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What I Learned Participating in a Pageant for the First Time

On Saturday, January 30th, I competed in the 4th Annual Mr. and Ms. FACT Pageant. Overall it was an amazing and rewarding experience that allowed me to connect with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Everyone who participated in pageant put in countless hours of work, and by the end of the night, we weren’t contestants anymore but rather a little family. 

 
In the beginning, pageant was all about me- what was I going to wear, what was my talent going to be, how did I want to portray myself? As soon as I began to work with the other contestants, this quickly became the very least of my concerns. I found myself wanting to go to rehearsal, not just to run through the dance (even though it was super fun), but instead wanting to go to spend time with my new friends and favorite people. Knowing practically nothing about the other 11 contestants beforehand, it really surprised me how much I grew to love them and how much I missed them after pageant was over. Having the pleasure of meeting these 11 inspiring young men and women taught me that when you get to actually know those around you, you’ll be surprised what you can learn. In terms of who you come across in life, I don’t believe that anyone who comes your way is simply by coincidence. Every person carries a different outlook in life, so every person you meet is a new opportunity, a new perspective, and a new lesson. What originally started as a competition turned into a completely different experience for me. The other contestants taught me to be selfless and kind, to love and accept myself, and to embrace my heritage and represent it proudly. 

Everyone deserves to be crowned. Ultimately as humans we all have the desire to feel valued and appreciated, but one of the greatest gifts that I gained from pageant was learning how to appreciate myself. I used to think that only the most confident and beautiful people competed in pageants. This was obviously not the case when I was selected as a contestant. Every person has things about themselves that they don’t like or aren’t the most comfortable with, but something about being on stage in front of all my friends and family really helped me recognize that when opportunity comes, you can’t worry about your insecurities- the only thing you can do is have fun. 

Getting the chance to take part in FACT@VCU’s 4th Annual Mr. and Ms. FACT Pageant is definitely one of the highlights of my senior year. I learned more about myself and learned to appreciate those around me more as well. This was an opportunity I would’ve never thought I’d take advantage of, but I wouldn’t want to change a single thing. 

21 || VBVA || Psychology || FACT@VCUAngie Ellorin is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is studying Psychology and eventually hopes to pursue a masters in Education. In her free time, Angie enjoy taking naps, watching Gossip Girl, and online shopping. She is the adopted mother of a beautiful African elephant named Elliot. Her favorite thing about Her Campus is meeting and being inspired by all the other empowering young women. 
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