Anxious 17 Year old Begins a New, Nerve-Wracking Experience!
Before I tell you how I got here, let me tell you I am not an experienced blogger so please don’t be too harsh on me.
My name is Sierra Watts and this July I will be attending the George Mason Washington Media and Journalism Conference.
This school year, a little before Christmas break, I received a letter that I was nominated for the conference. I had about two years of experience in the “field,” (for lack of a better term.) I truly discovered my passion for writing really just last year. No matter how cliche I sound, I truly love to write and express myself but also portray an objective point of view on often-times very controversial subjects. I love the liberation I feel when I write. In my Journalism class I get to write about just about anything I want (obviously I try to push the limits as far as I can).
When I saw this letter it didn’t look like those typical scams you get in the mail and decided they are a waste of time and money. I took it to my favorite teacher Ms. Davenport (of course my Journalism teacher). She explained to me that she nominated me for the conference which was a total ego boost. I have never once been presented with such a good opportunity (for me personally).
So, I decided with my mom in spite of financial issues that I would pursue the conference. I applied for scholarships everywhere I could think of. I applied to the program itself, and when I didn’t receive the scholarship I honestly took it very personally. I had decided that if I wasn’t “worthy” of a scholarship then I would embarrass myself at the conference (even though I was accepted), only to later discover the scholarship was based on financial need. My mom makes too much money (not taking in consideration debt) for me to receive a scholarship.
Finally, my mother, after many battles, had convinced me to go. It took a lot of effort to persuade me. I let my pride get in the way of this amazing opportunity. I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough and embarrass myself.
I live in an extremely small town and not the cute kind of town you’re imagining. There are about three bars in walking distance of my house. My school is made up of about three towns: Great Bend, Hallstead, and New Milford Pennsylvania (yes, I used an oxford comma). To give you an idea of how rural of an area I live in the “style” in my school is cowboy boots and camouflage everything. The confederate flag is seen as, “Southern pride.” I hate to break it to you but we live in the North not the South. Worst of all, the closest mall is thirty five minutes away and the closest grocery store is 15 minutes away (and I live in town!) So the big idea of all of that is that I am crazy nervous to go some place new all alone. Especially when I am a “misfit” where I live. Oh well, I am so excited to leave what I call “Pennsyl-tuckey,” and maybe prove to myself I can be independent and confident enough to succeed at the conference.
(And yes, that picture is me being all weird and nervous)