What I Learned: A Short, Incomplete List

What I learned this trip is a difficult concept to grasp. I learned so much and in a variety of different areas that it’s hard to convey. Instead of rambling in a long, dramatic fashion, I decided to make a list of some of what I learned.

  • Journalism is not dying, but changing.
  • The Statue of Liberty is more beautiful in person; the Empire State Building is not.
  • Investigative journalist is not a title you hold, it’s something you are and act upon even when you’re not technically in an investigative division.
  • Nobody has done anything interesting between the ages of 20 and 25.
  • Business cards that link to a website are better than normal business cards, because you can use analytics on your site to determine if anyone actually visited it.
  • Annoying inconveniences can be fun if you’re with the right group of friends.
  • The technology you have doesn’t matter as much as your creativity and ability to use it.
  • Coming on this trip was the right decision and everywhere we went told us so.
  • Brooklyn is beautiful during snowstorms.
  • Feminist protesters are great at sign-making.
  • Journalists are both worried and determined regarding the incoming administration.
  • An inauguration is beautiful regardless of who is being inaugurated.
  • Don’t discount the value of everyone thinking they’re not good enough to apply to something; it means that if you apply, you have a greater chance.
  • Never say no to an incredible opportunity.
  • Don’t be afraid of missing out on something you don’t want to do.
  • The people and work are more important than the perks, but there’s a fine line between perks and decent benefits.
  • Caution is more useful than fear.
  • Cliche: you never know if you can do it unless you try.
  • It is more important to figure out what you don’t want to do than what you want to do.
  • Time is a valuable commodity and is a major consideration in deciding what you want to do.
  • Hard work and determination will get you where you need to be if they don’t get you to where you want to be.
  • Standing out is harder than fitting in, especially to an employer.
  • Ask questions. Always ask questions.
  • Take people up on their offers. Contact them and see where it goes from there.
  • Don’t be afraid to be nice to people you think are great. Let them know they’re great.
  • If you look like you know what you’re doing people are less likely to mess with you.
  • If you’re not afraid in a situation and others are, listen to their fear because it might well be self-preservation in the works.
  • Similarly, evaluate risk on a case-to-case basis. You never know what risks you’re willing or not willing to take until it happens.
  • One job or one city is not a lifelong commitment. Go where you want to go and the rest will evolve.
  • Visit a place before living in it. It might surprise you.
  • There is no one right answer for everything.
  • Success is unique to each individual. There are few universal laws to success. That means for the most part, nobody can say whether you’re doing it right or not.
  • If you feel like you don’t have friends, it could possibly be you haven’t found the right ones yet.
  • If you want recognition, you have to give it before you can receive it.
  • When traveling, allot twice as much time as you actually need.
  • You can fit as many people in an elevator as your mind can imagine.
  • Distance is an artificial construct. If you don’t think about how many miles you have to walk to get there, the distance seems less.
  • Mentors are underrated. Get one. Get many.
  • You are way cooler than you give yourself credit for.
  • People are kinder than you expect them to be, if you give them the chance to be.
  • Listen to your gut and know when not to.
  • Finally, all of these rules are changeable. They’re simply the thoughts and musings I agree with right now. I might have another experience that changes my mind about what success is or about how one should travel. The important part is realizing that it’s okay to change and to evolve. That’s what life is.
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  1. #1 by clairesymons on January 25, 2017 - 7:32 pm

    I LOVE THIS. Such a great list of what we learned, both educationally and socially on this trip. What an incredible experience to be able to grasp the changing identity of contemporary journalism. And what a great time to be a journalist!

  2. #2 by itsrachelrogers on January 25, 2017 - 7:37 pm

    I love the mix of things you learned about journalism and about life. There are so many opportunities and many can seem intimidating. But if we choose to not be intimidated, our options are endless. It’s like fitting people into an elevator–if we imagine we can do it and we try, we can do it.

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