Summer of 2014 was probably the best summer to prepare for my senior year. During junior year I couldn’t wait for summer. I couldn’t wait to be done with school, AP tests, and finals. When May 21 rolled around I was so relieved that school would be on hiatus.
Since my last day of eighth grade, my friends and I have a tradition of hanging out on the last day of school. So this year was the same. We went to Chandler Fashion Center and walked around the mall. Then we went to Bahama Bucks and let me just say it was so amazing. I got cherry, lemon, and watermelon, and well it was perfect. Then we just hung out that day at Julia’s. Then had our annual sleepover.
I didn’t really do much that rest of May. I spent my time reading The History of Love for my summer reading assignment. I did see The Lego Movie with my friend Julia.
On June 1, I left to go to the University of Arizona. For six days, I participated in a program called Girls State. Girls State is a program where 300 girls from Arizona come together and are separated into 12 cities and then 4 counties. They have to run their own government. I stood in line for an hour and then went up to my dorm at the Likins Hall. My roommate, Emily, came about 15 minutes later. That day I met the other girls in my city. Also, I was chosen to be a reporter for my city.
Everyone I met would always ask me, “What are you going to run for?” And I would just stare blankly and say I don’t know yet. Honestly, I had no idea. On Sunday night, I couldn’t fall asleep and I was like what if I run for Mayor. I mean it is a big position, you are the head of a city. But I decided to do it. I was a Nationalist and in my city no one who was Nationalist wanted to be Mayor, so I did it. I won the primary. Then it was time for general election. Surprisingly, I won. I was so happy. Winning was probably one of my favorite moments of Girls State.
Girls State continued and I met so many friends. Sure it was stressful at times, but it was such a great experience. I’ve always been interested in government and politics, so this program was perfect. This week boosted my self-confidence. It allowed me to put myself out there and talk to amazing girls. I was able to put my fears behind me. In the end, I was so happy with the results. I was elected the Mayor. I won Best City Official for Mesquite City. I returned home on Sat. June 7, my dad picked me up and then we headed to my brother’s baseball game. I actually fell asleep at his game. Whoops!
On Sun. June 8, I started a new program, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism High School Summer Journalism Institute, or SJI for short. I had no idea what to expect. I was genuinely really scared/nervous because I’ve only been in journalism for a year and I was worried I wouldn’t haven’t as much as experience as everyone else. But of course I was wrong. I had tell professors of Cronkite tell me that I was great writer, I was one of the most experienced people with WordPress, and I got complimented on my Adobe Photoshop skills. SJI was the best program. I made so many friends and it was just a great experience.
At SJI, our first big interview or news conference I should say was Al McCoy. He is known as “the voice of the Suns”, referring to the PHX Suns.
Another big interview we got to do was interview Ann Meyers, when we went to tour U.S. Airways and sit in on an PHX Mercury practice. We also got interview Brittney Griner, who plays for the PHX Mercury.
There’s just something about interviewing someone who is “famous”. It gives you real real world experience and it makes journalism even more exciting.
But SJI wouldn’t have been that great if I hadn’t made memories or friends.
On the second night, we went to the Sun Devils Fitness Center and we decided to play dodgeball. Let it be known, I haven’t played dodgeball in like 2 years. But I guess it’s thing for me to ALWAYS be the last one on my team. So that means I have to face a whole team by myself. I wouldn’t recommend it. But out of three games I always the last one on my team. I don’t know if that means I’m good or I’m the weakness and they were saving me to be last one. Haha.
I think my favorite night was going to the Diamondbacks game. We got to do a media tour, which is so cool to see all the behind the scenes action. At the game, SJI got on the big screen 3 times. And we were the “Lucky row”. Also, Ana tweeted a picture of me and her, and we got on the big screen. I decided to treat myself to Fatburger. It was amazing, by the way. But guess who got on TV stuffing herself with food? That would be me. #embarrassing
I made so many amazing people at SJI. I miss them all so much. They were such incredible journalist, and even more amazing people. They are friends for life.
After I got back from SJI, well let’s just say I was very lazy. And in so much pain. Here’s a little story for all of you:
I was born with the world’s smallest mouth. And I have had countless amount of stupid thing to fix my teeth. I hate the dentist. It may or may not be because a lightbulb fell into my mouth and burned it. But when I was 2nd grade I got a lip bumper, honestly I have no idea why I would have ever needed one, like it was so pointless. Then I got an expander, which didn’t help either. So when I was in 5th grade, I got braces, which were later taken off when I was in 7th grade. I have a permanent retainer in my mouth on the top and bottom. Well before June 24, I had half of my teeth pulled. Now I have had more than half of my teeth pulled.
On June 24, I had nine teeth pulled. Eww! I had to get my 12 year old molars pulled and my wisdom teeth, plus I was born with an extra wisdom tooth. I know what you are thinking, I am very lucky. It was so painful for the next week. I could barely eat and everything was painful.
On July 4, it was time for my road trip to California. My friend Jordan invited me to go San Diego with her family for the second year in a row, which I was very excited about. We went paddle boarding, took a bike ride, went to Sea Port Village, went to see the USS Midway, and just enjoyed the beach. Oh and we ate. Let me just, I LOVE food. That vacation was so amazing and just love being able to de-stress and just look at the beautiful ocean.
On July 17, I left for Chicago. I had my usual favorites of Superdawg and Tufanos. Then it was time for my adventure at Economics for Leaders.
On Sun. July 20, I started my journey for Economics for Leaders at the University of Chicago. Honestly, I just thought this was going to program solely about Economics. However, that wasn’t the case, it also was about leadership.
Each day would essentially follow this schedule, the first thing we would do is eat breakfast. Then we would have our Economic seminar. Then it was time for lunch. Afterwards it was time for leadership. Then Rec. time. Next was dinner. Then either Economics or Leadership. Then it was time for bed.
In our leadership activities we did this blindfolded survivor game, a big game of rock, paper, scissors, corporate swamp, jump rope (3), journaling, a game where we had to turn a tarp over while staying on it, a maze where we were blindfolded, community service, personality test, drawing a life map, power walk, and the touching game.
I think one of my absolute favorite parts of Economics for Leaders was my check-in group. I loved my PC Claire, but I loved all my sheep, oh wait all of my group. Everyone was so supportive and I loved listening to everyone comments. We really got to know everyone’s humor and personality. But I think the activity that was my absolute favorite is when we went around in a circle and said a word to describe each person. Seeing those words on that piece of paper meant the world to me. That people saw me how I look on the outside, but to see the people who actually got to know me and what they thought of them, meant the world.
My favorite night was the night when we went to downtown Chicago. Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities. So my group of 10 went along Lakeshore in hopes to take a picture at The Bean. Well let’s just say we might have overshot the distance, but I got to show people where the Art Institute was, which is one of the best art museums in the world. Then I became a driver. I took charge of my group and lead them to The Bean. Then I lead them along Michigan Ave. Then I took Daphne and Liz to Navy Pier. All three of us girls at pizza at the pier then went shopping.
EFL was such a great experience. I made so many friends from across the country. The week I spent with them was amazing.
Summer is now coming towards an end. But this summer was the best experience of my life. I stepped out my comfort zone. I put myself out their. I became so confident in myself. I accomplished things I didn’t think I could do. In the end, I’m so proud of myself. I just want to say thank to everyone. I love you all! ❤