This might get sappy.
I was fortunate enought to have an epiphany in 2009 at the ripe age of 17. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted out of life. I was self-conscious, a little awkward and second guessed most things that came out of my mouth. I applied for several camps to attend–mainly leadership based–during the summer of 2009.
I was selected as an alternate for The Mississippi Governor’s School two weeks or so before the session began. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that three weeks out of the summer before my senior year was a lot to sacrifice. Little did I know the impact those short three weeks would have on my happiness, my character and my aspirations.
Here’s a brief timeline of my MGS tenure:
- 2009 – I was selected as a scholar
- 2010 – I was selected as a Resident Assistant in Training
- 2011 – I was selected as a Resident Assistant for my very own wing of amazing ladies!
- 2012 – I was selected as the MGS intern and as a Leadership Facilitator
Through my various experiences and roles within this program, I realized a few things. Hence, my cardinal rules of MGS:
- You have to take chances…if you’re comfortable all of the time, you’re not doing life right
- There will be tears-happy ones, sad ones, angry ones, ones of self-doubt
- Summer camp will always be a romantic setting, and you will fall in love
- The people who devote a few weeks out of their life to something as special as this program are some of the greatest people on earth
- You will meet your best friends (who you WILL stay in touch with) because of this program
- Leadership is about so much more than taking personality tests and facilitating icebreakers; I learned this through experiences with people who were 4 years younger than me
- Lessons will be learned that cannot be expressed through mere words, so I won’t even attempt to do so
- Columbus, Mississippi is one of the hottest places on earth
- Laugh with everyone you can, even if you get flustered and tired
- Express exactly how you feel exactly when you feel it
Gov School granted me confidence in so many ways. I can’t express enough accolades for the program nor can I affirm the people I have met through it enough. I have met my best friends, my mentors, and built a support system because of MGS. I hope the scholars of 2013 leave with the same experience.