Today was the first full day I spent completely on my own at WJMC–and surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad at all.
I started my day off getting together with my color group, 21 Shades of Grey, and went over the schedule with them. I was to spend the whole day with my group and although we all bonded the night before, I didn’t have anyone I could really start a conversation with. We all walked together to get breakfast and I ended up eating with them. They were all extremely nice people and I felt some kind of friendships start to form. After we ate, we all got ready to see Hoda Kotb and that’s where things really started to change.
I sat with the other girls in my color group and chit-chatted with them. They were all lively, upbeat people and I felt bad because I was so quiet. After Kotb gave her speech filled with anecdotes and fun jokes, the people working for WJMC improvised until lunch started. After I ate lunch with my color group, we discussed the latest keynote speaker and prepared to go to the Newseum in DC.
This was the second time I’ve been at the Newseum and I’m extremely glad I got the opportunity to go there again. The last time I was there, in 2014, I was a sophomore in high school and was learning US History up to the mid 1800s. In my junior year, my history class covered topics about World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and so on. Now this time at the Newseum, I actually knew what I was reading about. I knew about the Iran-Contra Scandal and the Viet Cong whereas before, I didn’t. I was so excited about learning more about these topics I’ve already been taught back home.
Once we were done exploring the Newseum, we quickly went to eat dinner and walked to the White House. I felt like going to the White House was completely unnecessary today, but since people around the country have never been to the White House, nevertheless Washington, DC, it was worth it. While I was there, I just ended up taking some pictures and playing around on Pokemon Go. Also, I talked more to one of my color group members and we ultimately formed a little group inside of our color group.
We decided to take this group to the Moonlight Memorial visits and we all bonded there. The last time I was at these memorials was in spring 2013, and I got hit hard with nostalgia. I had that same feeling you get when you look at old pictures or go back to the neighborhood you grew up in. I was aching to visit these memorials again (especially after learning about these wars in-depth at school). The first thing I did was visit the New Jersey part of the World War II memorial. I felt so proud to represent my state (along with many others) at WJMC. I don’t remember a time when I felt so many happy feelings at once.
Once my color group walked from the WWII memorial to the Lincoln memorial, my little friend group broke into different directions. I went around the Lincoln, Vietnam War, and Korean War memorials with a girl named Brittney. I noticed that in the beginning of the trip, she was extremely quiet and to herself… kind of like me. We clicked and had some fun conversations together. I showed her different parts of DC (since it was her first time in the area) and we talked about the differences between living in New Jersey and Nebraska. Time flew rather fast at the memorials and before I knew it, everyone was on their way back to GMU.
I await to see what things will happen tomorrow.