All photos were taken by the author.
As a Street team member of the Patriot Activities Council (PAC) at George Mason University, I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Campus Activities National Convention 2019 in Ohio, Columbus alongside with PAC’s advisor, graduate assistant, director of publicity and two other street team members.
Our days were filled with activities from 9 a.m. to basically midnight every single day. Morning educational sessions, roundtable discussions, keynote speakers, artist performances, lecture talks and vendor booth displays keeping us occupied with ideas.
The first day I got there, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Going on a trip to somewhere I had never been with people I barely know. That sounds like a nightmare for an introvert. But the trip turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
This entire convention broadened my horizon in ways I cannot describe. From educational sessions, talking to people from other schools, looking at the different vendor booths and talking to the representatives, I’ve learned so much about programming, both effective and ineffective. I’m always amazed by how other schools programming board does things differently from ours, taking in what might work for us, what might not. We also get to discover different event vendors all over the country. We definitely went in with an open mind, considered all the options we have, give every vendor an equal chance, trying to imagine if a certain vendor and their service is suitable for GMU.
We also get to try different new things during the convention. From virtual reality games to selfie printed coffee (and even going into a life-size snow globe!) We had the opportunity to think from a college student perspective, whether our school population would enjoy their service.
We were also spoiled with various performances, including comedy shows, music performances, magic shows, mentalist shows and more, as well as different inspirational talks by speakers from all over the nation, to see if they would appeal to our GMU audience, any chance they would be loved by Mason students if we do invite those artists and/or speakers to our campus to perform.
Setting aside the professional experiences we had from the convention. One of the most valuable things I got out of this trip is friendship. Some of us barely knew each other at the beginning of the trip, we see each other as just another Mason student in PAC. However, over the span of a few days, we’ve gotten close, which I’m really happy about. We were basically with each other 24/7 throughout the entirety of the convention. We lived together, shared the same bed, used the same bathroom, ate all three meals a day together, laughed at silly things, went to various convention activities and, most importantly, created memories. I didn’t know how this is possible, but I haven’t gotten tired of these humans yet, even though we’re with each other day and night.
We also got to explore places and discover good food together near the convention center!
All in all, going to this convention trip was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We cannot wait to bring our ideas to the PAC team and let our school activities blossom!
Shoutout to our PAC Graduate Assistant, Kanchan; Director of Publicity, Chey; Street Team Members Genesis and Jaliyah; and most importantly, our lovely and wise advisor, Kaitlyn for making this experience unforgettable!