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Before the trip, I did everything with enough effort to just get by, and I did not care a lot about school or my future. When I found out that I was chosen to go on the college tour to NYC, along with Shay Shay, Aja, Joel, Domine, Josh, Brent and Julian, I was so happy because I had never had the opportunity to go on one, and I was happy that I would be going to a place such as New York for my first college tour. When we arrived at the airport, it was around six in the morning, and I was a little nervous because I had never even been on a plane. While we were on the plane, Domine sat next to me on both flights which made me feel more comfortable and helped me relax when the plane first took off and landed. Once we got to New York, and put our things into our hotel in Manhattan, we went to dinner with an EOYDC alumni Jasmine. She talked to us about New York, and told us about the rats and roaches, and gave us an idea of what we would be experiencing.
The next morning, we woke up at 5 am because we had to be at the Good Morning America set by 6:45. It was hard for me because it was like I was waking up at 2 in the morning, since there is a 3-hour time difference between California and New York. When we got to the GMA building, there were a lot of people waiting outside, and I assumed they were guests too. When they started to let us into the building, we had to go through security, and I kept setting of the metal detector, so one of the security guards searched me with one of those mini detector things. I was kind of happy because it was the first time ever getting searched like that, but it made me feel a little uncomfortable too. After the show was done, we got a tour upstairs of where all the action happens. Since I never watched Good Morning America, I wasn’t super excited, but I thought about how I was doing something that a lot of people who lived in New York wasn’t even doing, so I got a little more thankful that I was getting the opportunity to be given a tour of the GMA set, and the opportunity to actually be on the show. Once we were done with Good Morning America, we went and talked with Scott Turner and Ashley Burrell, who worked with the UN. They told us about the different battles going on right now, and how it is the UN’s job to act peacefully no matter what, when they get involved. They basically talked to us about what is going on in the world, which the UN is teamed up with to help stop all the chaos, and how we can make a difference now by spreading the word, and maybe we will consider working for the UN in the future. Soon after we left, we went to New York University and got a tour. I didn’t really like NYU because everything is not on the campus like most schools. Different buildings were spread out on different blocks, and I didn’t like that. However, the school was huge, and there were a lot of students. I felt overwhelmed because there was so much going on and so much to look at, it seemed like NYU was magnificent because I was so familiar with CSU, and I didn’t know what to expect from different colleges because I had never been to any. We went to the library, and I think it could have been 10 stories. I was amazed that the library was so big; I still can’t explain how I was feeling when I looked inside of the building and saw all of the levels inside. Seriously, there had to be every book in the world in that library. Although I didn’t like the way the campus was separated, it was very beautiful and an admirable school and I would recommend others to check it out.
After the NYU campus visit, we met with Pedro Noguera. I learned that he was a Harvard Graduate, that he had also been a professor at Harvard; he earned a PHD at UC Berkeley, and had taught at New York for seven years. He was a very hard worker, and he did not let anything or anyone get in his way. After we talked to him, I was more motivated to do good and step up in school, not to impress anyone or to make anyone proud, but for myself and for my future. Once we were done talking to Mr. Noguera, we all walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and that walk was no joke. I was used to walking, because I walk a lot, everyday, but I felt like the bridge would never end. It was a real workout. Once we were finally in Brooklyn, we walked to Junior’s Cheesecake Factory, and there we had the best cheesecake in the world!
On Thursday, we got a tour of the UN. There was so much to look at and I wish we could have stated longer. There is so much going on in the world right now that I didn’t know about. Thousands of children are starving, all kinds of diseases are being spread around, and a lot of kids can’t even get education. One thing I will never forget about is the National Assembly Room. It was exciting to me because a hundred and twenty nine countries come into that room together, along with the president, and it was so unreal to me that I was standing in that very room, the room that I had previously talked about in class. I felt like I was on top of the world because I was experiencing so much in just a few minutes. After the tour, we went to Donna Karan International and we got to sit in Donna Karan’s office while we talked to her right-hand, Sheila. After listening to her story, I felt I had no excuse to do bad. She started with nothing, but she didn’t let that be her excuse. She worked hard and used her failures as a motivation, and not a reason to quit. She made it to the top, alone, and when she was talking to us, it felt like she was talking directly to me. Throughout the day, I really thought about what she had told us and I knew I had to get my work together and step up because no one is going to live for me or take care of me for the rest of my life. I knew I had to do better and work harder in order to get where I wanted, instead of sitting back and doing nothing like I had been doing. Later that day, we went to the NBA headquarters and talked to Shay and TD, and after we went to the 106npark taping. Honestly, I do not like that show anymore and when we were there it was nothing like I expected it to be. The set was small, and everything about the show seemed fake to me, and I look at the show differently when I watch it sometimes. My experience at the NBA headquarters and the 106npark changed my opinion about the drink and the show.
Friday, we went to Columbia University and I loved it! It was so big and there were so many people and so much to do, I was overwhelmed. There were so many different parts to the school and everything seemed so well organized, I wanted to apply while I was there. I would love to go to Colombia in the future, and I know that I will have to work hard in order to get accepted. When we left Columbia, we got some milkshakes, and then we went and got a tour of the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Education Center. There was a life size bronze statue of Malcolm X, and we learned that that was the only one made of him, because no one wanted to honor a powerful black man. Upstairs, there was a mural that included a lot of different periods in Malcolm X’s life, such as when his house was burned down, and a speech that he had given. We watched different videos of him talking, and we saw a slideshow, and I copied down every single quote that I could see in the room. It was amazing because we were standing in the room that he was killed in, even though the building had been remodeled, it had a very big impact on how I looked at life. After we left the center, we went to this African American library and I bought a book about Malcolm X. I want to learn more about him and his life. Later, we went shopping a little, as we did most of Saturday. I was so happy because I got 2 pairs of the glasses I had been looking for months, and that changed my mood for the rest of the day. Saturday night, we went to eat at the ESPN zone, and it was our last dinner in New York. It was crazy because it was a whole thing about a bomb being a few blocks away and we didn’t know anything about it. I had an awesome trip, and I did a lot that people wish they could do. I know that I will step my game up, and work harder so that I will be something one day. This trip inspired me to do that best that I can in every area of my life, and I hope I will be able to go on another college tour soon. This trip was amazing, I loved it, and I am happy that I had the opportunity to go!