With 2019 being a year of great change in my life in many ways, I suppose it’s only fitting that 2020 started out just as chaotic. This is due to me traveling to not only Las Vegas but also St. Louis all in a timeframe of three weeks. 

First, I will talk about my trip to Vegas because it’s a more personal trip. I went on this trip with three friends of mine from my hometown of Windham to see a good friend of ours and his younger brother, who we are also friends with, who had moved there at the end of last summer. This was a personal trip for me because when this friend moved it really felt like the first step of truly growing up and all of us going our separate ways, which was a very bittersweet moment. 

It was fantastic to see them and it brought me back to some of my more memorable high school days. We didn’t do too many exciting things, but sometimes true friendship isn’t necessarily about doing all the extravagant things but instead just feeling comfortable doing nothing together. 

This is not to say we did nothing, however, because we did get to see a lot of Las Vegas and it was everything it’s been made out to be. The bright lights of all the various hotels, the awe-inspiring stadiums and even the Uber drivers, who are a little too comfortable saying that they’ve hit people before (not the driver’s fault, apparently), all added to a great experience. 

The famous Las Vegas Strip was also a very cool thing to see with shops and people aplenty. While I was not old enough to experience a lot of things there, just being able to walk around and see a literal pyramid along with various other sites previously mentioned was really great and I’ll definitely want to go back when I’m able to do more of what is offered. 

Now onto my trip to St. Louis, which was an incredible learning experience in a place that I had never really even considered going to. This trip was a finance conference for my fraternity, which I went on because of my position as vice president of finance. As a journalism major who barely knows anything about managing money (won’t have much to manage anyways), this was very valuable because I was taught how to properly budget and build an organization’s financial future smartly. 

On this trip, I got the opportunity to meet over 300 brothers from all across the country and even some in Canada. I really enjoyed meeting all these people because throughout my time in college connections have been a big focus, and it was fantastic meeting people who believe in the same things that I am bonded to forever. I also was able to get plenty of financial advice and bounce around ideas with these people on top of being able to talk about our college and life experiences. 

While both of these trips were fantastic in their own ways, I must firmly say I am all ‘airplaned out’ and ready to just be on a small campus with all my friends for the next long while. 

Cristian Valentin can be 

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