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Dear Future Delegates,

Dear Future Delegates,

Towards the end of my sophomore year in high school I had received notice that I had

been selected as a delegate for the 2020 session of Missouri Girls State. I was Ecstatic yet

terrified, and as the months slowly ticked by I found my anticipation and eagerness to be apart of

the event growing ever lastingly. Unfortunately, on March 13th, 2020, the county I resided in was

placed under strict lockdown due to Covid19 protocols put in place by the CDC, and the 2020

session of MGS was canceled for the first time in over sixty years. Thankfully, though, I was

invited back next year to attend the 2021 session during the summer of my senior year.

I will admit I was very skeptical about attending even though I had already had a year

and a half to ponder my options, and as the week crept closer my anxieties began to overtake my

excitement, and I was seriously considering faking an illness or breaking a limb just to have an

excuse to stay home.

That would have been the worst decision I’ve ever made.

As my session of Missouri Girls State is quickly coming to an end, I find myself asking myself what I would have done differently, and what steps I can take to make myself more successful in the future. How could I have made my time more enjoyable, or made a bigger impact? After some deep reflection I decided that a big part of my experience was the items I chose

to bring, and that is why I have compiled a list

of necessity items that MUST make it into your suitcase in order for your experience to be the best, and most impactful it can be.

Clothing, toiletries, blankets, medications, and phone chargers are just a few examples of what is suggested girls bring while packing for their week-long adventure at Girls State. While this list was most appreciated, the girls of Truman City found that a few key items were missing from this list.

Comfortable shoes: I understand this is a given, but you would be so surprised on how many

girls ended their first night here with bloody and blistered feet from their high heels. Dressing in

formal attire is almost a daily activity here at Girls State, and even though it’s a relatively quick

walk from one side of the campus to another it gets pretty exhausting after the fifth or sixth

hundredth time, especially in high heels. Flats, sandals or comfortable boots are definitely the

way to go. .

A notebook/Loose Leaf Paper: They claim loose leaf is not a necessity for your daily class

schedules, but I am here to attest that that is a complete and utter lie. It felt like I was jotting

down notes every time I had a chance to catch my breath, and if you plan on running for any

kind of office, or even passing your final exam, this is a must have.

Snacks: Let’s face it, campus food isn’t the best. Our kitchen staff here at Missouri Girls State

work tirelessly to feed the hundreds of teenage girls that walk through their doors every half hour or so, and with that rush of hungry kids comes a very brief amount of time for everybody to get their food, find their seats, eat, and leave before the next hoard. Every girl on my floor deeply

regretted not packing roadside snacks for breaks between classes, during free time or after

everybody has retired to their room for the night. Hangry and exhausted teenage girls or more

terrifying than any campaign speech could ever be.

Toilet paper: Lets get one thing clear. You will be staying in a dorm room on a college campus,

which means you will be issued campus toilet paper. Each suit is only given two rolls for the

week and both are less than quality. You think two rolls would be enough, right? Well, on my

first day of camp tragedy struck. Our roll of toilet paper was accidentally dropped into the tub

while the water was on and running, thus resulting in a disaster of epic proportions. Luckily we

had an extra, but the one ply monstrosity is sub par at best resulting in the paper disappearing

quicker than anticipated.

Clorox wipes: Again, you will be staying in a college dorm previously occupied by a mysterious

college student with no prior history of their cleaning habits. Also, by the time you arrive the

dorms will have been vacant for almost a month causing clumps of dust to pile up on pretty

much every surface. Plus, after a few days of being there your own crusty, dusty, musty items

will begin to spread the germs of the day. Keep your living space Covid free by continuing to

practice healthy habits like wiping down door nobs, desks, handles, etc.

Bluetooth speaker: Even though you wont have a lot of free time to lounge about, while you’re

getting ready for dinner or preparing yourself for a big campaign a few jams are just the thing to

get you in the mood to be your best self.

Extra socks, extra underwear, extra everything: The single thing every girl has consecutively

told me about their packing regrets is that they did not pack enough. I know what you’re

thinking. You have twenty thousand outfits, six different pairs of shoes, nine pounds of socks and

underwear and more tote bags full of toiletries than you might need for a year. Trust me, you

have not packed enough. I am a very organized person and I am ALWAYS over prepared. Not

this time. It was day two when I ran out of socks, day three when my bras became so soaked with sweat I had to air dry them, and day four when I started washing my underwear in the bathroom sink. No joke. Sure, maybe you don’t need all six makeup palettes or four different variations of the same kind of shoe, but you will for sure need much more than anticipated.

Extension cords: I’ll say it once more. College dorms. There are only a few outlets available to

you and none of them are next to the beds. Sure, you could move the furniture, but then you’d

have to not only go through the effort of switching things around but eventually you’d have to

switch it back, and who wants to do that? Bring an extension cord of about two or three feet to

plug in your phone charger, hair dryer, computer, etc.

Handheld fan: This is arguably the most important item on the list and my number one regret.

The University of Central Missouri campus is rather large and you will be attending the

convention in the month of June. That means that sweat will build up on your back from your

backpack, your feet will ache from slipping inside of your dress shoes, and you will wish

everyday you shaved your hair off before coming because when the sun hits the top of your head

just right it feels like an inferno. The best way to combat the crankiness that follows

uncomfortable heat is a handheld electric fan that can cool you down while you’re waiting for

flag to begin, walking to lunch or dinner, or heading back to the dorm after a long day of political


Flip Flops: I made the grave mistake of not bringing flip flops to use inside of the shower. I

know that might sound strange, but the showers are less than cleanly, and a common complaint

almost all the girls had was that the water barely drained in the tub. It’s better safe than sorry, and I’d rather feel ridiculous wearing neon green flip flops in the shower than receive an unwanted fungal infection.

Ladies and those who identify as otherwise, this week will be the best of your life. You will walk

in terrified and alone, and leave with dozens of new Snapchat friends and a deep rooted feeling

of empowerment and unity. Every girl here is going through the same internal struggle of

identity and is simply looking for a niche to fall into. If you are the girl that is normally on the outside of the conversation, jump in and express your opinions and your ideas. Nobody here knows your reputation or your past mistakes. Nobody is gonna judge you for the clothes you wear or the way you look, because together we stand as women and that is what makes us powerful.

By: Jay Walker

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