Day 1

The trip to get here was definitely tiring. Who would’ve thought that sitting in a car all day would be so exhausting? But, when I heard about all of the stories that people had about flying, taking trains, one girl even had to take a ferry to get off of her island it made my eight-hour car ride sound pretty mundane.

Checking in to the conference was so much easier than I had thought it was going to be. Everyone that I met was so kind and helpful. My little brother and my dad both gave me big hugs before they left and told me to take lots of pictures.

I can’t lie, one of the biggest things that I was really nervous about was meeting my roommate. It turns out I really had nothing to worry about. My roommate and I get along really well and I’m so excited to be spending more time with her throughout the week.

One of the options that was given to us while we waited for everyone to arrive was to take a campus tour. I never thought about applying to George Mason University but the tour swayed me a little. The campus was very pretty and I loved how even though it was a big campus it still had a community-like feel to it. I’m not sure if I’m going to apply but I’m definitely going to take George Mason into consideration when I’m filling out my applications.

Dinner was definitely not what I expected. I thought it was just going to be a typical college run through the cafeteria line type of dinner. I didn’t expect to be sitting in a nice ballroom with waiters and a buffet style dinner. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least.

Our speaker tonight was Tina Rosenberg. I loved hearing about what she had to say in terms of journalism. I also really liked how, through her freelance career, she found a style of journalism that she was passionate about. It was really nice to hear about the different perspective that Solutions Journalism brings to the table. I agreed with Tina Rosenberg that there is a lot of negative news in journalism today. I think that Solutions Journalism is a great way to combat this and shine a more positive light in the journalism world.

After listening to our speaker we received an official welcome from Elena Johnson, the program director of WJMC.

Later, we went into a room with our color group, mine is the orange group. We did fun activities to learn everyone’s names and get to know more about everyone in our group. One of the games we played was similar to musical chairs and I learned some fun facts about the different people in my group.

After the activities our Faculty Advisor and Junior Faculty Advisor went over the rules for the conference as well as other things we needed to know. Then, we talked about personal brands and professional networking. We did two exercises. One to describe our personal brand and how we would able to create this brand with the conference. In the second activity, we created an elevator pitch and shared it with the people in our group. We ended the meeting with talking about what we would do tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we’re supposed to hear from a speaker, Hoda Kotb. I’m very excited to hear her speak since I’ve heard so many great things about her. It was really cool that she gave us free copies of her book! We’re also supposed to visit the Newseum and go on a tour of the monuments in D.C. later at night.

I couldn’t have asked for a better first day here at WJMC and, even though I’m ready to catch some sleep, I can’t wait for my second day here!

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