OPINION: Joining PRSSA shaped my college experience


From left to right, Eryn Loria, Madison Martin, Gabby Roberts, and Malery Louis, with the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience and New Orleans Convention Company, Inc., prepare the check-in desk for visitors of The Ella Brennan Award Gala in New Orleans, June 7, 2022. Eryn Loria, a Loyola University New Orleans Mass Communications major, was given an internship opportunity with NOWFE due to her membership with the Public Relations Student Society of America. Courtesy of Dinah Rogers/PRSSA

Eryn Loria

One of the biggest problems you face when you begin college tends to be finding a sense of belonging. Something that everyone has faced when coming to college as a freshman (or transfer student) is the significant task of “finding your people.” It can feel daunting to try and complete the mission of finding the people you feel like you belong to.
I found my people when I joined Loyola’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.
As a PRSSA member, I felt a sense of belonging and community from the beginning of my experience with the organization. PRSSA offered me more than just a plethora of resources and opportunities. PRSSA gave me a community on campus and in the School of Communication and Design that I could connect with and feel like a part of.
As an organization, I was drawn in by the offer of networking, professional development, impressive guest speakers, and community/professional resources, but what really kept me was the sense of belonging that I got from this supportive group of peers and professionals that helped me never feel alone within the chapter.
College can get really messy, and being a part of a community like PRSSA that ranged from seniors to freshmen who were facing, had faced, or were going to face some of the same things as I made it that much easier for me to feel less alone and intimidated by the many hurdles I faced throughout my college years.
If a professor hadn’t nudged my peers and me to attend one of the meetings to check out the chapter and free pizza, my college experience could have significantly pivoted into something else, and I am so grateful for what it became thanks to PRSSA. So if someone hasn’t been that person for you yet, I hope that I can be the person that you listen to in order to try out one of our meetings to see just what I am talking about.
I always felt that sense of belonging in the community of our PRSSA chapter, and this year as I step into the role as president, the e-board and I are looking forward to nurturing that sense of community even more with our programming this year! Whether you’re studying public relations, journalism, or biology, Loyola’s PRSSA chapter may just be for you.