My name is Hillary Bourke and when I tell people where I’m from and the school I go to, people usually laugh with a remark like “Is that a real place?”, “That’s actually the real name?”, “I thought that was a TV show!” or “I thought that was a game!” following. I am from Orange County located in central Virginia. I am currently a junior at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. I have decided to be a Communication Studies major and want to enter the Public Relations field upon graduating in May of 2013.
I have had a couple different experiences in the Communication field. My first one would be on the Longwood Equestrian team. I was an active member for two years and I constantly recruited and advertised for the team through word-of-mouth. (One of the most popular ways of advertising.) I also was the treasurer for the team. With this position, I was in charge of scheduling fundraising ideas. I would go to Farmville area businesses and set up fundraising nights; after doing this, I would advertise on campus and try and get as many people to come as possible. Through this organizational planning I raised a lot of money for my team. I also was the Continuing Membership Chair for the Delta Nu chapter of Sigma Kappa for 2011. This means that I was in charge of organizing open houses throughout the two semesters of having my position. I had to develop new and innovative themes and ideas to recruit prospective members for my chapter. I also had to help organize unique advertisement throughout campus and help get the word out about our open houses. With these expertise and constantly learning about Communication Studies through my classes, I have been learning and experiencing a lot in my field within my three years at Longwood University.
My personal experience with gender roles is when I was little. I was raised very closely with all my cousins. One cousin in particular, Megan, and I are six months a part, putting us in the same grade. We were constantly being compared to. I was the prissy cousin while Megan was the “tom boy”. Where I wore pink dresses and pearls, she wore t-shirts and jeans. I was the “ideal” little girl while she was the “opposite”. These society developed ideas are drilled into our heads at a young age. I thought it was weird that Megan liked to play in dirt and not want to play Barbies. She had a lot of friends that were boys and all my friends were girls. However, a couple years down the road my ideas about Megan’s style and personality changed. I suddenly wanted to throw away all my dresses and ride in the Go-Kart with her. I wanted to become more masculine. My ideas about my style and activities changed a lot through my lifetime, however, Megan only recently changed. Since beginning college, she has started developing more feminine traits. She now does more “girly” things such as styles her hair, wears a little make-up, and wears dresses. College has changed Megan; some of our family says she has “matured” and “become a woman”. I don’t believe that just because she has become matured just because she has become more “girly”. Megan is still Megan; she still has “masculine” traits (according to the “Bem Sex Role Inventory) such as being independent, dominant, and extremely competitive; however, she just wants to be a normal college student.
I am thoroughly enjoying my communication experiences in my college career. Through the riding team, Sigma Kappa, and my classes I have constantly been learning new and exciting ways to communicate with my audiences.