A Week of Discovery

The University values an educational environment that provides all members of the campus community with opportunities to grow and develop intellectually, personally, culturally and socially. In order to give us a more complete picture of you as an individual, please tell us about the particular life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests you will bring to our campus. In other words, how will your presence enrich our community?

While most of my friends were deciding how to spend their first Saturday of summer vacation, I was packing up my belongings for a week of hard work that seemed to have little reward. I was headed to Ripon College for the 66th annual Badger Boys State program. I wondered how I would last on my own for a week surrounded by over 700 strangers my age, while bringing only a moderate interest in government and politics, which I believed were the cornerstones of the program. Trying to keep an open mind, I left early that morning unsure of what I was truly in for.

Arriving in Ripon, I checked in, unpacked my belongings, and kissed my mother goodbye. I soon realized that everyone there was in the same situation, and from initial conversations I found out I was not the only one feeling the way I did. On the first night I learned probably the most important lesson of the week. The staff told us we were all selected to attend for a reason, whether it was excellence in academics, leadership, volunteering, or most likely a combination of all three. They told us to throw our egos out, and that it did not matter who you were or where you came from. When you are surrounded by the best of the best, a laundry list of accomplishments does not...

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