Today I arrived at the Greene summer institute. Even though this was my second time leaving my family for a summer program, it was hard. After a few weeks of fun, I wasn’t looking forward to parting ways with my family, friends and the beach at home. However, I was looking forward to doing what I loved.
After a quick orientation and getting settled into my room, my family was out the door. It was crazy to imagine that this will be my reality one year from now, except for the fact that they won’t be leaving me for a week, it will be for an extended period of time.
Finally, it was time for brainstorming. As we sat on the almost-too-comfortable couches, myself and other Greene students shared our ideas for potential story topics, each relevant to our own lives. Finally, I was able to gain a greater understanding of how to begin the writing process. Just by starting with a general topic, we were able to break it up into separate ideas and come up with potential sources. At the end of our brainstorming session, we had a whiteboard full of topics that we were all interested in, and could write powerful, passion-filled stories about.
During our brainstorming session, I had a few realizations. To start, I need to read/watch/listen to more news. In order to be an effective journalist, one must know what’s going on in the world. Even if it is just news over breakfast, as we will be doing this week, it will be enough to have a greater understanding of the happenings in our surroundings. While brainstorming, I was also reassured that journalism is the path for me. The amount of joy the creative process of brainstorming brought me, was undeniable.
Later on in the afternoon, we young journalists indulged in some ice cream, then hung out in our dorms. As I spoke to the other girls in the dorms around my own, I discovered how different my school is from all others. We spoke about school rank, exams, pressure from peers and administration, and it made me all the more grateful for the community that I am part of. While grades are important, it does not override the importance of doing what you love, and learning while doing so. Not once have I felt the pressure described by some of the girls, and I feel that that is the reason I am, who I am.
Overall, it was a lovely first day. I am looking forward to the hands on learning we will be doing. I am also excited to be in the seat of a journalist throughout the next week, because I love the drive and hard work it takes to be part of this career. Here’s to a week of enlightenment, exploration, and bonding! The Greene Team is ready to report!