Summer break is a long period of time during which students can have fun and take advantage of new opportunities. Many students go on vacation with their families, spend some time on their hobbies, or attend internships or summer camps. One memorable way to spend summer is to attend the Governor’s Honors Program, GHP. This is a residential summer camp that is held over four weeks for rising junior and senior high school students. The application process is very complicated, but the program’s experiences are worth the effort.
Students must first be nominated by their teachers for a subject such as dance, music, world language, math, social studies, science, or engineering. They must then complete numerous interviews and applications throughout September to February. The subject they are chosen for will be their majors at GHP, and once accepted, students can choose minors such as journalism, education, outdoor recreation, math, and science. My GHP major is Chinese. To join the program, I had to pass two Chinese writing tests, two interviews, and two other applications. I also had to submit two teacher recommendations. The minor I chose is visual arts.
Although I have only been in GHP for a week so far, I have noticed that it will be a memorable experience that I will always appreciate. On the first day, we introduced ourselves and got to know other students from different language majors like German, Latin, French, and Spanish. Then, we decorated our classrooms and even designed our own major t-shirts. Each major also has certain projects for students to complete. For example, Chinese major students must dub a hundred videos in Chinese, make their own comic book, and film a music video. Social Studies majors present speeches and have Socratic discussions, Chemistry majors complete research projects, and Latin and French majors make their own skits to perform.
Students can meet many new friends from all parts of Georgia during GHP and become great friends with their roommates as well. There are many social events for students to be active in, such as seminars, student orientations, speed-friendship, and ice breakers. Other interesting events are kickball games, board game nights, polish parties, mafia, and many more. There are also parties every weekend with themes like space, decades, heroes vs. villains, and graffiti, which is where students wear a white t-shirt and sign each other’s shirts on the last day.
People say GHP is a magical experience that seems to take you to a different world for a month. I never believed that until I experienced it for myself. GHP truly is a life-changing program that helps you meet diverse friends with passion for learning. Usually, I spend time with people just from my school, but here, everywhere I look, I am surrounded by bright students from different backgrounds that I can make unforgettable memories with.