As Junior Year Comes to A Close...

As junior year comes to a close, I can't help but look back on the past 8 months and thank God for everything my third year of college gave me. I always like to reflect on my years in school and find a common and persistent theme from the year. Sophomore year as all about finding myself and my personality within the JMU community. I changed my major, joined several clubs, and found my home at James Madison University. I coin this year, however, as the year of knowledge and intellectual growth.

As I started this year, I knew I was going to dive into my major courses and focus on just public relations. As I learned how to think, write, and speak like a public relations practitioner I also spent a lot of time furthering my writing skills and sharpening other tools necessary for my career path. I worked on my photography, my document design skills, my web development, and honed my creativity to work on starting my own company.

As I learned about public relations I also taught myself about entrepreneurship and how to lay the foundation for a company. Although I still have so much more to learn, I loved every second of going to class and completing assignments. Throughout this year I also worked on assignments that helped me compile a portfolio that I can hand to hiring agents for companies.

As I started applying for internships, and as the year progressed, the more I could talk to employers about my field and have an ongoing conversation about my understanding and passion for the industry. I gave tours throughout the year and made connections with parents who worked in my field. The amount of business cards on my desk from people who took one of my tours is insane!

In addition to diving to my major, I also took on a position in Alpha Delta Pi on the executive board. Since November, I have been the Recruitment and Marketing Vice President and am in charge of all of ADPi's recruitment. If you're going through recruitment at JMU in the fall, you'll definitely see me! It's been fun working closely with the public relations chair, social media chair, and formal recruitment chair to help create such a spectacular primary recruitment this September.

Every week since January has been filled with meeting after meeting and t-shirt design after t-shirt design. In addition to recruitment, I am in charge of all internal and external marketing for our chapter. In other words, I spearhead the efforts on making sure Alpha Delta Pi has a great reputation and image in the eyes of sisters, parents, alumni, professors, the JMU community, and with other ADPi chapters around the nation. It's been a long semester for sure, but I really enjoy putting what I've learned in class to use in this role.

First semester of junior year was full of paper writing. After a busy 16 weeks and 28 papers later, the fall came to a close. This semester however, was by far my most difficult of college. I took my communications capstone class and part one of my public relations capstone class. I only wrote about 16 papers, but took a lot of exams. I would much rather write a paper than take test, so this automatically posed as a large obstacle for me. I'm just happy to finally be on summer vacation and start my internship on Monday.

Not only did I learn a lot in the classroom, but I also learned a lot about myself. With having such a busy year, I often spent a lot of time by myself either at work or studying. One of my best friends had her busiest semester of nursing school this past spring, so I didn't see too much of her and the other went abroad to Spain. I ended up spending more weekends at home rather than out at parties. I have to say, I quite enjoyed the quieter weekends watching TV I missed throughout the week or watching a movie. If I learned one thing, it's that sometimes it's okay to take a breath and do nothing. Saying no, staying in, and spending time alone is so worth it sometimes. When I did get the opportunity to go out and be with my friends, we always had a blast. I shared a few pictures below!

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