Marilyn Ashley

This past week I’ve had an experience of a lifetime in the middle of St. Louis, Missouri.

I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did and make so many friendships. I find it really hard to believe how relaxed and open I was. I think that being in a space where there were other people who were into journalism and photography as much as I was, made me feel very comfortable with myself.

The social aspect of the whole trip itself was a great experience. I conversed with people I didn’t know and talked to random strangers as if I knew them. I felt so open to doing so because I knew that a first impression wouldn’t matter as much because I probably won’t even remember, or see these people again.

I also made really good connections with other people within the Haven Yearbook and Panther Press. Before this trip, I was mostly closed off and shy, but now I have enough confidence to go into the editor’s room and strike up a conversation with anyone.

Ms. Plows said the importance of the trip was merely for the learning experience, which is true, but I’d have to disagree. I felt comfortable being myself right off the bat for the first time in a while, and I think I will remember all of the encounters I had more than the techniques I learned for cropping a photo when I’m an adult (unless I become a super cool journalist or photographer).

A large part of life is being able to connect with others and have fun while doing the things you love, with the people you love, and this trip really opened my eyes to that. Not only was it a great way to improve my skills, but it was an incredible way to have fun.

Connections at the Arch