By Alex Yakacki, Director of Creative Production
1998 – My mother and I sit in the family minivan outside of Mid Valley Elementary School. She turns down the cassette playing as I clench my Looney Tunes backpack to my chest, attempting to hide my face. Inevitably, the bell rings and I am expected to be inside already. Although we’ve been talking about and preparing for this day for months, it’s still too soon. She does her best to convince me that kindergarten isn’t going to be scary.
“Alex, you’re going to have a great time. Don’t you want to make new friends, and learn how to write your name, and play on the big jungle gym?”
After a moment of pouting, I respond with a reluctant “Yes…”
She walks me to the door, where there are teachers ready to escort me to my classroom. I see all the kids my age and my inhibitions begin to dissolve away. I give her a long hug and a kiss, and take my first steps into a new world. After a few hours, I wonder why I was ever nervous in the first place.
2013 – I sit in my car in Wilkes Barre, Pa, an unfamiliar city. The parking lot I’m in took me 20 minutes to find, so I’m a tad bit frazzled. I unplug my iPod to enjoy some peace and quiet before I have to face my nerves.
Although I’ve been talking about and preparing for this day for months, it’s still too soon. I do my best to assure myself this internship isn’t going to be scary. I think of what my mother told me before I left the house.
“Alex, you’re going to have a great time. This is an amazing opportunity to network and learn more than you ever imagined about the industry.”
I replay her words in my head as I get out of the car and head towards the TV station. Even at 20 years old, Mom’s encouragement still helps.
As I reach for the door handle to enter, I say to myself, “It’s time to be a big boy!” I walk into a new world. After a few hours, I wonder why I was ever nervous in the first place.
Now as summer winds down, I look back at my anxiety and have to laugh. I have had such an awesome experience interning at WBRE/WYOU-TV. I learned so much and met some professionals who will have a lasting impact on me and my career. I wouldn’t trade my time spent there for anything.
The most important lesson I will take away from this is that the fear of the unknown is a powerful force. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be a powerful negative force. It can make you doubt yourself and everything around you but only if you let it. This quote from David Jones says it all:
”Instead of filling the unknown in our minds with expectations of the tragic, we can choose to fill the void with a different expectation – the expectation of adventure.”
Why should you be afraid of something that you have no knowledge of?
I challenge you to approach all future endeavors with this mindset. You have the power. I promise that when you come at life with an open, positive attitude, you are rewarded for it.