Hastings, a Nashville native, graduated from the University of Mississippi in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communication. She went on to earn a master’s degree in strategic communication from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth in May 2019. While at Ole Miss, Hastings served as co-director of public relations for The Big Event, the largest day of community service in the state of Mississippi, and as director of communications for Mortar Board, a national honors society for college seniors based on academics, leadership and community service. Hastings interned with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Insomnia Cookies and the University of Mississippi Communications Department. During her time in Fort Worth, Hastings worked to strengthen communication strategies for UnBound, a national nonprofit fighting domestic human trafficking.