Sunday, July 12, 2015

Looking Back on WJMC 2014

Since it has been about a year since WJMC (in one day) I suppose now is the time I reflect back on my time at George Mason. A lot has changed since I got back from WJMC.

1. I'm so much more social than I have ever been in my entire life. It doesn't scare me to go up to someone and strike up a conversation. As I mentioned in a post from way back in the beginning of 2014 and this blog, I have struggled with social anxiety for the majority of my life. So to be able to go up to people and just talk to them is still so weird for me.

2. I met the most wonderful people while I was there and I still talk to them a year later. Even though I never see them, it's still really fun to have friends from all over the country.

3. I'm more mature, I think. I actually pay attention to the news and *gasp* politics. Crazy, right? Now I'm not saying that keeping up with current events and who is running for president makes you mature. I know plenty of people who do just that who are the farthest from mature you can possibly be. But I'm saying that's one thing I never really bothered to do because "it didn't apply to me." Newsflash past me, it does. It very much does.

4. DEADLINES ARE A BIG DEAL. That was the one thing I tried to enforce all year as editor in newspaper. Now did anyone listen? No. But I tried, because I understand that the news doesn't wait.

6. I'm not afraid to take a leadership position. I was/am editor of the school paper. Two years ago, I probably would have crawled into a whole and refused to take charge. Being in a leadership position terrified me two years ago. I also ran for NHS president and GOT IT, something I NEVER would have considered doing.

7. I have more self confidence. I'm not afraid to dress the way I want or do my hair/makeup the way I want. I wear whatever I feel like even though I'm not a size two and clothes don't fit me the way they fit the models (something that I was really self conscious about my first two years of high school).

Return of the bad iPhone photo to show off my freshly chopped hair and cool new glasses - a couple things that I have wanted to do for about a year!

I only have one regret: that I didn't talk to as many people as I possibly could and that I didn't make more friends than I did because I was too shy.

WJMC wasn't just a journalism learning experience. Sure, I learned a lot from my advisor and the various journalist speakers. But it helped me open up and not be afraid anymore. I can talk to people now, actually talk, without being afraid I'm going to embarrass myself (I still embarrass myself but that's a whole different story. I can laugh it off now at least!). I will be forever thankful to WJMC for getting me pumped about my future journalism career and for helping me gain important social skills that I had struggled with before.

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