While most students were in class looking forward to their spring break adventures, a lucky few members of Mast Media’s Editorial Board, myself included, were able to attend the College Media Association Conference in New York City. I had once visited New York City for a few days during the summer before I started high school, and I remember not being too impressed. Of course, I was on a student tour with teachers for chaperones.

The tour was hasty and cut short due to a cancelled plane ride days earlier. I remember the smell of garbage, loud noises and rude people wherever I went. So while I was looking forward to attending the conference and learning new ideas and tips, I was a little nervous about the idea of being in New York City itself.

Mast Media's News @ Nine Producer, Allie Reynolds, before seeing Jimmy Fallon's monologue rehearsal in New York City.
Allie Reynolds, Mast Media’s News @ Nine producer, before seeing Jimmy Fallon’s monologue rehearsal in New York City this past March.

I had always thought I’d feel too overwhelmed living in a big city, but I loved New York. I loved the energy, the different attractions and the fact that basically anything can be delivered to your closet of an apartment. Our temporary housing location, an apartment we were able to rent for the week, was located on the Upper West Side, a couple blocks away from Central Park. We had to take the subway to explore the sights and sounds of the city and to get to the conference everyday near Times Square.

I was nervous at first — I didn’t want to look like a tourist — but I came back to Seattle wishing we had our own subway system to make getting around easier for everyone. We were  also lucky enough to score tickets to Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show” monologue rehearsal.

As a huge fan, it was amazing being in the historic Studio 6B in Rockefeller Center and seeing the studio and the host that I watched nearly every day in person. Based on our reactions to his jokes, Fallon decided which jokes to use for the actual show that night. It was an incredible experience, and I’m so glad that it worked out for us. It’s definitely something I’ll never forget.
At the College Media Conference we learned new tips for the journalism world outside Pacific Lutheran University and also tips on reporting to improve the newspaper and our website itself.  While I learned a lot at the conference, I feel like I learned more about myself by exploring the surrounding city and a whole different coastline.

New York City is the hub of all media, which is something I definitely want to work in after my time at PLU.  I never even considered the idea of moving to New York City and applying for jobs across the country, but after my experiences there, I definitely will be considering jobs across the country.

If you visited a city, a country or even a town when you were younger and didn’t like it, my advice is to give that place a second chance. We’re constantly changing as people, especially in college, with new experiences under our belt every day.  I’m so glad I was able to travel to New York City again in my 20s, because it was a trip that showed me I was ready to move on from the suburbs and into the city if that’s what works out for me. ◼︎

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