When you hit a crossroad where your passion is also your talent, it is sweet, blissful liberation. I’ve gone my entire life participating in activities that I enjoyed that were merely hobbies, nothing that I could pursue as a career and could only brag about occasionally. I skated by in high school and had yet to turn heads of professors in college. Everyone’s mile long Facebook statuses about their third marathon or their acceptance into law school swam around me. With only one semester to go, it is baffling to hear that professionals don’t think we’re prepared for the brutal real world, with all respect. These particular professionals are the ones that have been looking out for us since day one and have continued to push us; ensured us that we are less moronic than we claim; believed that hand holding in this industry would lead you down into a deep trench where digging yourself out is impossible.
They have told us straight up to lose our sensitive and “take everything personally” minds and have encouraged our new-found skill of being resourceful. I have been able to find role models, mentors, and manage good grades because everything just clicks. I CAN be successful simply because all of this makes sense to me. This is why I chose this industry.
It took me until senior year of high school to come out of my shell only to crawl back in when I joined the ocean that is Grand Valley. Professors found insult in my constant declaration of “I’m just a general com studies major.” I somehow found myself in COM 295 during my first semester of college. Half of the class announced that they were Ad/PR majors. I had no idea what that meant, but these students showed the most intelligence, will, and initiative. I thought that it was something I should be a part of.
I never would have found my knack for leadership and contribution if I didn’t change my major on a whim. The best part is that in my three years of being in this program, although hitting many bumps, my accomplishments have outweighed the negatives. Everything keeps confirming that I have been exactly where I need to be even with my continuous doubts (I just have a personal vendetta out for myself). When something seems to be too good to be true, there’s no way that it could be happening to me, right?
Who ever thought I would be excited to trudge around campus in the cold and snow just to discuss and meet with clients in my capstone class? Who ever thought that the word “capstone” wouldn’t terrify me, but feel nearly therapeutic? I have chosen an industry that has given me skills to pursue a career anywhere I want. At least that’s what it feels like. It has given me confidence to welcome any challenge. Even through the hellfire that is the final semester of senior year, and the terror of graduating and becoming a “real adult”, I find peace in knowing that the steps I have taken through college have prepared me.
I have chosen and stuck with APR for a floor length list of reasons. Without the aid and opportunities of GrandPR, PRSSA, and professors that have encouraged and shown interest, I would honestly still be the little freshman who was moved to tears during orientation with the pressure of choosing a major. Taking risks has never been my thing, but it has created a great story for my journey of passion. The idea of working for the rest of my life used to make my anxiety skyrocket, but loving what I do makes me excited for what’s next.