Student Organizations | May 8th, 2020
Event Coordinator Plans One Last Farewell
By: Naja Hardmon
In this op-ed, Florida A&M University graduating senior, Naja Hardmon, says her farewell to convergence, j-school and all the people she met in between.
Staring at my screen for the seemingly hundredth time to pen this article, I’ve found it more difficult to begin each time. It’s isn’t because I can’t find the right words or because I’m fighting through a wall of tears—although that might have played a small part—but from the bittersweet realization that once I finished it, it would be just that: finished.
My time at the illustrious Florida A&M University has officially come to an end, along with my responsibilities, assignments and life as I’ve known it for the past four years. Now as I prepare for my virtual ceremony and transition into the “real world”, I can’t help but reflect on all that the College of Love and Charity has given me.
My first years getting used to J-School were filled with wonder and slight intimidation. Being constantly reminded of the possibilities a Public Relations degree can unlock and the influence journalists can hold over a nation only inspired me to want to try it all.
At the same time, the creeping feeling of doubt from constant comparison to the “J-School superstars” that came before me and that stood next to me didn’t help with encouraging my efforts.
But, I soon learned that recognition and acknowledgment were not ingredients that would make a perfect PR practitioner. It’s the drive to perform at your best, for every task, with every skill you can think of that can get the job done. With that kind of approach, recognition is the least of your worries.
So I dove into the student media realm in an attempt to strengthen my skills, and collect maybe a couple more, while having no clue of the stress, smiles, and shenanigans that awaited me.
It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
“It’s not goodbye, more like a ‘see you later.’”
From learning to harness the power of free food as an event coordinator to developing full-fledged marketing campaigns as a brand supervisor, the experience of leading my peers while learning from them has been invaluable to the development of who I am and who I am going to be.
The beautiful part of being a student was the spontaneity of it all. Late nights were never a drag. Being a part of an environment where students can converge from all areas but who all share a common goal created beautifully chaotic moments. I’ll miss the last-minute Chick-fil-A voyages that could feed a village and the Tik Tok sessions that blended all the student media staffs together.
It was moments like those that let me know I found my tribe, and that is what makes this transition easier.
Although my final semester at FAMU was cut short due to the recent pandemic, I walk away with comfort in knowing that every second spent was filled with nothing but love and adoration for my surroundings and those who surrounded me.
To the people that ask “Why FAMU?”, I state: “Why not?” FAMU was the only school I applied to.
I couldn’t trust any other school to provide me with a lifelong community that all had a slightly intolerable love for citrus orange and mechanical green. Nor was there a school that could introduce me to people who wanted to genuinely see me succeed—just as bad as I want to see them succeed .
So to FAMU, I will forever be saying thank you but now it’s time to move on to the next adventure.
See you at homecoming.