A Weekend Of Firsts: A Plane Ride And Trip To Washington, D.C.

A Weekend Of Firsts: A Plane Ride And Trip To Washington, D.C.

What a weekend!

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to go to Washington, D.C. with an organization I'm involved with on campus. Not only was it my first time to D.C., but it was also my first time on a plane. While most students get to go to D.C. with their eighth-grade class, my school had ended that a few years before my class (now it's reinstated and my sister is going in November, but it's fine, I'm not salty). This trip was planned so that the group of students, all members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), had the opportunity to meet with some alumni from Bowling Green State University and have some time to explore the city. And man, oh man, did we do both.

The first day of our trip required us to be on the road to Detroit airport by 3:30 a.m., which means we got up at 2:45 a.m.. Once we got to the airport and made it through security, we sat by our terminal for nearly two hours. Since it was my first time on a plane, I was getting more and more anxious and nervous the longer we waited to board. Eventually, we boarded the plane sometime after 7 a.m., and I had a middle seat between two girls from PRSSA. The take-off was definitely unexpected. I immediately got dizzy, and the feeling of the tires lifting off the ground made me feel like I was going to fall through the floor of the plane. I tried to focus on one thing and to talk to the girls in my aisle to distract myself.

Every time there was a pocket of air or rumbling, I just pictured that I was in a car on a road trip going over potholes. It actually helped quite a lot. So, after we landed and got to our hotel, we had time to change and explore the city before our first meeting. The group of girls I went with stopped for breakfast, and then we went to see the White House. Of course, stopping along the way to take pictures of us with the beautiful trees.

At our first meeting, we learned about what a public relations major can do in a government job. The man we spoke with worked as a lobbyist and handles PACs. It was a really interesting discussion, but I was exhausted and kept falling asleep, oops. The second opportunity was at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center, where we were given a tour of the building, saw a concert, and ate dinner. This was really amazing, as we got to see inside a theater and the main concert hall. It was really interesting hearing this alum's journey from college to D.C.

The second day was another busy one. We left the hotel by 9:15 a.m. to go to the Newseum, which was a large museum about journalism and journalistic accomplishments, in addition to history about the United States. It was fascinating and we all enjoyed seeing so many different things at once. There was a section that had newspaper headlines that are changed every day, which really surprised most of us. We then went to our final networking opportunity of the trip at an agency. There was a presentation about the various parts of this company, which was more my style and what I wanted to do. After that, we were all free to do whatever we wanted until the flight left the following evening.

That Friday evening, my group went to a happy hour where we talked, ate appetizers, and drank. It was a lot of fun getting to know these people, there were like 10 of us because I had only known a couple. That was my favorite part of the trip: getting to know these girls and becoming such quick friends. After that, we met up with three other members and went to dinner at a nicer restaurant, where the festivities continued. We drank some more, talked a lot more, and ate actual food. It was a pretty chill day, but it was so much fun.

Our last day started at 10 a.m., and we decided to see the monuments. We started with the Jefferson Memorial, which incited a new photo shoot. We talked through the beautiful, in-bloom, cherry blossom trees and got some amazing photos. We then stopped at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on our way to the Lincoln Memorial. Then we walked to the Capitol Building, pausing to take pictures of the Washington Monument.

During our 50-minute walk, we made sure to take hundreds of photos and get those Instagram-worthy, picture-perfect, photos. We managed to hit everything we wanted and make it to the airport with plenty of time before our flight. It was an exhausting three days, but they were so wonderful, I don't have the words.

This trip really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was super nervous about flying for the first time since I was approved to go on the trip, last October. But I overcame that fear and made it through the flight. I also became friends with wonderful people that I only wish I had befriended sooner. This trip was a really great thing for me to do and be a part of and I am so glad I not only had this opportunity but pushed myself to go on this trip and make memories with some pretty great people!

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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9 Things To Do In Nashville If You Have No Idea What To Do

Trust me, I was just as lost as you are.

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Nashville is a great place packed full of lots of really cool smaller great places that all offer their own unique take on the city. If you're like me, though, and have a hard time ~planning ahead~, then this list is exactly what you need. I went around and got lost and tried all the coolest hidden gems in Nashville so you don't have to. Here are some of my faves.

1. Milk & Honey Nashville

Located in the Gulch, Milk & Honey is the coffee shop/cafe from my dreams. It's decorated perfectly for any cute insta story and y'all when I say their coffee is amazing I mean it. Try it. It's so worth it, and pretty easy to find, too! You can browse their menus here.

2. Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop

While we're on the topic of coffee shops, Frothy Monkey is a MUST try. Trust me, I've drunk A LOT of coffee in my lifetime, and theirs is up in the top 10 of the best. They have other good things too, but if you're a coffee person like me, this place is heaven, I promise. It's right off 12th Avenue and within walking distance of lots of other funky little shops.

3. Two Old Hippies

This is the coolest little shop you will ever go into. Tucked away in the Gulch, it's within walking distance of Milk & Honey, so stop by after you grab a coffee and browse. They have everything from handmade clothes to cool books to refrigerator magnets. This is one of my all time favorites and I know you'll love it too.

4. Baked on 8th

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I fell in love the second I saw the cute sign. Baked on 8th has a great atmosphere and even better little pastries, cookies, and cakes. Their cookies were so good it took every ounce of self-control I had to not go back and order 2 dozen. 12/10 would recommend if you're into Instagrammable locations and bomb sugar-filled desserts.

5. Burger Republic

I get it, you've gotta eat more than just cookies and coffee. As far as restaurants go, this place is home to the best burger I've ever eaten, plus the atmosphere is pretty laid back and great, and it's an awesome place to go and watch pretty much any sporting event happening anywhere relatively close to Nashville. Browse the menu so you can know exactly what to order before you even get there here.

6. Fido

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a HUGE fan of coffee shops and cafes. Fido was the most perfect little spot. It boasts about its gourmet coffee and great food, and rightfully so. It's also got the coolest funky vibe that makes you just want to sit and stay all day, and it's in a great location and decently close to Vanderbilt.

7. Go see some murals

Nashville is FULL of these bad boys. I know y'all have all seen the countless pictures of those people with big butterfly wings. Well, there's more and they're all around the city and on the side of pretty much every building. It's cliche, but tbh it's also kind of a must do while you're there.

8. Walk around Centennial Park and the Parthenon

This is a really nice place to visit if you're looking to spend a couple of hours away from the concrete of the city, and the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Greece.

9. Ride one of those little scooters around and explore

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I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I did not ride the scooters. They seem kind of dangerous and I know without a doubt that if I tried to get on one it would not end well for me, the scooter, or anyone within a 3-mile radius. With that being said, though, I did see a lot of people riding them and it looked pretty fun, plus it's a great way to see the city without walking too much. So if you just want to explore, hop on one of these bad boys and pray.

Nashville is a great city full of tons of tourist attractions and amazing musical history, but if you find yourself stuck with nothing to do for a couple of hours before your next walking tour, you're sure to find something on this list that you'll love. So, you're welcome.

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