I cannot believe that I am about to return to Tallahassee to start my second year of college! Last school year gave me all these amazing experiences that made me grow in ways I didn’t expect. I have so many hopes for this next school and can’t wait to see the differences this second time around.
All Things PR: Four and a half months later after the dreaded February 25th decision day where I didn’t get into the public relations major, I received an email (last week) from the College of Communications advising office telling me there was a spot for me to be in the public relations major after all. I accepted; however, I think the thing that made it weird for me was I didn’t feel that excitement I would have felt in February. I was grateful but after a great year with FPRA (the Florida Public Relations Association) and working at the Zimmerman Agency over the summer, I not only know but learned deep to the core of my soul that I didn’t exactly need the major. I will excel in PR based on my skills, my personality, and overall drive.
This school year I can’t wait to be a part of the major officially, which allows me to take certain PR classes along with be around people with the same passion. I am extremely excited to serve as this year’s Professional Liaison for FPRA. I really hope to take the position to a whole new level and continue to have fun with my friends in the group. I have so many goals that I want to reach! Plus, I can’t wait to have my own mentee after my great relationship with my FPRA mentor, Natalie, last year. Also, I can’t wait to return to work at the Zimmerman Agency. I will be a Junior Account Coordinator instead of a Clipper so, I can’t wait to learn new things and be challenged along with being able to work on specific accounts of clients.
Friendships: I formed some great friendships last year along with continuing friendships from high school. The first rough thing about last year was starting college with no for sure dependable friends. That friend you can have fun with it but also talk to when you’re sad and physically want someone there. As the year progressed though I made some great friends who I have had fun times with but this year I want to take those friendships to a new level. We have really fun things planned but I can’t wait for those extremely fun moments you never expected when school started and those moments you will instantly think back upon five years from then. I also can’t wait to see who I have new or even better friendships with from work, classes or through a friend of a friend.
Roommates: I had a different roommate for each semester last year; one being an okay experience and another being a fantastic experience I am grateful for. This year I will have three roommates, one of which I share a room with, so I am excited to see how this dynamic works. The two I could find on Facebook seem like good guys so I am crossing my fingers that we all can be friends or at the least respect each other as roommates . . . and that this third mystery roommate will be a good surprise. This next week will be beginning of what could be an easy or rough year especially when you have this many people living together.
Being Gay/Dating: When I started last school year I wasn’t out as gay, but by the end of first semester, I was. Not being out definitely took an emotional toll on me first semester and second semester I still had to deal with letting friends know and being comfortable with that part of my identity being public. There was also this baggage I had to deal with of not being completely trusting of being able to fall in love one day and needing to set these standards for what I look for and deal with. There were all these things I didn’t realize was an obstacle for me that I had to come to terms with.
This school year I hope and think my friends can see a more confident and hopeful Jarryd with dating. This summer gave me a chance to reflect on some negative things to where I know that there are good guys out there that I hold out hope for. Through talking with various friends, my ideology was affirmed that going after someone should be dating and not this hooking up, talking and then eventually two months later a date. If a guy is really compatible with me then it’ll work out in this way I believe in. A date isn’t a marriage proposal. It says you romantically interest me and let’s spend an hour getting to know each other. With all that in tow, I am so excited for the possibilities of this year. Last year and especially the summer cleansed and enlightened me to where I can only be hopeful.
Family: Having my college world for a year gave me this appreciation for my family. They still irritate me in so many familiar ways but it affirmed this love I have for them. The thing I believe is hardest about going to college and your family is this disconnect you have with them, because you really do have this other life. They know about it but they don’t really understand it. Plus life goes on without you at home. This is most evident with my four-year old sister who started her first day of preschool today. I think she is the one I end up missing most because she is constantly growing and changing in obvious ways every day. This school year I wonder how things will be with my family as I continue to get older.
Overall, I feel this pure excitement for this school year. Last school year I knew I was at the beginning of this new journey with so many lessons ahead. Now I am far on that journey feeling more in my comfort zone, happier, smarter, and knowing more of who I am and what I want.