You’ve spent 18 years going to school, and now it’s time to leave. You’re thinking to yourself right now that you have no identity after this prolonged period of time where your entire reason for existence has been an education. That sounds so sad…to think that you’ve revolved your entire life around the grades you received, the notes you’ve gotten from educators, and the institutions where you dedicated most of your time to.
Eighteen years and people will say that all you have is a piece of paper to show for it.
You often wondered over the years what exactly you wanted to study. When you were in kindergarten, you put down VETERINARIAN. I don’t know why, but you did. You’re not an animal person and they’ve never been your passion.
In junior high, you thought you’d be a teacher because apparently, people say that those you can’t do, teach. (FYI, this is wrong on so many levels. Everything you know is because of teachers.)
In high school, you upped the ante and wanted to be an English teacher because of Ms. Rittel, Ms. Leang, and Ms. Pryor. Those three queens were BAD ASSES at their jobs, and you wanted to be just like them. You enjoyed literature well enough that you could make that your life for the next 20 or so years until retirement.
You spent the first year at community college majoring in English, yet taking absolutely no classes for your major. You forgot about your major in English and begin taking COMM classes because that’s what your cousin is taking. She describes Public Relations to you and you think to yourself, “Oh damn! I could do this!” Then, you end up taking Mass Media, Journalism, Public Speaking, etc. Did you ever change your major in those first two years? NOPE.
Finally, you change your major. You’re finally in the right field. You’re enjoying your classes and GE classes are long gone. It’s time to transfer and you land at the school you knew you would eventually stay at because you can never stray too far from home. CSUF becomes your home for the next two years. You learn to take two new bus routes to your work and you excel. You get hands-on experience and are so happy to find that you actually enjoy what you’re learning. Lowkey, you were afraid that once you received a hands-on, real-world experience that you’d hate PR and you’d be stuck at the beginning.
But there you were in your second to last semester of undergrad and things just clicked. You understood exactly the kind of profession you wanted to have. You love the idea of being able to cultivate your own network and build relationships. Who would have thought that because your cousin, Jacqueline, had suggested you take Mass Media 100 with her in your first year of college that you’d end up with a degree in that field.
Now, here you are. You’ve made it to the finish line. You did 18 complete years, no breaks, and you don’t see yourself going back (YET). What’s next?
Well, first you go back to work. There’s a health crisis going on, but the vacation can wait until the trips to Europe are back on. Next, you use those connections and you get yourself somewhere. I don’t know where yet, but you’re going somewhere.
You did it, queen. Even when those years in the gifted program didn’t prepare you for the real world and you doubted yourself because you got into ZERO universities your senior year of high school. Even when you took the bus to work for four and a half years because you didn’t have your license and you’d have to skip class sometimes or else you’d be late to work. All those little missteps and misdirections led you here to the middle of a pandemic and virtual commencement.
But, now you’re prepared for crisis situations and you can put it in your resumé so that’s a plus for you.
“Some people are born great, some people achieve greatness, and some just hire PR professionals.” -William Shakespeare, maybe.
Daniela (aka you)