#NewYorkWithGray

Never have I been around so many people with such similar interests to me. This was my first trip to New York and how incredible it has been. I have had so many firsts, it has truly been outstanding.
It all started with a plane ride from RDU to LaGuardia Airport. This was my first plane ride ever and with it lasting just over an hour, it went pretty well. We grabbed lunch and headed for the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square. We first got on a bus, which took us to a subway station, where we took the Subway to 42nd Street and began to walk a few blocks with all of our luggage to the Hotel. We quickly checked in and ran out into the amazingness that is Times Square of New York City. As we walked, we decided that we would eat at “Ellen’s Stardust Diner” for our first dinner in New York City. This place was literally like a dream. All of the waiters sang show tunes. We were there for almost two hours and one right after the other, song after song, every waiter and waitress sang and my favorite part, there was a run of about 7 Disney songs. It was truly fantastic. After that we began walking around Times Square in 20 degree weather where we froze our butts off but managed to have an awesome time. The next morning we got up and headed to a small cafe down the street for a nice breakfast together before the conference started. The conference was for the Collegiate Media Association. Communication students from all over the country including people from Campus News, Campus Papers, and Campus Yearbook editors came together to learn more on how to make their college media the best it can be. For me, it started with a session called “Through a Different Lens” which discussed how images can easily be changed to portray an image in anyway the media wants you to see it. It explained how media channels can crop a picture or simply turn it to make it look completely different from what the image actually is. It also went into details about how our subconscious mind automatically thinks things because we have seen those things portrayed in a certain way our entire lives. My next session was called, “How to take Media Off-Campus.” Many campuses, including Campbell, make a big impact on the community around them. This session taught us how we can not only talk about things going on around campus, but also in the community around the area so that we can have a larger impact on the community as a whole. After this it was time for the first Featured Speaker of the event. Her name was Mara Schiavocampo. She is a journalist on Good Morning America. It was really cool to hear information directly from someone who has your dream job! Later that evening, we went back to Times Square and toured around to the M&M Store, the Disney Store, and a few other places around the area. The next morning was the start of a dream. It was an early morning, but Sammy, Taylor, and I were LIVE on Good Morning America! We took a cab from the hotel and stood out in the freezing cold to be VIP Guests on the show! I personally got to ask Danielle Steel a question on LIVE television. It was literally a dream come true. We all learned so much and had so much fun. I could not have asked for a better trip! Also on the trip, among numerous other sessions we attended, we took the subway to see the 9/11 Memorial. This memorial brought tears to my eyes but is a very important part of our history and it was good to see. We also took a trip to Wall Street where we saw even more landmarks and got to see the Brooklyn Bridge at night under a full moon. At the end of the trip, we found out that there was a big blizzard coming through the city. We changed our flight times, but still our flights got cancelled and we were forced to take the last train our of the city that was available. Seeing snow in New York was really cool, but I tell you, a 13 hour trip by train is not the most fun when there are a ton of people smushed in there. However, we made it back safely and still had a lot of fun along the way. This trip was truly a dream come true. I never could have asked for anything else as I learned so much and I hope I get to go back in the future!

Here is the video I made of our trip!

Photos can be found on my Facebook page!

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