This summer, I was incredibly fortunate to have the privilege of attending the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program at Valdosta State University and studying math for a month of my summer (I promise, it’s not as boring as it seems). I was told countless times by my peers that the experience would be life-changing and one of the best experiences of my life; I never realized how true that would be until after I completed the program.
be afraid to build relationships with people
who aren’t like you.
Some of the best students from all over the state of Georgia with different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles attend GHP. The diversity on campus was unlike anything I had been exposed to before, and meeting so many new people was SUCH an eye-opening experience. Despite all the differences among us, I found myself bonding with nearly everyone I met, and by the end of week one, I was surprised that I had only known these talented people for a week. It felt like I had known them for years, and I closer to them than I had ever been with people I had known my whole life.
2. Stop thinking of school as a burden.
One of the aspects that makes GHP so special is the passion that every student there has for his/her major, whether it be dance, art, math, social studies, or even engineering. GHP depends on the fact that its attendees are interested enough in their subject to study material outside of class, and this is partly what makes the program so successful. It is sad to admit this, but this summer was one of the first times in my life that I genuinely enjoyed learning, and I had such an important realization. Doing something you have a genuine interest in makes the task MUCH easier and a lot less cumbersome.
3. I learned the importance authenticity and uniqueness play in achieving one’s goals.
Every single student I met at GHP had something unique about him/her that set them apart from the rest of the crowd, and I noticed this was common among almost all the students I met. They all realized the importance of strong communication skills and expression, especially when it came to their goals in their majors. The reason that all the people were so accomplished in their majors was because of the extra effort they had put into bettering themselves in every possible way, and that led to their eventual success. This extra effort is what made them so special and talented.
All in all, GHP was easily one of the best experiences of my life, and I strongly recommend all sophomores and juniors try to apply! Its safe, judgment-free environment is something that I doubt can ever be recreated elsewhere. It is, for sure, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!