Photo Courtesy of Linda Byerly
This year, I had the privilege to participate in the Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) for Communicative Arts. During my first time competing in GHP, I was unable to advance to state interviews.
GHP is a very rigorous process filled with a lot of twists and turns. Last year as a sophomore, I felt so lost in the process, and I was terrified of rejection. After a year of rejection, I was ready for whatever GHP had to throw at me this year.
I began this year just as I did last year with a ton paperwork. I would never have finished all of it without the love and support from my friends. I felt that if I didn’t get far last year, so why would I this year?
Last year, while filling out the pages and pages of the forms, I realized that I did not have enough to put on my application. I did not have a lot of experience with winning awards or leadership. I was simply a teenage girl that felt like she had a story to tell but did not feel like it was worth telling.
This year, I had more experience in those areas and it was easier. After I turned in the paperwork I did not have high hopes because I felt like it was not good enough. But this year, I felt like I had a new, stronger hold on what I wanted to do. I knew that English was my passion but now I know what I can do with that. When I heard that I got a county interview, I was ecstatic.
I feel like I am a bad person to give interviewing advice because I may be a freak of nature in that I do not get nervous about interviews but I have this: be yourself. It sounds absolutely cheesy and I hate using the word ‘cheesy’ but it is 100 percent true. Both times I talked to my interviewer like they were an adult that I was having a casual conversation with and they liked me. We discussed books and my aspirations.
I would have never had the courage to put myself out there to be judged by the people at GHP without my endless support system. GHP is very stress-inducing and overwhelming at times. Not getting in or getting cut early in the process is nothing to feel bad about. Being selected to send in paperwork is a huge deal in itself.
Being the only person representing Ola High School for Communicative Arts makes my heart jump out of my chest. I have advanced past county interviews both years and that is where my journey previously ended. I do not know the destiny of my paperwork for the state interviews but I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program.