Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be invited back to Temple University for the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) alumni panel. I was an active member of PRSSA for three years and served on their executive board during my senior year of college. So when their president reached out inviting me to attend, I knew I had to go.
I was 1 out of 5 young alumni who sat on the panel yesterday. We introduced ourselves, spoke about our time at Temple and then answered students’ questions. While the purpose of the panel was to share our knowledge and experiences with students, I know I learned a few things yesterday too.
When you first graduate, you are very much against being called an alumnus. It’s the denial phase: I did not graduate, I will be back here in the fall, etc. For probably the first time in nine months, I realized the importance of my alumni status. Not only are my opinions valued, but I have a huge network of other Temple alumni who are willing to help. The lightbulb absolutely went off in my head yesterday. Being an alumnus isn’t a bad thing, instead it’s something I’ve very proud of.
More than anything, yesterday was reassuring and gave me a much-needed boost in confidence. I finally feel like I am getting “it” aka adulthood right. I had students telling me how awesome I was, how well I speak in front of an audience and asking me all sorts of engaging questions. I was reminded that I am successful, that I have a job utilizing the skills I worked so hard to cultivate in college and that it is all coming together. Sometimes it’s nice to hear it from someone else.
Lastly, yesterday was a great example of how paying it forward is really important. I had mentors and help from PRSSA during college. So it was only natural for me to mentor younger members and speak at the panel. Never underestimate the impact you make on people’s lives and make sure to give back what you have received.
Thank you Temple PRSSA for inviting me back yesterday! It was truly a blast!