We stepped out onto the steel lipped concrete platform of the 7th Ave terminal in New York City on Thursday, Mar. 12.
This was it. After months of deliberation and post-Billboard meetings, the expected 4 a.m. emails to professors with assignments, and consequent rush to pack, I had arrived. Or so I thought before I discovered we had to traverse more flights of stairs than our group of seven had spent days in attendance to fulfill the half-credit standard for gym class athleticism expected of Wilsonians. We are academics of course.
After we got our luggage situated at the Sheraton Hotel in the Theatre District where we would be staying for the next several days, we set out to sample the local cuisine. To a motley crew of sleep deprived college journalists, the only thing on the menu that first night was convenience. So we stopped at a chain restaurant and went about our business. Besides, we were just in time for our three day venture into anything and everything media related at the College Media Association’s 2015 Spring National College Media Convention.
The convention, held every year and the reason for our trek into the heart of New York City, is a session by session event spanning multiple days wherein a college student interested in learning more about media can attend any of the sessions from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. provided that the room they happen to be in isn’t full of other info-thirsty enthusiasts by the time they arrive.
The sessions that you could attend ranged from one hour sessions on media legalese to an opportunity to meet the founders of Yik Yak, a social media app that has recently gained a lot of popularity, as well as renowned cartoonists discussing the current state of visual political commentary in light of the January massacre in France targeting a satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. One session I sorely regret missing was a venture into culinary New York to a restaurant to learn how to write about food.
Invariably, I spent my time in a voracious blur of theoretical commentary and discussions over anything law related, opting for the extra sessions during the lunch hour and rushing out of sessions early to catch the endings for other sessions.
For anyone involved in or interested in media in any of its forms, an opportunity like attending the Spring National College Media Convention is a must. With sessions that go into a level of detail and specificity that normally aren’t able to be captured by the generality of a college class, and opportunities to make connections with professionals from a wide range of fields, and getting the free-time opportunity to explore New York City, it certainly was a one-of-a-kind experience.