Meeting Miss America

When people look at me, I can't know for sure what they see. What I do know is that "Miss America Contestant" is probably not high up on their list. However, that's a very true statement. I am actively competing for the title of Miss New Hampshire 2014.

I have some pretty impressive company in this endeavor too. UHart's very own Emily Audibert '13 was Miss Connecticut 2012.

What I've noticed that a lot of people don't know about the Miss America program is just how inclusive and supportive the contestants are with one another.

During my first competition back in August, my dressing room buddy was actually a current titleholder - she was Miss Berlin-Gorham and is now Miss Keene Area. Another girl I befriended at the show is now Miss Deerfield Fair, and we chat on Facebook every once in a while.

While I was worried that I wouldn't score very well because I'm not the "traditional pageant type" - while many of my competitors were tall, slender and graceful, I'm short, on the heavy side, and a klutz - I was told that for a first-time contestant, I did very well.

I was amazed at the diversity and intelligence of my fellow contenders for the crown - most, if not all of them, were enrolled in college and were student leaders. They were all very well-spoken and intelligent, and no one spoke down to or made fun of me (which was my biggest fear, because I had nightmares of it being just like "Mean Girls").

My platform was about enhancing literacy in schools and working with NaNoWriMo's Young Writer Program - because I know that writing was something that really helped me when I was in school, and I'd like other kids to have the same feelings I did. Other contestants had platforms like "Tobacco Awareness: Preventing Lung Cancer" and "Living A Healthy Lifestyle", but they were each very articulate and intelligent about why their platform was important to them.

While I still have a lot to learn, I will be competing again in the Miss Merrimack and Miss Greater Plaistow pageants in New Hampshire over winter break, and I encourage any collegiette that has ever considered competing to do it. It's a blast.

And if I don't claim any titles in New Hampshire...I may just compete for Miss Hartford.