Senior Send-off 2021: Taylor Strnad

People always told me that college would be the fastest four years of my life. I never believed them until recently, when I realized that I have less than a month of my undergraduate career left. When I first arrived at the University of Indianapolis, I knew two things: I wanted to be a teacher, and I was going to be a high jumper on the track and field team. One of those quickly changed — I found out that being an elementary education major was not for me. However, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. 

I spent the majority of my freshman year finding my bearings and doing the typical college freshman stuff. I was adjusting to living without my mom, making new friends, going to practice and social events and not knowing what on earth I wanted to do for a career. It wasn’t until my sophomore year at UIndy that I found the communication department, with help from the Professional Edge Center and Professor Rebecca Gilliland. 

Once I discovered the communication department, there was no looking back. I knew that was where I wanted to be. I quickly became involved with Top Dog Communication and The Reflector, which have kept me quite busy over the past two years.

During my junior year, The Reflector’s editor-in-chief at the time, Jayden Kennett, urged me to apply for a position on The Reflector, but honestly, I thought she was crazy. Who knew I would still be here two years later? At the time, I was The Reflector’s business manager, an account coordinator for Top Dog Communication, a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and an athlete. I also worked a job. To say I was busy was an understatement, but busy was normal, and I liked being busy. 

My senior year, the busyness continued. I became an account executive for TDC, The Reflector’s managing editor and the President of the PRSSA, all while I worked and continued to compete as an athlete. People told me I was crazy or doing too much, and sometimes I believed them. There were even times when I questioned whether it was all worth it. However, as I near the end of my senior year, I see now that the stress, tears, laughs and excitement were all worth it. 

TDC and The Reflector encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and where I discovered my passion for public relations, journalism and communication. To my professors Jeanne, Rebecca, Whitney and Koehn, thank you for encouraging me to try new things. My college experience would not have been the same without each and every one of you. 

To some of my dearest colleagues in the communication department — there are far too many to name all of you — but to Noah Crenshaw, my newspaper partner-in-crime, thank you for showing me the ropes, not only of The Reflector but journalism as a whole. As my senior year comes to an end, I realize how much I have done in such a short time.

I know it’s cliché, but these were the fastest four years of my life and the most wonderful four years of my life. My one piece of advice for those remaining at UIndy is to please enjoy every minute of your time here. The excitement, tears, stress, frustration, friendships and craziness— embrace all of it because these four years will go by in the blink of an eye. 

Although this chapter in my life is closing, I am excited to flip the page. I’ll be continuing my education at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. There I will use my fifth year of athletic eligibility and pursue a Master of Science degree in Journalism as the next step toward my goal of working in academia and higher education. 

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