As I woke up today at the ungodly hour of four in the morning, I was filled with so many emotions on how my experience at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference would go. I started off for the San Diego International Airport filled with excitement about how my week would begin.
This was my first time ever flying by myself and, of course, I was nervous, but as I boarded my flight to Dulles International Airport the suspense and excitement contained within me was beginning to feel unbearable! The flight lasted all of five hours, but once I arrived at the airport it was all worth it because I realized that my first step toward becoming a legitimate journalist was beginning to unfold. As I gathered my bags from the baggage claim I mingled with other National Youth Correspondents who are attending the conference, and quickly made some new friends. After all of us checked in with our administrators, we headed off to the campus of George Mason University. We were one of the later buses to arrive, so once we got to campus I ran to my dorm and changed into my formal attire for the dinner that was planned for all attendees that night.
After I changed, I headed down to the main courtyard, where I met up with some of my other peers. Once we were all together we headed down to the dining hall, and I got situated with my assigned “color group,” which was red. Once everyone was seated, and after a brief wait, my table got up to collect our food at the buffet and as we ate we talked amongst ourselves, getting to know each other better. After our informal table discussions, we enjouyed our first guest speaker of the conference: Nicole Livas, a news anchor for WAVY-TV who gave us insight into her profession as a news anchor, as well as picking the right career path.
After her speech, each color group went into a meeting room so we could participate in various activities that allowed us to get to know one another on a more personal level.
After our group meetings were complete, I headed back to my dorm where I met my roommate, Robert Sweeney from Huntington, West Virginia. After getting to know each other a little more we finally settled in … and I got to writing this blog post.
My first day at the conference has been a blast! I can’t wait to experience all else the WJMC has in store for us this week. Stay tuned!