. Easier said than done but getting past the fear of uncertainty and objection allows you to grow and develop as a person. I encourage everyone in their early twenties to try new things and explore their potential interests, especially if you are uncertain.

First off, can we highlight the idea that it’s okay to be unsure? Especially in respect to our college careers. University life is supposed to give students the opportunity to explore and search for what they love. I found this out as a freshman, roaming around Temple Fest signing up for about 50 different student-based organizations! All of which I was interested in but not very familiar with. Turns out, not even the best multitasker in the world could take on something like this. I was way above my head as a tiny freshman, but I was patient, and as I continued going to each of these meetings, I began narrowing my choices down to a few favorites. A perfect example is PRSSA. If I never took the time to talk to other students involved and learn about the organization along with its core values, I don’t think I would have found my passion for the PR/ communications profession. Within my first year, I started becoming involved in any way possible. Even at my most anxious/nervous moments, I never let that deter me from attending different events, programs and socials that they had to offer. By the end of last year, I made the decision to apply to be a part of e-board, and PRowl, which have both been great experiences so far.

You can never have too many interests. Throughout my high school years, I was passionate about a couple things, my grades, tennis and opportunities to make influential changes in both my community and school. I realized that the best way to build a platform was by joining clubs that could give me that voice to speak up. I built up the courage to run for Student Council and National Honors Society which gave me those essential leadership skills and experiences that I needed to be more confident within myself. I don’t think that I would have interned with the DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) or ran for parliament for the FOX School of Business if I didn’t allow myself to have those opportunities. 

If it’s not you then who else? I started asking where I could see myself in the future, and I couldn’t come up with a single plan of action. I knew that I was passionate about marketing and advertising, but I also loved collaborating and creating new and exciting things. One day I came across this company called Colorspace Labs located in the heart of Philly; not knowing much about them except that they were a photo and design studio event space and had so much potential. I knew I wanted to be a part of that process and grow with the company. I quickly applied after seeing they had a marketing internship position open. My self-assurance of getting this role was at an all-time low, since I knew I was competing against other people who may have had more years of experience. After accepting the fact that rejection is a part of life and even Bill Gates had to have been told “no” once in his lifetime, I realized that if I didn’t at least try I would regret it. Turns out, a week later, I got an email to set up an interview as part of the creative team-which is where I am today!

In the end taking those risks you’re unsure about can either have an awesome outcome or one that requires another step along the way. At the end of it all, if you’re really excited about something and it doesn’t work out, don’t let the fear of trying to be the result of it. Part of the experience of growing up is trying new things and testing out those experiences. As I said earlier, I don’t think I would have found my passion for PR if I never gave it a chance.

—Lillian Sclafani

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