The Most Educational, and Surprisingly, Most Fun Summer of My Life - My Family Travels

My name is Jane Morice, and I am currently a junior at Rocky River High School in Rocky River, Ohio. Rocky River is a suburb about 10 minutes outside of Cleveland. This past summer, the summer of 2009, I went on a trip that changed the way I look at the world, the people that live within it, and most importantly, myself.
     During my sophomore school year, I received information from my school counsler about NSLC, the National Student Leadership Conference. I was really interested in going to NSLC for the Journalism & Mass Communications program. I looked into the program, and it would consist of a two week stay at American University in Washington D.C. During the trip, I would participate in the NSLC program as well as classes that were a part of the Discover the World of Communication program hosted at American University. I begged my mom to go because I love Washington D.C., and she wanted me to go because it would look really good on my college applications. Also, we both thought it was a good idea to go because I would learn more about the world I want to delve into when I grow older, the world of print journalism.
     The best word I can think of to describe my emotions leading up to the my trip is anxious. I was really excited, but on the other hand, I was very, very nervous. I had never been away from my family for more than a few days. Two weeks was going to be stretch. Plus, how was I supposed to get along with complete strangers? Getting to D.C. and AU was the only thing on my mind.
     I arrived at American University on June 21st.  My mom stayed around with me for about an hour, and then she left. I cried because I felt so alone, but I knew I couldn’t just stay in my dorm room all day. I went on the campus tour offered by American for NSLC members. I immediately fell in love with the campus. It was so small that I could literally walk across the whole thing in about 3 or 4 minutes. The buildings looked classic on the outside, yet on the inside as I would later find out, they were modern and spacious. I began to think that if the campus was this beautiful, the trip would not be horrible.
     Over the two weeks, I participated in many events that were both fun and educational. I faced my fear of heights at the Ropes Course at the University of Maryland. I went on an educational field trip to National Geographic with my Discover the World of Communications class. I went on fun field trips with my NSLC friends, including a Nationals baseball game, Old Town Alexandria, VA, Georgetown, and to see the Monuments at Night. There were many fun dances and socials through NSLC where I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had. In fact, I still keep in daily contact with a really great friend I made who lives in Tustin, California.
     When the two weeks were over, I had the hardest time leaving. I love American University, I love the people I met and the experiences I had with the people at NSLC, and I love being in my favorite city, Washington D.C. The life lessons I learned and the trip itself changed my life for the better; this I know for a fact. I recommend the NSLC experience to everyone and anyone.

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