I heard it from the movie We Bought A Zoo, as the dad (played by the great Matt Damon) gives advice to his son who had just blown his chance with a girl. Damon delivers possibly one of the best lines ever when he says: 

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

With the credits rolling, and my popcorn bag deflated, I left the theater holding onto that quote in the back of my head. 
I entered Grand Valley State University this year with very few clues as to what I wanted to do with the “rest of my life.” Sure in desperation I had conjured up some ideas, but neither psychology nor elementary education felt completely right. The general education courses I was taking could only provide me so much, and soon it became necessary for me to do some soul-searching.  It was time for me to finally utilize the twenty-second rule from my new favorite movie.  

I started off using the “We Bough a Zoo” mantra, as just motivation to get my foot in the door; to gain some courage to attend the various clubs and events that I knew would benefit me. Of course, it took several takes before I actually did this and gave up my habit of using the frigid weather as an excuse. However, once I had made firm footing in these situations, I discovered that I had made it through the hardest part. Once I realized there were no opportunities for retreating, I saw no other choice but to make the connections I needed.

Unfortunately my little mantra didn’t hold the powers of preventing rejection, and I faced it numerous times. In response to this rejection however, I adopted a new mantra; Now, anytime something didn’t go as I planned, I would simply say to myself “NEXT!” and move on.  Just like my other mantra, I immediately put this one to use (Even though multiple times I allowed myself pity parties before I actually moved on). Soon however, I came to accept that I was no longer in high school and that the competition level had indeed risen.

By the second half of second semester, even after all my efforts, I still remained undecided. Despite emailing and talking with professionals in various fields that interested me, I wasn’t ready to declare anything. It wasn’t until I received a compliment from my roommate on my ability to constantly put myself out there, that I finally realized where I belonged. I should have seen it right away. My constant drive to make connections…my refusal to give up and instead approach things from a different angle … I belonged in PR!
This is what I discovered through my journey to PR, and I continue to learn more every day. So perhaps if there is to be a lesson learned from all my babble…maybe it’s to simply take a look at your personality. Do you handle conflict well? Are you not afraid to put yourself out there and go for what you want? Do you really have the personality to make it in the Public Relations world? I know I do, but that’s for you to find out!

– Erin Herner
Freshman PRSSA Member