From the Cascades to College Night

Over the first weekend here at GSA, all the students and staff took a trip to the Cascades in a troop of 13-passenger vans. We got an early start at 8 AM, with students laughing and chatting as they piled into the vans. With the radios up and music pumping, the exciting journey up the mountain began!

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After a brief 30 minute drive through the beautiful mountains surrounding Blacksburg, we arrived at our destination in the small town of Pembroke, VA. Just a short while later, students were clambering out of the vans and disappearing in a choking cloud of insect repellent and spray-on sunscreen in preparation for the long hike ahead.

Due to the heavy rains Blacksburg experienced this past week, the trail was rather slippery and very muddy, but thankfully the students made the climb without any injuries or accidents! And after nearly an hour had passed, the students finally made it to the top! The waterfall at the Cascades plunged over a steep cliff, spraying ice cold mountain water across the landscape – and splashing across the backs of students brave enough to stand underneath it! Screaming and shouting with laughter, students took pictures, swam, and sunbathed at the peak of their climb.

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Too soon after our arrival, it was time to leave and head back for lunch at D2. Many more students than before slept during the return home, and several continued to snooze after grabbing a quick bite to eat! It was certainly a tiring trip, but I think everyone can agree that it was a great way to spend our first Saturday!

After relaxing all weekend, the students got geared up – and dressed up – for College Night at Radford University in Radford, VA. Another caravan of GSA vehicles left Virginia Tech in the early evening, and we arrived at Radford with time to spare. Throughout the night, students talked to admissions officers at schools such as Sweet Briar College and Christopher Newport University, and many left with their hands full of college brochures.

This was many of the students’ first time wearing “business casual” or “business professional” clothing, and they were all certainly dressed to impress! Students seemed confident and capable when they approached the colleges of their choice to inquire about potential majors and campus life, and their professional dress helped boost this confidence. While at Radford, students also had the chance to interact with their friends from the other governor’s school for Humanities and Performing Arts. On the drive home, several students quizzed their GSL’s (Governor’s School Leaders) about college life, applications, and the big decisions about school they will face in the coming months. Overall, the night was a great success and both students and staff enjoyed the opportunity to get off campus and dress in their best!

— Lauren Jones, Ag Engineering GSL

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