Moving to a new city can be scary. Especially if you’re going away to college. Three hours away from home. With no mom and dad. At a university with over 64,000 students.

I came to the University of Central Florida (UCF) this past fall – a mere 8 months ago. It was my first time in college, and I didn’t have many friends who were planning on attending UCF with me. This meant adjusting to a completely different lifestyle, managing my time more efficiently and forming a new circle of friends. I was excited, but nervous. For the first time in my life, I truly had to be independent.

To be blunt, fall semester was rough. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to get involved or how I was going to make friends, so I ended up doing nothing besides going to classes and doing homework most weeks.

But then, a magical thing happened in the spring. I discovered Quotes, the PR Club at UCF – and it’s probably the best thing to have happened to me at UCF so far. Quotes has done so much for me; it has motivated me to get into the Advertising-Public Relations major at UCF, helped me to make friends with very similar interests and allowed me so many opportunities for networking in the public relations world. To me, this is priceless.

Being in Quotes allows me to go to unique events and learn valuable information for furthering my career as a student wanting to be a PR pro down the line. Just this past month, for example, I was taking part in an event led by Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, and Ashley Tinstman of Curley & Pynn. They spoke about a topic I had never heard of before – The Message Matrix®. Had it not been for Quotes, I would have never known about this event, where I learned the basics of reputation management and consistent message delivery.

Now, my life is not “go to class and get your homework done.” It’s “go to class and get your homework done, and attend Intern Pursuit, and sit in on PR speaker events, and tour downtown agencies, and update the Quotes Facebook account and go to Tallahassee for a three-day PR trip.” To a random person, this might seem overwhelming. But to me, it’s exactly what I wanted in a college experience.

So thank you, Quotes, for everything you have given me up to this point. I will never stop being thankful for it.

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