I walked into freshman year at the University of Indianapolis excited and hopeful for the future. I had an amazing roommate, new friends and was beginning my lifetime goal of becoming a physical therapist! When I think about this now, I laugh, because little did I know in a year I would be entering a completely new major in Communication. I will spare you all the gruesome details of the physical therapy world and skip ahead to when I entered the public relations world for the first time.
It was the second semester of sophomore year when I first stepped foot in Esch Hall, room 261. At this time I was unaware that I was walking into a room that would forever hold a special place in my heart. I walked into a large room of friendly faces and chatter; I took my seat and waited anxiously for the dreaded night class to begin. However, this night class quickly became something much more to me. I had found my home!
I find it hard to pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with public relations, but I can share a few of the moments that made it clear that I was in the right place. While working with my first client, I mainly sat back and listened to others give their ideas during our group meetings, but one night I piped up and shared an idea I had. I introduced the idea of a Facebook livestream for our client. My executive told me to run with it and show her what I could do. I worked on this project for almost three weeks and during this process, I felt so comfortable, yet challenged! I had never felt comfortable and challenged like that in my previous major.
As the semester continued, I grew in my confidence, expanded my knowledge and bonded with my peers. I felt like I was a part of a family. This family has provided me with love, support, challenges and a forever network. The bonds created in one semester of public relations amazed me. In a whole year as a physical therapy major, I had only made two lasting friends and I was often discouraged by the ‘each man for himself ‘ mentality that was expressed in PT courses. PR provided me with the key characteristics I was missing in my previous major, group involvement and creativity.
When looking back, I feel as though these were the most defining moments in my major. I cannot imagine being a part of any other major and feeling the same family network as I do with public relations! I can say with absolute certainty, room 261 and the whole communication department has provided me with the best network of future PR professionals. Room 261 is where my future began and where I fell in love with PR. I only hope that as I move forward, I continue to make room 261 proud.