How Governor’s School Changed My Life

Our Everly Mag Writing Leaders were asked to write about a place they’ve visited that changed their life in some way.  It can be a place they’ve visited on a vacation, summer camp, school trip, family reunion, or anything else.

This article was written by our writing leader Emily.  Get to know our Summer 2018 Leaders here!

Last summer, I spent 6 weeks at a small college in my state, studying social science with a bunch of people I didn’t know, an hour and a half away from my friends at home. At first glance, that sounds like an awful experience. I honestly was worried for the worst when I arrived on campus. In the end, I left Governor’s School crying that I would be leaving behind my new best friends. I learned so much about the world and myself – not only from the amazing discussions we had in the classroom, but from the people that I met. Each came from all different experiences that I would have never otherwise been able to encounter.

Image: “A photo I had taken of the Salem College campus the day I moved in.” via Writing Leader Emily

When I moved into my dorm, I was terrified that my roommate and I would have nothing in common. I was girly, she was Bohemian. I was chatty, she had a more laid-back vibe. Despite our differences, we spent each night in deep conversation. I heard her grapple with the presentation of her final art project, stressing over its details and how she could emphasize its significance to viewers. She designed gravestones representing victims of the Syrian Civil War, accompanied by footage of the destruction. Zainab helped me understand that I could no longer ignore the injustices I had once perceived to be worlds’ away from my own concerns.

Image: “A candid photo of my social science class on one of the last days.” via Writing Leader Emily

In my classes, we delved into topics we would’ve never covered in high school. We deliberated race theory, CIA activities, Middle Eastern conflict, and more subjects that I never knew I had an interest in. We all participated in the activities and discussions, unlike what you’d see in your typical classroom. I loved the fact that we were all genuinely concerned with global affairs and social issues. We chose seminars to attend in our free time outside of social science, with headlines ranging from the school-to-prison pipeline to Kanye West. By exploring these topics, we were able to spend six weeks away from typical high school drama and gossip and develop our understanding of the world around us.

Governor’s School showed me how quickly I could bond with people that I originally had no idea I could relate to.  As we’ve kept in touch, I keep getting inspired by my new friends – one girl in my social science class, whose family believed women did not need an education, is now heading to a prestigious university this fall. Others are going on to pursue their passions at schools all over the country. I talk to fellow students every day, even if we live at different ends of the state. In the time since leaving, I’ve travelled hours away to visit the friends I made. Staying at Salem College last summer influenced my life for the better, with the kindness, understanding, and welcoming that everyone showed me. I’m so grateful for my time at Governor’s School, and I wish that everyone could have the same opportunity.

Have you ever gotten more out of school than you thought possible? Comment below!  

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