Twenty-eight years ago today I headed off to Nevada Girls' State. Here's what I wrote in my journal after I returned.
Yesterday I returned from Girls' State.
It has changed my life. I learned about politics & made a lot of great friends etc... But I learned about myself. I can do it. Whatever it may be.
Life isn't what you get or what happens to you--it is what you earn & work for.
I didn't get a C in Mrs. Tripp's class because she didn't like me--I got it because I didn't study & I made excuses.
I've hurt my high school career-- But I have learned an incredible lesson.
Life is really all mine. When I complain my life is boring--it is because I'm making it boring by not getting involved and being satisfied that it is boring. No more.
My room is messy because I let it be messy--it isn't lack of time or "I like it that way."
Girls State gave me confidence to be me--Sydney-Louise Salter. To be wild in front of people I don't know well. To stand up for my rights & beliefs. To have courage enough to be friends & make friends with people I meet every day. I know that I can become anything I am willing to be.
The lessons I learned stuck with me over the years.
Today I watched my own daughter drive off to Girls' State--in Utah. Seventeen-year-old me never imagined living in Utah--or really thought much about raising my own teenager. Back then I felt fairly certain that no one would ever ask me on a date...
I didn't dare think that I could be an author, even though an essay got me into Girls State in spite of that C in English. But I came home knowing that I could fight for what I wanted whether it was a week-long pretend political office, or something I hadn't quite let myself image yet.
Now I can't wait to see how my own daughter grows this week.