Well, here I am at George Mason University.
A few months back I received this letter in the mail inviting me to attend this conference called the Washington Journalism and Media Conference. At first, I didn’t know it if was a scam or not because these days, who can tell?
Anyways, I went around and asked my favorite teachers. First, I asked my journalism teacher, Mr. Wallace. He didn’t really know but he said it looked legit. So then, I went to my gifted instructor, Mr. Getz and he said he’s heard about it before and that he’s had a student go there.
After hearing that, I talked to my parents about it a little more and we decided I should go since I have such an interest in journalism. Although it was a bit pricey, we got everything sorted out and ready to go.
Now, months later, it’s coming up faster than I was ready for, honestly. On Saturday, July 16th, I packed up all my things.
I live in Pennsylvania so it was about a three hour drive, which wasn’t too bad because I slept and ate half the time.
Once we got to the campus, my anxiety was through the roof. I had no idea where I was going and neither did my mom (we’re both AWFUL with directions). We eventually ended up where we were supposed to be somehow, I’m not even sure how.
Walking down to Piedmont, where we had to check in, I was looking around at all of the other kids around and all of them look so much older then me. Let me remind you, I’m only going to be a sophomore in high school this upcoming year so I’m one of the youngest ones here.
So, I went up to my room and my roommate wasn’t there yet so I decided to unpack all of my things, you know, get comfy and all settled in. I was just about done when she walked in. Her name is Thuja and she’s from Oregon. She’s the only one I met who’s going into the same grade as me (but she’s still older than me of course).
I said goodbye to my mom shortly after Thuja arrived and then waited for her to get unpacked. Once she was all set, we went down to a little place called The Hub. It was this really cute restaurant and we met our advisers there, Sue and Akyra. They were really nice and super bubbly. Since we were the color group orange, our group name was Orange Crush. They gave us the sodas but since I don’t drink soda, I gave it to a less fortunate non-Orange group member.
We then went on a mini tour of the parts of campus we’ll need to know. Then, we went back to our dorms and changed into our professional wear. I wore dress slacks and a button up.
After we got all dressed up, we went down to meet our color group for the first time. Our group was 22 people which seems pretty big but it really wasn’t. We played some games then got ready for dinner.
Dinner was in the Johnson Center and it was really pretty. There was a DJ and lights and everything. For dinner, we ate baked ziti, salad, green beans and garlic bread. It was all super good.
After dinner, we stayed in Dewberry Hall for our first speaker. His name was David Culver and he was a great speaker. He talked about some of his experiences as a news anchor, how we can become good journalists and things like that.
After that, we had a two hour color group meeting. We went through an exercise on networking then played a game for the rest of the time.
I must say, I’m surprised at how much I’m loving my experience at WJMC so far. I haven’t even been here for a full day and I’m already so excited!