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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

First time flier: How journalism gave me wings

Idalys Aguirre
The Connection Features Editor Idalys Aguirre sits in the cockpit of the plane with the pilot holding a postcard after her first flight. The Connection Staff attended the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Conference in La Jolla, San Diego on March 7.

After 18 years on solid ground, I finally took flight for the first time with a group of student journalists to Southern California for a conference with life-changing opportunities.

Growing up, my family had always traveled by car and we’ve spent long hours together on road trips to different states across the country, but we had yet to travel by plane, until I became a journalist.

Last month, I, along with three other student journalists from The Connection of Cosumnes River College, was offered the opportunity to travel to San Diego to attend the American Collegiate Press National College Media Conference for three days.

I remember so clearly the moment when we were reviewing the travel information and other students were talking about how relieved they were to fly to the conference instead of having to drive. While they felt a sense of relief, a wave of panic immediately came over me.

Flying on a plane was something new to me and dealing with anxious thoughts seemed to make the experience even worse. It was relieving to know that my peers were traveling along my side, never leaving me alone.

To deal with my fear, I went into my “panicked-packing” mode. After making a long list of items and throwing everything inside of my suitcase, it seemed like there was enough luggage for a month-long trip.

I woke up very early to make it on time to our 8 a.m. flight, grabbing my heavy suitcase and backpack as I walked out the door. Just thinking about the ride to the airport made my hands shake and my stomach turn.

I reminded myself to stay calm and this experience would be one that I would remember for the rest of my life. I was excited to learn more about the different opportunities journalism had to offer and meet other people who were just as eager to experience something new.

Walking into the airport after being dropped off by my parents is still a bittersweet memory. Not only was it my first time flying, but it was also my first time going on a trip without them.
It was hard not to let myself be a little emotional, but I was glad to be pursuing my dreams as a journalist.

Walking into the airport, I met with the group and we went through the security procedures before waiting to board.

It was time to fly. The takeoff is usually the part of the flight that appears to be the scariest, but being able to see the landscape below us made me forget about why I was even scared in the first place.

As the flight attendant made her rounds, checking on every passenger, I told her that I was on my first flight and anxious about the new experience. She reassured me that I would have a great time and even gave me a postcard, a deck of cards, a pin of wings and walked me towards the cockpit at the end of the flight to talk to the pilot.

I would have never gotten this opportunity if I didn’t write for the college paper. CRC, The Connection and journalism itself all made this once-in-a-lifetime experience possible.

Whether it’s on a plane for the first time or to another part of the country or world you’ve never been to before, journalism really can take you anywhere beyond just writing a story.

I can’t wait to see where journalism takes me next.

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About the Contributor
Idalys Aguirre
Idalys Aguirre, Features Editor
Idalys Aguirre is a Features Editor with The Connection. She is 18-years-old and is majoring in journalism. She joined the Connection to experience the process of writing and publishing pieces and see the work that goes into a college newsroom. Her goals after being apart of The Connection staff is to further pursue a path in journalism and continue writing. She would like to further explore bilingual journalism and use her tools to write pieces in both English and Spanish. Outside of the Connection, she likes to spend time with family, watch sports and go to a lot of giants games, cook and read.

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