In 30 days, I will walk across a stage and receive my college diploma from The University of Alabama. I know it is cliché, but it seems like only yesterday I was moving into my dorm and anxiously awaiting my first day of class as a PR major. I’ve been through almost every possible PR student issue, and somehow, I miraculously survived.
So here are a few valuable, and often overlooked, lessons I learned through my time in the hallowed halls of Reese Phifer:
1.PR is not always glamorous…
So often, new students will enroll in PR classes in hopes of learning how to plan parties and have a blast. They want to be in PR because they are a “people person” and they want to be Samantha Jones. Unfortunately, those people are sorely mistaken. PR students are glued to their MacBooks at all times, writing blogs, scanning Twitter and researching current events.
This advice comes from my father, the smartest man in the world (in my humble opinion). It is so important for young PR students to know what is going on in the world, but also to be cultured in other ways. So read the latest book on the New York Times Best Sellers List, but also read the New York Times. With increased reading skills come enhanced reasoning skills. You can solve problems faster and more logically when you are exercising your brain!
3.Have an opinion…but know when to stay quiet.
As an American, you should be informed and knowledgeable on policy and current affairs; however, we must remember there is a time and a place for voicing opinions. Going on rants via social media and constantly stating your opposition to the latest health care bill is a surefire way to offend someone who could be useful to you. Of course, you must also have a strict set of morals that are unwavering.
4.Try anything and everything.
This is a big one because you never know where something can take you. The second week of school my freshman year, I nervously walked into a Public Relations Student Society of America meeting and joined the programming committee. Three and a half years later I have served as vice president, president and now student adviser. It’s the simple things that can make a world of difference in your college experience.
5.Have an interesting minor.
I have always been a theater nerd so having a minor in theater made sense. Little did I know how beneficial this would be! It makes you different and gives you some depth.
6.Have a life!
School is important, and it will take up a lot of your time; however, it cannot be your only thing. Have friends in other departments and make sure you have other activities besides PR.
Being a PR student isn’t easy, but you will leave feeling like you can handle anything. The world is your oyster, so grab your AP Stylebook and go get ’em!