This was my second year of going to ACP and I can tell you that my experience this time around was different — but in many ways, better.
I’ll admit, it was weird staying in a hotel about fifteen miles away from my Oakland home. I know the Financial District well enough to navigate around, so what was there for me to explore? Seattle, the locale for last year’s ACP conference , let me venture out some more and experience a new city.
But maybe that’s why it was better this time around — I had no interest in being a tourist in my city, so I was going into this year’s conference looking to learn and network and focus all my energy on that.
Last year, I don’t think I really made an effort to network with college journos my age. I left Seattle with very few contacts, if any at all.
But it was different this year. For one, I actually went to the student reception on the first night. I also talked to a lot of people I saw wearing an ACP name badge. I even decided to be social and attend a party revolving around a kazoo I found out about through the #acpsf  Twitter hashtag, where I ended up networking with college sports editors and talking about a wide variety of sports.
When I got back to Oakland, I had learned more than I thought I would because of all the conversations I had with journos my age. To me, just hearing so many different stories was fascinating. I am a journalist, after all.
ACP ended with a great big bang this year, I think. Not only did I gain more knowledge and experience, but The Campanil also won a Best of Show award for Publication Website Small School .
To say I left the conference this year inspired might be an understatement. I felt reinvigorated once I walked back into the newsroom on Monday — journalism is what I want to do as my career and ACP 2013 reminded me why.
Read all of our staff blog posts on the ACP 2013 page  on this website. You can also find the link on the header at the upper right hand corner.