Titan Tattler: A different kind of summer vacation

Published 12:07 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

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By Claire Reinthaler

For the Clemmons Courier

When school let out in the middle of June, many West students were just excited for the free days that came with summer break, but West Forsyth student Lindsey Martin had other plans.

After only a week’s separation from the recently completed school year, she packed her bags and headed to Winston-Salem State University to attend the North Carolina Governor’s School West program, which ran from June 18 through July 15.

Martin was accepted into the choral program at Governor’s School, where they focused on building their skills and individuality as performers.

“We were persistently pushed to think outside of the box when creating music,” Martin said. “Our repertoire for our concert had a wide variety of styles and genres and tested our limits as singers.”

The Governor’s School program wasn’t just work, though. After classes let out, students were given free time to hang out with their friends and unwind from a hard day’s work.

“I helped teach an a capella piece to a group of my friends, and we performed it for open mic night,” Martin said. “A lot of the time (after classes), we would go into the practice rooms and sing with each other. I really think that helped me improve as a singer.”

Even though Governor’s School students only spent around a month together, they all quickly became close and made friends that would last long after the program ended.

“I wasn’t expecting how kind and friendly everyone would be,” Martin said. “It was so easy to go up and talk to someone who you’d never spoken to before and become friends with them, even if they were there for different subject areas. Everyone was incredibly smart and very talented.”

In the end, Martin felt she had accomplished a lot and changed from the experience.

“My biggest takeaway was the growth that I accomplished, not just as a performer, but as a person,” Martin said. “I became more confident in my abilities and more sure of myself altogether. We did daily affirmations, and the last one was always ‘I am everything I am supposed to be.’ I now truly believe those words because of my experience there.”

Martin had one last message about her experience to West students and anyone else who might be on the fence about the program.

“I would wholeheartedly recommend Governor’s School to just about anyone,” Martin said. “It’s a great community where you learn just as much from other students as [you do from] the amazing instructors and one that you’ll take with you for your entire lifetime.”