Looking back when I was a freshman in college, I wanted to know something – I wanted to know how to do this whole college life. How do I pick the right career? How do I pick the right major? Is the communications field actually something I want to do? There are so many things I wish I knew, but the thing I wanted to hear is to – chillax. (chill + relax). People around me were applying to internships, picking a degree, getting married, working, getting their lives set up – and I was just lost. I wanted to chillax. I wish I could experience the magic of chillaxing back then. If you are feeling overwhelmed, lazy, and lost – keep reading down this scroll to find out about the secret to boundless power (yes, I just used the Kung Fu Panda analogy.)
My path to college was a little bit different. I am originally from Moscow, Russia, and I have been a tennis player since I was five years old. I moved to America all alone when I was 17. So, trust me, I had to use the procedure of chillaxing really often.
1 – No friends? Chillax
I came to an American college as an international student from Russia, so I can definitely feel you on this one. All the time I was worried that I didn’t have friends because I didn’t really feel like I fit in. I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me. I kept stressing about it. I kept looking for something that was wrong with me until the moment I realized that I am actually solid. I have my closed circle and the people around me were people I can rely on. I chillaxed and realized that I am very lucky to have the people around me.
Did you get the hint? Take a breath. It’s ok. Chillax. You have your people around you. Embrace your personal time and learn how to be comfortable on your own. Rely on yourself; it can teach you so much.
2 – No right major? Chillax.
As I was coming in as a freshman, I always knew I was going into the communications field. Public relations was something I was dreaming about; it was my goal. There are so many things I wish I knew before I applied into the program. I wish I did more research. I wish I didn’t feel like I already picked my major. I wish I looked into more options. So, my point is, that it is ok if you are feeling stressed out and feeling like there is absolutely nothing you can like in college. If this is how you feel – it is actually much better than to be set in stone. It is better to keep looking around, keep researching and having different options
Chillax. You will find something you are interested in.
3 – No time for anything? Chillax
My fellow student-athletes will understand me on this one. I/We had no time for anything. While people around me were applying for numerous internships, currently having internships, flying into different cities to have an interview, going to different clubs and classes, learning new skills online, being active in the PRSSA – guess what I was doing? Practicing. During my senior year, I felt like people around me were so set and had so many more skills than I did, and I felt nervous. I felt behind. But then I chillaxed. No matter how busy I was, I got all As. I had a 3.9 GPA while being an international student. I taught myself online design skills. I did everything to get to college on my own and I was a part of something bigger than me. I was a part of the team. No matter how much my sport has taken away from me, it gave me so much. I became who I am today and maybe I had no time and maybe I had less knowledge or skills (which is questionable), I was always on top in my classes. I never felt behind when I talked to my fellow PR students. I was stressed. I cried a lot. I felt like I was failing. I felt lost – yes, but again.
It is ok. It is not as bad as it looks. We tend to forget about our blessings and we only see the bad things. Open up your eyes. You are doing great and keep believing in yourself no matter how hard it can get. Turn your challenges into opportunities.
5 – No internship? Chillax.
This one gets me hard every single time I think about it. I did only two on-campus internships and to say I felt like I loser is to say nothing. Again, I had no time. During summer I went home and didn’t want to do anything. To be honest, during summer I was lazy. I was so tired after a whole year of college tennis, so I just wanted to chill. Excuse me, chillax. And I did.
Yes, maybe I didn’t get enough experience as others did, but every time I came back to school – I felt fresh and renewed. I had my free time to go back and go all in. I didn’t value what I was doing. I did TWO INTERNSHIPS on top of daily practice, tennis season and school. I DID THAT. No matter how hard it was. I did it. Chillax and appreciate what you are doing. Do not underestimate yourself and your efforts. Take a break. Work hard. Repeat.
Not everybody is an athlete but what I am trying to say is that there is a right time for everything. Trust the process but do not forget to invest in your future. As athletes, we learn that hard work pays off. Learn that as well.
6 – Is communications even my field? Chillax.
Throughout my college education, when I was already in the PR program, I kept looking for an answer. Is it really my thing? PR wasn’t really exactly what I expected it to be. I wasn’t super satisfied with it and everything I was learning. I was worried I made a wrong choice until I remembered about my secret practice of chillaxing. I chillaxed and opened myself to more possibilities. I took different classes – social promotion, social media management, digital marketing, digital storytelling, writing classes – all the different aspects of PR. I was taking them without realizing that it is all my communications field. My degree, my profession, my skills let me be successful in so many broad categories. Public relations led me to new knowledge, new eyes-opening experiences and made me a better professional all-around.
Digital marketing caught my attention. Anything with marketing, social media, and content creation caught my attention. I was interested in being able to connect, create, use design and promotion. There are so many people around the globe interested in the communications field and not realizing how many more aspects to it there are. Because I didn’t. I hated it for a while until I chillaxed and found something for myself. I am sure you can too. I want you to explore the field and look for something you can be interested in.
Don’t forget to chillax and open up your mind to new things.
7 – Chillax, Chillax, Chillax…
No matter what you are stressed about, no matter how dark it gets, no matter how lost, lazy, “I don’t fit in” you feel – please use the practice of chillaxing. Chill and relax. Take a breath. There are so many people around us trying to make us feel less of who we are, and we can’t let them do it. If they are getting married, have four internships, have another interview tomorrow, curl their hair every day and just lost 10 pounds – let them be. Let them do their thing.
As I already mentioned, everything happens at the right time. You have your own right path. Your own right time. Do not let anything stop you from where you are headed. And if you don’t know where you are headed – remember, chillax. And keep crushing it, because I know you are doing amazing.
Still looking for the right major?