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DECA State A Nerve-Wracking Competition, But I’ll Never Forget The Memories And Friendships I Made

This DECA State was one for the books.

DECA State A Nerve-Wracking Competition, But I’ll Never Forget The Memories And Friendships I Made
a DECA member

DECA is a worldwide career club that enables high schoolers to learn about marketing and the business field to learn how to approach real-life scenarios. In addition to that fact that it helps to learn marketing and finance, it also permits a high schooler to learn better leadership and communication skills. I chose to join this club in my freshman year of high school to further learn the leadership and communication skills that I lacked and needed improvement. DECA state is the competitive event that I had been selected to attend this past weekend. It is a 3-day event with an opening ceremony on the first day, competing on the second, and lastly a grand award ceremony on the third.

At DECA State, I competed in an event called Entrepreneurship Promotion Project. I worked on it with two other girls: Carolina Halliday and Maya Gilpin. Together, we decided to pick an objective market: 5th graders to educate about the present reality of Entrepreneurship and allow them to use a hands-on activity to teach them the various problems they would be experiencing in the future. At DECA State, we exhibited our project to a judge. The goal of this was to introduce our topic and explain it to others on how our project did not only prove our interest on the skills we learned but also how we applied them with others in the project itself.

On the first night, we were stressed out of our minds. At the opening ceremony, we were informed that this year the competition had changed to top 7 rather the top 10 which makes it harder to win for nationals. All night, we stressed and rehearsed until 2 am to perfect our presentation. We wanted to 'WOW' the judge so that he or she would remember us as the best presentation. We had worked tirelessly for 3 months on our 20-page manual which described our entire project. That was 60 percent of our entire grade, while the presentation was 40 percent. We didn't want those 40 points to be gone for nothing. We wanted as many points we could as possible. After a tireless night, we went to bed at 2 am and woke back up at 8 am to begin practicing once again. Our presentation was at 2:50 pm and we did not have to reach the place till 2:20 so we eagerly practiced from 8 am to 2:15 pm. As the time approached, we walked down to the presentation room and gave it our best. We killed that presentation. We have never felt more confident in our entire life. We were loud, passionate, and showed that we truly put all of our hearts into this project.

After this presentation, we were stress-free because we didn't have to worry about award ceremonies until tomorrow, so why worry about winning or losing right now? We walked down the street to an Irish restaurant where we ate dinner with the rest of our school DECA members. We laughed and genuinely had a good time because we weren't worried about presenting or winning at this time. Later that night, my group members didn't want to go to the DECA dance so they decided to stay in our hotel room and hung out with other friends. I decided to go to the dance because every year this is a chance where I got to make new friends and chose to have a good time with people I was unaware of to create relationships with people coming from different places/backgrounds. This dance was a silent disco. It was weird at first because I wasn't sure how it all worked but I found a group of girls from East Paulding High School who helped me out. We began dancing and singing and jumping around for 2 hours. We were all sweating by the end of the dance but managed to convince the DJ to play one last song. We ended the night by screaming "You should go and love yourself." I have never connected with such a large amount of people in one night, while also having the time of my life. We exchanged social media usernames to be able to keep in contact after DECA was over. Though the night was over, I knew I had the time of my life. I headed back to my room where my roommates were once again waiting for me to hang with them and have the best last night of DECA. This night came to an end around 2 am when all of us decided it was time to crash.

It was 8 am and we were running late for the award ceremony. The iron was turning our tops brown and we didn't have extra tops to wear for the ceremony. I ran to my friend, Laraib's, room because she had brought extra tops. I came running back and quickly changed in time to make it before the ceremony began. We were able to get good seats to see the stage. The award ceremony began with the role plays and decision-making events that we were not a part of. It was nerve-wracking to just watch people in our school DECA win or lose their competition. As the entrepreneurship manuals began to get called, Caroline, Maya, and I started freaking out. "Entrepreneurship Promotion Project" we heard. I closed my eyes and prayed to hear my name. 6 names passed and I said " we lost" to Maya and Caroline. All of our shoulders fell in disappointment, but ironically a second later, we heard Peachtree Ridge. We were shaken. We had actually won. Before going up to the stage, we screamed in excitement and irony. This wasn't expected. We were actually going to Florida for the ICDC ( International Career Development Conference).

The award ceremony ended and I met up with all my friends that I had met that previous night at the dance along with all the friends that I had made and kept in contact with from the past two years. Every single one of my friends had won. Not one was left behind. This meant we were all going to Florida for the international conference together. We cheered in excitement and headed to our buses to go back home.

This experience was one to remember. Though we were nervous out of our minds, we were able to give it our best and show our hard work and dedication by winning. Not only did I practice day and night, but I was also able to make new friends and have a good time. This DECA State was truly amazing and I cannot wait for ICDC in May. Can't wait to see all of my DECA friends at Disney! :)

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