Taylor Graduates, Serves as Governor

Whether a delegate or a counselor, you are faced with new, exciting challenges — and return home with an empowered sense of self.  You feel as if you, as an individual, can change the world.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind.  Exam week came and went a little differently this year:  I couldn’t leave the couch.

My arthritis hit me head-on, making me literally unable to move.  Taking insane amounts of painkillers provided some relief from the pain, but having to make up my one exam added additional stress.

After three days of being bedridden, I decided enough was enough and pushed through my exam — still in an immense amount of pain.  The last thing I wanted to do was push my one exam back into the summer.  What could be worse than that?

One of the weirdest and most annoying things about this disease is that there is no “convenient” time to have a flair.  The only thing you can do is take the painkillers and push on through.  I know, I know, I’m preaching to the choir.

But finally, I can officially say I am a high school graduate!

Now, while many seniors were busy planning graduation parties, I was fortunate enough to be a counselor at a week-long government program called Girls State.

A program sponsored by the American Legion Auxillary, Girls State is designed for rising high school seniors to learn about citizenship and create a mock state government.  Two girls from every high school in the state are selected.  Over the course of one week, we “citizens” run for different offices ranging from city councilwoman to governor.

I was fortunate enough to have been selected in 2008 to represent my high school. Through lots of sleepless nights and the always growing knot in my stomach, I was elected Governor of Girls State in 2008.

So, to fulfill my duties as governor this year, I had to return to the 2009 session as a counselor and give speeches to the new citizens.

This program not only gives girls a chance from all over the state to make new friends, but through experience I’ve found it also builds character.  Whether a delegate or a counselor, you are faced with new, exciting challenges — and return home with an empowered sense of self.  You feel as if you, as an individual, can change the world.

This year, not only was I fortunate enough to serve as Governor, but I got to personally know many amazing and talented girls.

As you can tell, I am completely obsessed with this program and everything it has to offer.  I had the opportunity to watch 530 girls go from complete strangers to becoming best friends in less than a week.  It was a truly amazing and gratifying experience.

And, unlike during my exams, I didn’t really notice my arthritis.

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