Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Risk Worth Taking

Jonathan Wigfall accepts his certificate of completion on the last day
By Jonathan Wigfall (Camden, NJ)

When I returned to Camden, I emailed my guidance counselor to tell her about the program, and she told me how proud she is of me. Princeton was nothing short of amazing. I knew that going to the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program would be a great experience, but I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed myself in Princeton until I arrived back home.

The counselors, other students and the campus is unforgettable. I woke up the other morning and assumed I was late for breakfast because I didn’t get a wake-up call (a loud knock on my door at 7:00AM). 

I encouraged some underclassmen at my school to apply to the program when they become eligible. They could tell I had a good time from my Facebook updates and the TWO HUNDRED pictures I posted.

Sure, the first day or two was getting to know people’s names and getting a feel for the Journalism Program’s schedule. Names were rough for me at first but it wasn’t long before our class of students became one big exhausted family. I promised myself I would not put my head down and go to sleep, but I did manage to nearly fall asleep sitting up a couple times.

Once home, I took advantage of my right to sleep. I kept in mind that I couldn’t get lazy or ignore my emails though. So I got my rest, finished my new resume, and began looking for scholarships.

I now understand why so many alumni of the program return to volunteer their time as counselors. Being around such diverse and intellectual people creates a great environment, especially when it’s for a noteworthy cause.

At our closing banquet, Richard Just spoke of risks. Many of us took a leap coming to the program, traveling a long distance or just opening up to people who we met for the first time. I’m sure I speak for SJP’s class of 2010 when I say the risk was completely worth it.

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