by Daniel Diab
Passing Barriers and Borders
Traveling from your hometown to go start university has had an effect on us all. The idea of leaving our friends and family comes with both fear and excitement because of the challenges we face in our new lifestyle. When I traveled across seas from Lebanon to Florida my first semester, I faced a huge culture shock and wondered if this would make me stronger or beat me down.
If I had to choose one thing I love about America it would be the diversity – being able to meet someone with such differences in perspective, but still being able to find things in common. The way I see it is, we could stay in our comfort zones, or learn something new.
I moved to the University of Tampa my freshman year at the age of 17 with no idea of what I wanted to do. I was part of the swim team that was training 11 times a week and trying to balance that with school work and social life. Over the next few months of what I considered hell, I learned how to study and improved my English skills thanks to my roommates and people I met along the way. Still, my major was undecided, and although I enjoyed talking to different people, I couldn’t think of something that would pay me to do it.
Before my sophomore year, I was traveling to New York when I met an interesting man on the airplane. The man was my father’s age, and we passed the time talking about our hometowns and his work. When I told him my major was undecided, he told me that he thought I was in public relations because of my conversational attitude. It must have been then that I knew I wanted PR as my major since it hadn’t crossed my mind ever before. Finally, I had found something that pays you for talking! My sophomore year, I transferred to Valencia to pursue my AA degree with the idea of entering PR at UCF. I even applied to the major beforehand, but later figured out that I wasn’t allowed to apply before being a student.
Taking the first advertising and public relations classes has had me hooked since day one. As a junior I wanted to get in the major as fast as possible, so I joined the Quotes PR club. During the first meet and greet, I began meeting people and felt welcomed as a member of the group. I immediately joined and began participating in the events. The Ad/PR entrance exam eventually came along and I could not have been happier to make it. Soon after, the executive board graduated and I was lucky enough to become
more invested in the Quotes PR club by becoming vice president. The events we host are as fun for us as they are for the members and the connections are right ahead of us. Opportunities are simply the possibility of a greater future or the tools to create one, and by joining Quotes I believe I gained the opportunity of a lifetime.