There’s a saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and that’s exactly what happened on Thursday (the 5th day). Of course there was one stressful moment (my day would not be complete without one), but that’s what happens when you let a directionally challenged teen roam free on Capitol Hill.
We started off the day with a couple of sessions/speakers and then went to Union Station where we had a couple hours to eat lunch, browse inside the mall, and look at the monuments around the area. This was a much needed and much appreciated break.
Then it was time to go to the Capitol to meet with my Congressional Representative. This is where it got stressful, but I will spare you from hearing that whole story and just sum it up this way: high heels + being on the wrong side of the Capitol (and if you haven’t seen it, the Capitol is HUGE!) = walking almost the whole perimeter of the Capitol in high heels. If that doesn’t stress you out then I don’t know what will.
Anyway, despite my major detour and unplanned trek around the Capitol, everything worked out. Even though I didn’t make it in time to have my individual picture taken in front of the Capitol, I made it in time for my appointment with my Representative (which was an awesome opportunity). Plus, as shown below, I took a couple of pictures in front of the Capitol with my own camera, so it all turned out fine and the world didn’t come to an end.
Once that was over, we traveled back to our dorms, prepared and then had our “Gala.” It was a great way to spend the last night of the conference. We all got dressed up and just had a great time.
The next day (actually half a day), we had our last small group meeting and speaker session. It was a bitter sweet day because I was tired and was ready to go home, but at the same time, this week flew by and I didn’t want to say goodbye to everyone just yet.
The last speaker of the whole conference was Nicole Quiroga, the General Manager of Telemundo. I’m not going to lie, being that we got back so late the previous night, I was not up for another speaker, but she turned out to be a great speaker to wrap up the week. Her lecture was very light and inspiring. After seeing and hearing the challenges of persevering in the field of Journalism and Media, her optimism and cheery attitude was encouraging and refreshing.
Summary: While flying all the way back home and having a 6 hour layover, I had time to reflect over this whole conference and the different things I experienced and learned this week. Now that I’m not sleep deprived, I can see what it really has done for me. I am fully aware that there are definitely parts in my previous posts that are negative (and rant-like). While there were stressful and even frustrating times, those little incidences turned out to be lessons learned outside of the speakers, activities, and museums and I grew because of them.
Going into this conference, I was expecting a “journalism is great and you’ll be famous” type of camp with lots of spare time (or at least a lot of time to go sightseeing). Instead, this conference revealed the truth in journalism. Many of these truths I had already been aware of, but seeing and hearing it firsthand revealed the reality of those challenges. Even being on a tight schedule, running off of little to no sleep, and things not going your way, are all things that I’m sure journalists have to deal with. All in all, every single thing I went through, even the tough parts, really contributed to what I got out of this week, and let me tell you, I learned so much!
I ended my fabulous trip with going to Busch Gardens with my friend, and his family, who I haven’t seen in over a year! It was a great and ironically fitting way to end this week. You see, we were both scared of roller coasters and challenged ourselves to ride all the big coasters at Busch Gardens. In the end, it was a blast and I believe I am a roller coaster fanatic now. Anyway, what does that have to do with WJMC? Well, like I mentioned in an earlier post, this week has been a “roller coaster” full of ups and downs, inspiring moments and discouraging moments, energetic and tired, and the list goes on. However, like my experience with the actual roller coasters, this emotional roller coaster was always moving and carrying me forward (at what felt like 70+ miles per hour!) and I came off of it eager to go back on and do it all again (despite the “troughs” and STRESS ;)).