Many teenagers start their undergraduate years knowing the general direction that they want to go in. Science. Math. Art. Usually, in high school students discover that their interests lie in one of those categories. I spent my four years of high school discovering that not only was I not passionate about those subjects, but they weren’t where my strengths lay either. On a whim, I declared Communication Studies as my major based on the fact that it was one of few majors that utilized what I considered my assets and did not require me to take physics at the university level. Never did I imagine that this would be the beginning of my journey towards the discovery of a subject that would help me grow into a more confident, passionate version of me.
Public relations has given me more than technical writing skills and the ability to perform primary research. Through my upper-level PR classes I have learned how to be a better communicator in both my professional and personal life. I have learned how to stretch my creativity past what I thought were my limits. I have learned that learning itself can be exciting if you find your passion, even if it is by accident. I didn’t know what public relations was until I was in college and now it is a part of how I define myself. In high school, I could never have pictured myself feeling excited thinking about my future as a professional but here I am, having found the perfect fit for me.
PR is in the process of re-branding itself after it gained an ingenuine reputation in the late part of the 19thcentury. Many professionals have come up with their own definition of public relations and although they may be similar, not one is the exact same. The same goes for students deciding on what major to declare. Every teenager starting college is in the process of defining who they are and one way they can do that is through what they choose to study. No major is superior to another. Whether or not you go down a more traditional and structured path of education, my advice is the same. Follow your passion and if you haven’t found it yet, follow your gut. Choose a focus that compliments your strengths and stretches your abilities so that you become the best version of yourself. There is something for everyone, so find your something and don’t let tradition, norms or ignorance get in your way.