Joining Youth and Government as a rookie is intimidating and a surplus of questions comes with it. What’s the difference between Business Professional and Business Casual? How does everyone seem to know everyone? What is going on? All of these are valid, common questions and some are answered through time and experience. Some, on the other hand, the senior participants and I can give you a jumpstart on, to make your first Youth and Government State Conference, the best it can be. 

In the easiest terms, there are five sections: Trial Court, Legislative, State Affairs, Appellate, and Media. Trial Court and Appellate’s sections are based on real world court cases, either depicting these cases through their own personalization or diving deep into the court’s decision, making sure it’s the right one. The Legislative and State Affairs section spend time discussing and amending different bills and proposals, general bills and proposals significant to real world problems. The Media section serves as reporters during this conference, informing everyone of the ins and outs of this competition through multiple forms of media. 

Looking at the social aspects of this conference, it seems like everyone is familiar with each other. This familiarity of many of the delegates isn’t a conspiracy, just experience! Through every section, participants are exposed to a variety of people every year, and we get the chance to talk to a lot of people, even making friends along the way. 

It’s important to remember though, there’s etiquette for every section to keep the submersion smooth with respect, being the most significant. Section etiquette isn’t only social, but physical too, through the clothes you wear, whether business attire or casual. Business attire is used for the main portion of our competition, and usually consists of pantsuits, skirts, button ups and slacks, or suit and ties so you can formally look your best for each other and at the areas you go. With Business attire out of the way, Business casual is easier to understand as a more comfortable version of the former. A lot of times here at competition you’ll see sweaters, slacks, khakis, nice blouses, and comfortable shoes for Business casual. You still want to look nice, but more comfortable while we do it! 

In an interview with Angelyna Huag, 3 year participant and Judge, she gives some advice for Trial court newbies. “Fake it til’ you make it. Even if you don’t know what you’re saying exactly, just say it with confidence!” explains Huag. Not only for trial court, but for newbies in many of the sections, “Don’t be too worried about what’s going on because it’s very hectic” says Eowng Barbosa, an interviewee from Photojournalism Media, “There’s always people you can ask for help!” Everyone’s first time is scary and confusing, but the best way to overcome that is to jump in and learn along the way through the experience. 

State conference isn’t just all work, but a time to enjoy yourself too! After a long day of taking buses, working through trials and bills, or writing pieces, all participants get the chance to eat out and have fun in some social activities with other kids. At the mixer there’s multiple activities like karaoke, board games, arcade games, painting, and photos with friends! It’s a great time to socialize with other participants and make friends. On the second night, there’s a banquet where a delicious meal is provided for all of the participants. These off-times are a wonderful period to relax from the long day. 

However many questions one has, the most important thing to remember here at the state conference is to have fun! After participating for 2 years, my favorite aspects here are always the people I meet and the fun social activities Youth and Government has for us to do. It’s an exciting contrast in anyone’s normal routine and is worth the experience.

Written by: LeeAnn Partin