By: Madison Hutton
Winter break is your time for a fresh start. Finals are over, meetings have ended and now it is finally your time to get your life back in order. My personal recommendation is that you take a few days to yourself. Read a book, runaway to a coffee shop for a day and just listen to music, spend the day in bed with your favorite movies and chocolate, whatever it is, do it. Then, after you’ve rejuvenated yourself and slept for hours, it’s time to get your life back. Follow this fresh start guide and you’ll come back the professional you always knew you could be.
Step 1: Coffee
Not just a cup, you need the whole pot. Coffee will be your partner in crime, cheering you on through this process. So, grab the biggest cup you have and start drinking, it’s going to be long day.
Step 2: New Semester New You
Take everything out of your back pack/professional bag. All of your papers, folders, books and notecards and start sorting. Get rid of what you really don’t need and store the important things (portfolio pieces, notes about PR, etc.) in one central place.
Step 3: Get Yourself a Planner
If you already have one, you’re one step ahead! If you have yet to get one, go to the store right now and pick one out. Get one with a fun color or design, that way you already love it.
Step 4: Start Writing!
This will be the most important step. Grab colorful pens and open up your planner. For each task, chose a different color, this will help you remember your schedule better. Next, start writing:
1.) Classes first. Pull up your schedule and start writing in room numbers, class number and class time.
2.) Write meetings. Committee meetings, organization meetings and work meetings. Write them all in and put stars next to them so you will remind yourself how important they are.
3.) Check each class syllabus for exam dates. If you write them in early, you won’t have any “oh no we have an exam today?!” moments.
4.) Schedule yourself time to do professional development tasks every day. For example, resume touch-ups, website building and portfolio organizing.
Step 5: You’re Almost There!
Now that you have a clean back pack, a beautifully color coded planner and more caffine in your system than you can handle, it’s time for the final step, your portfolio. I know, I know, portfolios are a scary concept we all know we need to do but just cant quite get around to doing it. Now is the time, whether you’re a freshman or a senior, it’s important to get your pieces together. Start organizing your portfolio pieces into specific categories in a binder. This binder will begin to grow and before you know it, you’re officially a professional PR student with their life together.