Find Your Focus: How to Narrow that Over Involvement

By: Sam Miller, @keepcalmsam14


I’m sure we all remember our first weekend on campus. After a riveting speech from President McDavis, your entire class marches up Richland Avenue to College Gate, and here you truly become a bobcat. Another event that everyone undoubtedly remembers is the involvement fair. Hundreds of organizations, and thousands of students, crammed onto College Green, each of them trying to find the place they want to get involved. If you’re like me, then you probably signed up for at least 10 clubs, but you only became a member of about half of them.

Fast forward to the end of the year. You’re beginning to realize that you are spreading yourself a little too thin with your involvement and you need to cut back. But where do you even start? I am currently having this experience, and was recently given some advice on how to limit my involvement to three activities, and I’m passing it along to help all my over-involved friends out there.

1. Keep it professional

When it comes to deciding on organizations to keep, the one at the top of the list could be your pre-professional organization. These organizations for all the PR stars out there would be PRSSA, ImPRessions, SPJ, or Ad Club. These are the organizations that focus on your development and are going to arm you with the skills that will make you extremely hirable as you make your way into the work field.

2. Stay true to your values

The next organization that you should be sure to keep is any that advance your values and opinions. It is important to not lose sight of the things you believe in as you make your way through college. These organizations will help you do that. Examples of these organizations include any political parties student organizations, those with affiliation to special interest groups, or ones that have religious connections.

3. Having Fun

These groups are the ones you do for the heck of it. Your involvement in these groups should serve as the place where you forget about classes and go to relieve stress. These could include anything from a group that talks about your nerdy TV obsession, or one that works to give back to the community. Never underestimate the importance of keeping one of those organizations. It could be the one thing that keeps you sane.

Bonus: Once you choose your three organizations, it is then up to you to gauge your involvement in them. It is important to focus on the quality of your involvement as opposed to the quantity. If you devote all your time to one organization, and can only attend one meeting a month in the other two, do that. The people running the organizations will totally understand because we’re all college kids and we’re all in the same boat when it comes to involvement.

3 Categories to Organize your Stress

By: Hannah Tobin, @HanTobes


BREAKING NEWS: Stress sucks. Unfortunately, it’s part of life ,and in case you didn’t know, stress isn’t going anywhere. As we grow up and life changes, so do the things that stress us out. Whether you’re a freshman stressing about declaring your major, a sophomore stressing about finding housing for next year, a junior stressing about internship applications or a senior stressing out about entering the real world, we all have stress. With that in mind, there are 3 categories you can break your stress into, which will help you deal with it in the best way.

1. FIXABLE: Do, Delete, Delegate or Delay

(These are the things you have the power to change right now)

  • Do: Complete the task at hand. Sounds way too simple, and with procrastination, this simple task can seem impossible. If you are stressed out for your test this week, sit down and study. BAM, problem solved. Now it’s not a guaranteed ‘A’, but it’s a step in the right direction! This is where you take initiative and get stuff done.
  • Delete: If it’s not important get rid of it. If something is stressing you out and doesn’t need to be, get it out of your life. Again, easier said than done, but life is too wonderful to get bogged down by unnecessary stress. Ditch things that are bringing you down.
  • Delegate: Find someone else who can handle the problem.  Adding to much to your plate is a reoccurring theme for college students. As students, we balance homework, group projects, extra curricular activities, jobs and our social life. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to spread the work evenly. Don’t offer to write the group paper when you know you have a lot going on before that paper is due. Have those around you help with the workload, you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Delay: If you can’t do it now, wait until you can. There are some things that stress us out, but they are so far in the future that it’s better to press pause and wait till later. We can’t fix a problem that’s a year out. Much can change in a year, just refer to TimeHop. When the future is stressing you out, set it on the back burner, live your life.



  • Not having the proper understanding of a situation can induce stress. We spend so much time fixated on not understanding, and over analyzing the problem, that it never gets solved. Next time you find yourself second-guessing a sassy text from your roommate, or interpreting your significant other’s weird comment, be direct and just ask them what’s up. You won’t be able to read their mind, so cut the stress and get clarification on the issue.


  • This is the worst category. There will be things that stress us out, and they are completely and totally out of our control. We don’t have the option to do, delete, delegate, delay or understand; it’s just there. The sooner we come to terms with this, the better. Stress is a part of life, but coming to terms with it and managing it will lead to a happier, better life.

Now if none of those things worked, just print this out…


Home Sweet Home: A Lesson in Finding Yourself

By: Alex Corsi @acorsi17

College is a big adjustment. Living over 500 miles away from your family is an even bigger adjustment. I was born and raised in Connecticut, and Ohio is definitely different to say the least.


But where do I call home? I have never felt so out of place, which is why at 19 years old, I am now questioning everything I ever knew when I feel like I should already have my life figured out. However, after a year at OU I figured out you can create a unique versatility about yourself when you learn how to function without your family in an unfamiliar place. There are so many ways you can grow as a person when you go to school far away, and these were the most important things I learned when finding myself:

  1. You have to make yourself uncomfortable to find new comfort. This can be as simple as smiling to the person riding the elevator with you, or as wild as applying for an internship that seems way out of your ability level. Taking risks is the only way to make strides in life – you must leave your comfort zone in order to create a new one somewhere else. Applying for my first position in ImPRessions last year was not an easy task – I was new to the strategic communication side of journalism, and I honestly didn’t think I was going to get a spot on the account because I had absolutely no experience. But I forced myself to reach out anyway, and I have fallen in love with public relations.
  1. Establish a sense of independence. Your mom isn’t always going to be there to make you a cup of soup when you have a cold, and your dad won’t be able to drop everything and fix your car when it’s broken. The same goes for the public relations industry. One of the best parts of being a journalism student at OU is the availability of numerous extracurricular opportunities. In our public relations and advertising clubs, we learn the strategies we need so we can go out in the work field and do our jobs effectively without needing someone to hold our hands.
  1. But don’t be scared to ask for help. You don’t have to do it all alone. Asking for help is something I’ve never been good at, but I’ve come to realize that you alone cannot and will not have all the answers. Asking for help doesn’t show weakness, instead it shows you have the strength to recognize the areas you need some assistance in and take the initiative to do so. Nobody is perfect no matter how hard we try.

Going to school away from home can be hard at times, but it teaches you things that when the time comes to graduate and enter the “real world” you’ll know what to do in a new and unfamiliar place.

Fall semester is just around the corner, are you ready?

By: Jess Carnprobst @jess_carnprobst

048_ohiouYesterday it hit me – I only have a week left before I go back to school. What?? How did summer go by so fast? I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way, and may even be going back sooner than I am. Of course, we’re all excited to go back to the beautiful home we call Athens, but there’s still a lot left to do before the summer ends. Here are some of my tips to help make that to do list seem less daunting.

1. Rethink everything you wanted to do when summer began

Did you make a list at the beginning of the summer? If so, then go through and check off everything you’ve already done. If the list was mental, write it all down then do the same. You should already feel much better. Now breathe, and make a separate list of everything you still want or need to do. Whether this includes going on some crazy adventure or updating your resume, write it down and don’t hesitate to get started.

2. Remember that a lot can be done in just seven days

If you’re looking at your packing list and your new to do list thinking there’s no way, don’t worry it can be done! Prioritize your list and start checking things off. If your list still seems too daunting after a few days, look over it again. Is everything really that urgent? It might be a good idea to save some not-so-urgent things for fall semester. Now that you’ve reminded yourself what is most important, make it happen! Go on a wild adventure, hang out with your friends and family one last time, maybe start packing the car. In a week’s time, you’ll be glad you crammed it all in, making your last week one of the best weeks of the summer.

3. Get ready for Athens!

Both mentally and physically, prepare yourself for the upcoming year because it’s going to be a great one! If you’re a planner, set some goals for yourself. If you enjoy channeling your creativity, make some crafts for your dorm or apartment. If you’re feeling very creative, feel free to share the love and teach me a craft or two (I’m trying to decorate my apartment, but I don’t want to end up with my fingers glued together). Whatever it may be, get yourself ready for your best year yet! If you go in feeling prepared and accomplished, there will be nothing stopping you from an outstanding semester!


Now it’s time for me to take my own advice and prepare for my move in less than one short week. Even though it seems like I have month’s worth of things to do, it will somehow all be done by the time I see those beautiful bricks yet again. I can’t wait to see you all there, let’s make this year fantastic!

Is Having Two Part-Time Internships Good or Bad?

By: Elaine Carey @snakesona_laine

multitaskingAs far as dilemmas go, having two part-time internships to choose between is not too shabby. In fact, congrats! Whether one or both are virtual, or they’re both part-time and in the same city, you might not have to choose just one.

It’s not an uncommon scenario: You applied to plenty of internships, you went to a bunch of interviews and you worked your butt off! And great news – two of your top choices want you to work for them. Not readily willing to sacrifice one of those opportunities? Maybe you can do both, but there’s a lot to consider before you commit.

  • What else will you have on your plate? If you have to worry about a part-time job or classes in addition to the two internships, be absolutely certain that you can handle a hectic schedule.
  • Make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin. If you won’t be able to do an outstanding job at both internships at the same time, pick one.
  • Take a look at past experience. Remember that one semester when you worked 2 jobs, took 6 classes, kept up with your blog and still had time for friends? Yeah, you can handle two internships. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who prefers a slower pace and gets stressed easily, there’s no shame in that. You know yourself better than anyone else. Make a decision based on that.
  • What kind of internships are they? Resume building is great, but is working two social media internships at the same time really beneficial? Not only would doing the same thing at both gigs get tedious, it wouldn’t give you a glimpse into other aspects of your future career. However, a virtual blogging internship that requires 10 or so hours of at-home work paired with an experiential marketing internship that requires travelling might work out perfectly!

There is no clear-cut solution to the age-old “two internship” problem. The answer lies within! Don’t drive yourself crazy, but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself either. Good luck!

Why you should think before you Post

As a student at Ohio University, I have been hounded by the concept of, “Be careful what you post. Your future employers will see it. Do you want to have a job after graduation?” Every single one of my professors has warned me about the risks you take on social media, and when your weirdo philosophy professor talks about it, you know it’s serious. Everyone should follow these five golden rules to lower the risk of embarrassment and job rejections.

  1. If you wouldn’t want your Grandmother to see it. If you wouldn’t want to show your grandma your tweets, don’t tweet it. Imagine trying to explain a picture of you bonging a beer to your grandmother. If that doesn’t make your face turn red, then imagine showing your tweets and explaining it to your boss.
  2. If you would die of embarrassment when seeing your past 10 tweets projected in front of one of your classes. Imagine walking into class and the professor has your past 10 tweets projected on the board. Imagine one of those tweets was you on @bobcatmakeOUts. I’m sure you and the other person in the picture had a great night, but now your entire class and the professor know about it too. You may have to drop the class out of embarrassment.CollegeP1
  3. You are here for an education and your future employers will check your social media. This cannot be emphasized enough! You will continue to hear about this forever. Think about the people you would want to hire. Whether you tweet inappropriate content or retweet someone else’s, that’s not the type of person employers want to hire. You may have #collegeprobs but it’s not necessary to share with the rest of the world.
  4. You actually share much more than you think when you post. If you’re tweeting that you’re depressed all the time, people will unfollow you and think it’s annoying. No one wants to see someone tweet that they have a terrible life every 10 seconds. It also doesn’t look good to employers. If you tweet about how much you hate your part-time job and continuously complain, how does that prove you’d be happier working for any company? Think about what you’re posting and how it reflects upon you from other perspectives.CollegeP2
  5. Were you even aware you were updating your social media? Like my mom always says, “Puking is not sexy.” Should you really be posting about puke in your hair? The rough hangover you have? The extent of alcohol you are drinking/did drink? Drunk-tweets and photos are things that employers look for. You might not be aware that these will cost you jobs, because they will simply just not contact you for an interview.

If you are highly qualified for the jobs you’re applying to, then don’t let something so silly like Twitter ruin your chances.  Please, share this information with your friends and even laugh about it. Your future depends on you, so think before you post!

Taylor Davis is a sophomore studying Health Communications, and minoring in Psychology and Journalism with a Diversity Certificate. You can follow her on Twitter at @taylorrosedavis

My Journey as a Young PR Professional

Briagenn Adams

 I came to Ohio University with my heart set on news writing and print journalism. As a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshman, I bounced out of bed every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 7:15 a.m. sharp, convinced that Journalism 101 was the gateway to the rest of my life as a hard-hitting, caffeine-addicted reporter for the New York Times.

 Every day I practically skipped to the Little Professor Bookstore to pick up my newspaper. Strutting around campus, The New York Times tucked neatly under my arm, I was the epitome of sophistication. Watch out, world! Here comes Briagenn Adams.

 Reality set in Winter Quarter. Maybe it was the continuous cold weather, maybe it was Christmas cheer wearing off. For whatever reason, news writing journalism was no longer for me. After constantly listening to my friends and family members refer to print journalism as a dying industry, I began to get nervous about my future success. I gloomily realized that I couldn’t live the rest of my career with this impassioned attitude, and something needed to be done

At the end of Spring Quarter, I met with my advisor. Together, we decided to make the big switch from News & Information to Strategic Communications. At the time, I felt as though a part of my soul had withered away and died – I would never become a world-famous reporter! I would never see my freakishly Irish name by-lined in bold font! My life was over.


Incidentally, however, it had only just begun.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I made the decision to throw myself into PRSSA and ImPRessions at Ohio University. I dutifully attended Monday meetings in Scripps 111, and became an Account Associate for the ImPRessions Internal Account. Little by little, I found my niche within these student organizations, and began to feel more comfortable with my profession. However, something still felt a little bit off.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m not a Social Media Queen. I’m not always up-to-date on the latest Internet trends, and I definitely don’t have fifteen plus internships under my belt. Basically, I felt overwhelmed and inadequate. For the second time, I questioned my choice of major. 

Instead of retreating with my tail between my legs, I decided to confront the problem head on. Didn’t have an internship? I made one for myself. Three weeks before OU went on Winter break, I called the Admissions Director of my Catholic high school and asked if I could help with PR and recruitment throughout December. Next thing I knew, I was editing an alumni magazine, managing the school’s Twitter account, and conducting honor’s program interviews. ET VOILA! Empty resume no longer! 

With refreshed vigor, I attacked Spring Semester. I got an internship as a reporter for OU’s Communication and Marketing Department. Writing for COMPASS has basically been the Reece’s Cup of jobs, but instead of chocolate and peanut butter, it is PR and reporting merged as one delicious combination. COMPASS has taught me that I really can have the best of both worlds, as long as I am willing to bid goodbye to my sanity on approach to deadline.   

I guess what I am trying to say – via an extremely circuitous route – is that Public Relations is what you make it. Not every PR professional is glued to their Twitter feed 24/7. Likewise, not every PR professional experiences pleasure in finally finding the perfect word to complete a sentence. We are versatile people, catering to an even more varied profession. I can think of but one thing that unifies us all: when we want something, we go get it. PR can be a cutthroat industry as times, competitive and self-promotional. However, the Scripps School of Journalism has taught us well, and I am confident that each and every one of my fellow PRSSA and ImPRessions members will go on to do big things.

So, whatever your passion, be it writing, Tweeting, blogging, or painting, use it. Don’t forget about the dream that kept you up at night as an 18-year-old college freshman. That dream is what makes you special, and that dream is what will make you stand out to an employer. You don’t have to be kind of good at everything – be excellent at what you love to do, and trust that the rest will follow.