55 Things Governor School Taught Me

I just spent the most amazing five and half weeks at North Carolina Governor School and have a few things to share.

In order of experience:

  1. There is nothing wrong with going up to a random group of people and introducing yourself (it’s actually really cool and fun).
  2. You can always find things in common with other people you just have to try.
  3. You really bond with people when your dorm has no AC.
  4. Anyone (and everyone) can play ukulele.
  5. I’m literally the worst person in choral music
  6. Staring at a piece of music and hoping for the best will not help you learn it.
  7. Laughter is contagious.
  8. It’s very okay to be weird (in fact it’s encouraged).
  9. Crying in front of people you just met is fine.
  10. It only takes an hour to immediately bond with people. (@ Area 3)
  11. There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable.
  12. Cereal is a delicacy.
  13. Walking ten minutes in the beating sun for bad food and good coffee is always worth it.
  14. I don’t know how to hit a third…(even though I’ve done it a million times).
  15. It’s contemporary.
  16. It’s a lituation.
  17. When in doubt mini-dab (aka dabble).
  18. Music speaks for those who can’t.
  20. “The refectory has tater-puffs” might be the best news you’ll hear.
  21. There is an incredible amount of injustice in the world.
  22. Being young does not make me uneducated.
  24. Don’t call Instrumental Music ‘band’; they have strings, they are an orchestra.
  25. If random things are written on walls and sheets of paper are being dropped, it’s probably theatre, get excited.
  26. Slapping paint on a human’s face makes them an Alien (ONE. OF. US.)
  27. The refectory does not have bananas.(Side note: hiding bananas is not easy.)
  28. Running in flip-flops is a feat.
  29. The visual art kids are infinitely cooler than me.
  31. Order Chinese takeout an hour in advance.
  32. When singing in German no one notices if you accidentally change keys.
  33. Drag shows are easily thrown together last-minute.
  34. Napping during rehearsal is not only encouraged, but is required sometimes.
  35. You can make great friends by playing Cards Against Humanity with them for two hours (especially if it’s the first time you’ve talked).
  36. If a person is looking down at her phone while she is walking it’s probably Pokemon-go.
  37. Being home is no fun when you could be at governor school.
  38. Having a savage director only makes you better.
  40. Sunsets are so much prettier in Winston-Salem.
  41. Don’t dance in stilettos all night.
  42. Hiking is much more fun when you get lost.
  43. Everyone learns their music the day before a concert, it’s fine.
  44. Milk is a treasure. It will run out, so cherish it.
  45. The one air conditioning unit in your dorm can, and probably will, break.
  46. It’s possible to make your closest friends in the last week.
  47. I’m not the worst person in choral music.
  48. The theatre kids make everything more lit.
  49. You can see the same play three times and still see a different show each time.
  50. People will literally try to run away from their feelings, don’t let them.
  51. North Carolina has never felt so big.
  52. Group Messages are not a nuisance.
  53. I’m kind of cool(?)
  54. Saying goodbye is impossible.
  55. I just had the best summer of my life.

13 thoughts on “55 Things Governor School Taught Me

  1. Karen says:

    This is so well written. My daughter attended GSW last summer and from the conversations we often have your words ring so true! Governors School Students truly receive a gift that keeps on giving!


  2. Laura says:

    I am a GSW ’86 alum – 30 years ago this year. Your list feels very true to my memories, esp. 51, 54, and 55. Oh, and the vis art kids were absolutely the coolest back then! I’m glad you thought the Math kids were cool… (I was Math.) Good luck with your reentry to the “regular” world.


  3. Charlie says:

    Congratulations! I attended Govenor’s School 20 years ago and still remember it as one of the most influential, and fun, experiences of my life.

    Your list brought back a lot of memories. I can’t believe they still haven’t installed AC in the Salem dorms. I remember sneaking out of Babcock because it was so much cooler inside than out.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see the great things you and your peers will accomplish ten years down the road. Congratulations again!


  4. Aaron Mitchell says:

    Glad you had such a wonderful time! You will carry this summer with you for the rest of your life. Honored to have been a small part of it.


  5. Dennis Watts says:

    GS ’76 (40 years ago there was only one, no GSE and GSW.) Greatest single educational experience of my life. Back then the theater kids were the coolest, or at least they were the different among the different. I attended in the area of math and had my first opportunity to use a computer, which consisted of a dumb terminal and an acoustic coupler which allowed us to log in to a time-shared mainframe somewhere (RTP, maybe?)

    Anyway, my life has never been the same and I reread “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” every few years to relive a little of the experience.


  6. Jim Hart says:

    I attended GS in 1979, Every year, my four closest friends and I get together and re-live the experience. GS had a profound impact on my life – it changed me in many positive ways and taught me things about myself and the world that I could never have learned anywhere else in any other way. I’m glad that you also had a great time and learned a lot.

    GS changes every year – but the theory remains the same, and is borne out by students like you who come away from it spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually fulfilled.


  7. kikitheninja says:

    this is too beautiful i will read this all the time now, yes it was a lituation and i’m flattered that you admire Art Squad thanks i’m crying inside now. this post is art. art is life yes.


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