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Sarah Wayer International Junior Miss Florida Teen

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWF chapter.

In her short time here, Sarah Wayer has proven to be a wonderful addition to the University of West Florida. She is the Vice President of Orphan to Heir and is Miss Florida Teen. Once we found out about her title as Miss Florida Teen, we had to know all about her role and her experience with pageants.   

Her Campus: What is your favorite thing about being International Junior Miss Florida Teen?


Sarah Wayer: “I love being a role model for young girls. It is so fun to see their reactions when I am at an event in my crown and banner. Last Halloween, I was at the Fall Festival in Crestview, and a young girl came up and asked me for a picture. She said she wanted to be a princess too. I also felt so honored to represent Florida at IJM Internationals 2018. It was an experience I will never forget.”


HC: What did you like the most about competing in the International Junior Miss Pageant?


SW: “I have two things that I liked most about competing at IJM Internationals 2018. The first is the girls I meet. I met so many amazing and accomplished girls from around the world. My second favorite part of competing at IJM Internationals was being on stage and competing for the title of International Junior Miss Teen. Words cannot explain the adrenaline rush that came when I stepped onto the stage. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I walk off knowing I presented my best self. “

HC: What are your peers’ responses when they discover you are Miss Florida Teen?


SW: “The immediate reaction is surprise usually followed with “That’s so cool!” I don’t walk around in my crown and banner on a daily basis, so when I tell people, they are shocked then supportive and want to know more about my pageant experience.”


HC: What motivated you to participate in pageants?


SW: “I competed in my first pageant when I was fourteen. It was a decision my mom and I made together. My first pageant was a natural pageant meaning it focused on building confidence in girls and was advertised as being sort of a beginner’s pageant, so we felt it was a good first step. I was also entering high school and wanted to develop my confidence.  After that first pageant, I was hooked. I love the challenge pageants present. I also love the constant self-improvement that comes with preparation.”


HC: What have you learned about yourself through your experience in pageants?


SW: “Pageantry has taught me so much about the world and myself. It pulled me out of my shell and taught me how to hold meaningful conversations with people. In interview, I have about a minute with each judge to show them my best qualities and convince them I am the best girl for the job. When talking to contestants, I learned to push myself to meet new people and relate to girls from many different backgrounds and walks of life. I have learned about the importance of investing in myself and my experiences to help me achieve my goals. The most important thing I have learned from pageants is confidence. I learned that people will have different opinions about me, but no matter what, I should never apologize for being my best and most confident self.”


HC: Are you going to continue competing in pageants?


SW: “I have made the difficult decision of taking a break from pageantry to focus on other aspects of my life. I want my sole focus to be on getting into graduate school and enjoying my final year of undergraduate school. That being said, I am so grateful for the experiences that I had with pageants and the people I got to meet along the way because they are a huge part of who I am.”


HC: How do you manage to juggle being the VP of Orphan to Heir, Miss Florida Teen, a member of Alpha Chi Omega, and a full-time student?  


SW: “If I am being honest, I have no idea. I think it comes from knowing my priorities. I know my limits and try not to over commit myself. That means saying no to a lot of good things, so I can say yes to the best thing. It also means making mistakes and learning from them. Most importantly, I have an amazing support system.”


HC: Since you will be graduating from UWF this school year, what advice would you tell incoming students?


SW: “Just be sure you like the person you are becoming. If you don’t, it’s never too late to make new decisions, meet new people and try again. College can be scary. But take it all one day at a time. You are going to meet some pretty awesome people, find opportunity to grow and make memories that last a lifetime.”

Gina Castro is a junior at the University of West Florida where she is double majoring in English Literature and Journalism. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus UWF and an editorial intern for Ballinger Publishing. Since her sophomore year, she has been an active member of her university's Her Campus chapter. When she's not researching new stories to write articles about, she is watching knitting tutorials or obsessing over Toni Morrison.