Early in my junior year in high school, each student in my first block class received an off-pink piece of paper describing something I had never heard of before: Governor’s Schools sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education. From the small excerpt at the top of the page it described Governor’s School as a month-long program in the summer. Students who attended would essentially attend earn college and receive college credit before even graduating high school. On the paper was a chart with broad subjects on the left, like Physics, Engineering, Prospective Teachers, along with a few others. One of these subjects caught my eye. Humanities was listed between Engineering and Information Technology Leadership. I knew that I enjoyed English and that I was almost certain I was going to major in it once I went to college. I’m glad I stayed with it, too!
Of course, I was very new to the idea of what a Governor’s School was, but I, being the huge nerd that I am, decided to take a look. As soon as I was able to, I went to the website on that piece of paper. I was starting to possibly consider applying if I could afford it. The school I wanted to apply to, Humanities, was located at the University of Tennessee at Martin located in the tiny town of Martin, Tennessee, about a six hour drive from my house according to Google Maps. I was afraid that it was going to cost way more than I could ever imagine paying. A whole month at a college so far away would certainly cost something big. However, once I looked at the application file for all the schools, I quickly learned that if I were to be accepted, I would not have to pay a dime. Everyone who gets accepted into a Governor’s School receives a full scholarship, except for the Governor’s School for the Fine Arts where a small activities fee is required. The only thing I would have to pay for if I were to be accepted would be transportation and any other fees associated with travel. I read the application front and back at least a dozen times to make sure I read it right! I couldn’t believe that I could go to college for a month before I was even a senior in high school and learn about the things I could not ever get enough of. I knew right then that I would have to apply.