When I was younger my dad had a saying that is now engrained in my mind. “Your attitude in life determines your altitude.” This basically means that if you go through life with a positive outlook, you will go farther in life. It is easy to get frustrated or think negatively, especially when school becomes abundantly stressful. However, it is important to remember that this is only one chapter of your story and the best is yet to come.
During my freshmen year, I was extremely homesick. I was 6 ½ hours away from home, and was the only person from my high school to come to JMU. During those first few weeks, I was terrified that I had made a terrible mistake choosing a school so far out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the best choice I could have ever made. I decided to throw myself into my schoolwork and become more interested in my choice of major. When I initially chose communications as my major, I was unsure what that entailed. Through my time as a communications and public relations student at JMU, I have learned that this major teaches you to adapt to the world around you.
I was drawn to this major because it didn’t pinpoint you to a specific job. I was known for being indecisive, so I feared choosing a major that lead me down a specific path that I held no passion for. That was not the case for communications. Over the past 4 years, I have learned more about myself as a person than I thought I could. I went into every class with a positive attitude, to try and get the most out of it. Even classes where the main focus was getting out of your comfort zone, like in presentational speaking, I tried to go to have a positive attitude and an open mind.
As a communication major, many people expect you to be comfortable with talking to a large group and being able to articulate your ideas. That never came easily for me. I always grew anxious before a presentation, slowly dreading and fearing the worst possible outcome. However, my semester-long experience of giving different types of speeches, taught me how to overcome this fear. It is normal to be anxious about something you truly care about and want to do well on. I needed to realize I wasn’t the only one with these fears and it was perfectly normal to feel this way, even as a communication major. It makes me even prouder to see how far I have come. During the first speech, I was nervous and not confident. I was overthinking each word I spoke and each movement I made. However as my time in the class progressed, I felt my confidence grow and I began to wonder what I was so nervous about to begin with.
I am thankful to have had the opportunity to grow and come out of my comfort zone.
Communications and public relations have helped me to broaden my horizons and made me realize that I am truly not alone. I am excited for the future and cant wait to put all of what I have learned over the past 4 years, to use.