Saturday, November 25, 2017, 8:00, I stood backstage, trembling with anxiety, not knowing that the next few hours would hold some of the greatest memories of my life. I had dreamed of becoming Miss Maine Teen USA since 2012 when I saw a family friend in a parade during her reign. Unfortunately I never had the courage to do so until last year. Being in a pageant suited me, I loved dress shopping and getting headshots, I also love hair and makeup so all of these things came easy to me. What didn’t come easy to me was being on stage by myself in front of hundreds of people. I had been trained a bit by a coach, but I was still scared. I managed to look past my anxiety and go on stage – mostly because I didn’t have much of a choice. Each time I went on stage, for opening number, athletic wear, and evening gown, I felt more and more confident and less nervous – although the nerves were definitely still there.
Flash forward to the next morning, interview was over and now all that was left was to see if I had made top ten. I had butterflies in my stomach as the top ten were named until finally, at the ninth spot, my name was called, and was one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Unfortunately my pageant career stopped at top five. Nevertheless, this was one of the most amazing times of my life and I would recommend it to anyone. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “pageant girl”, the experience is not like any other and many of the girls I met loved it even if they weren’t “pageant girls.” I went into this only seeking the crown and I came out with a new sense of confidence and the most amazing memories. This year I am competing again, but I am not only hoping for the crown, I am hoping to gain more friendships and connections with all the wonderful young women I am competing with. I was never super athletic or great in school, but I have finally found the place where I can shine and have fun, and I recommend pageants to anyone. It is such an empowering and enjoyable experience that I am so grateful for, and I am so excited to get back on stage.