Coming to the University of North Texas, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, or let alone do with my life. The only thing I knew for a fact was that I wanted to make friends and major connections to be successful in the real world in some type of imaginary business aspect that I wasn’t sure how to grasp. In fact, UNT was literally the only college I applied to. I was chasing my old high school boyfriend and didn’t want to move far from home so I could still ride my horse, which I could not possibly imagine parting from at the time. When I came to UNT after graduating from high school in 2011, I was originally undecided in my choice of major. After switching majors three times, I ended up in the school of journalism with an extra year tallied on my expected graduation date.
Although it took me a while to get here, journalism fell into my lap without much thought. As if my path was somewhat fated. I never knew what PR really was before coming to college. Actually, I didn’t even know what PR was before looking into journalism. Maybe this is because good PR goes unnoticed ;).
I have always been a strong writer, but I never saw myself as the type to major in English and study literature, and I definitely never saw myself as a reporter or print news journalist. However, I remember sitting in my ex-boyfriend’s car freshman year having a major epiphany thinking, “I am a writer. Why am I STILL undecided?! I need to be in journalism whether I like it or not.” I just wish the fresh fish me could have acted on that thought in the moment, rather than when my first junior year came along (I say this because I was a junior for two years after changing my major to PR).
Once I forced myself to see Stephanie in the journalism academic advising department, it was all uphill. She explained to me that, yes, I could be in journalism, but I didn’t have to be in print, as there is this amazing thing called public relations! I honestly had no clue how perfect PR was for me until I dove into it. It still amazes me how applicable it is to my personality.
I have always been one to befriend a stranger, which as a teen and young adult is sometimes frowned upon. People would often ask me unenthusiastic questions like “why do you have to be so weird and make a connection every where you go?! That’s not ‘cool’ you need to play it cool!” Or the classic “you need to act like you don’t care.” But it always has been natural in my eyes to make ties with others and have a mutually beneficial relationship. These relationships only help us in the end! This has left a very positive impression on me toward the field of PR, where I am able to express the extroverted facet of my personality, yet shut myself inside a room and express my meticulous and all-noticing introverted side through my work. It cannot be all work no play, as well as vice versa, and I find PR to be a great mix between the two.
To bring this to an end, I know PR is right for me as every PR professor I have had I have seen a part of myself in. Personality wise, that is. There’s an eccentric and a bit of a “can do” attitude that us PR folks hold within ourselves. I find that to be extremely admirable, and sometimes annoying. From crisis communication to dealing with protecting an image and promotion, PR professionals are sort of a puppeteer to a corporation, label, person or pretty much anything we work with. Maybe that is what I truly love about PR, the thrill of creation. The idea that anything can be altered or fixed.