About the Author:
As the younger brother, Justin Ngo has always had big footsteps to follow. He was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia and attends McLean High School. He runs cross country and track year round. He has also played the piano for 11 years and loves listening to music. He enjoys watching movies, often attending the movies at least once a week in order to partake in the cinematic experience.
Nice to meet you, where you been?
It is often challenging to meet new people, especially at Governor’s School. Our journey
began as we walked beneath the entrance of Litton-Reaves to sign in and obtain our key cards. Little did we know that we would soon all be sitting and listening to lectures together for hours upon hours a day. As individuals from all across Virginia, many of us had never previously met before. If we were to truly enjoy our four weeks together we would need to engage and interact with one another on a more personal level. But where do we start and how do we begin? Especially with our collective differences in culture.
Beneath the surface, we all certainly share something in common. The interest and desire to challenge ourselves, pursuing a higher education and greater experience in agriculture. Upon walking into our dorms, many individuals knew and contacted their roomates beforehand, however many others did not. I was one of the individuals who was surprised by who my roommate would be on the first day. After moving in and unpacking I personally decided to make an effort to meet all of my suitemates individually and introduce myself. I began with my own roommate, and made my way around to each dorm to shake hands and meet the guys I would be staying with for the next few weeks. This was already an awakening for me as I am typically an introvert. It was more than just coming out of my shell, it was a subtle promise to myself to start something new, a spark which would soon ignite the friendships I know I will never forget.
Introducing myself to all of the people in the same major helped to heighten my interactions with others. There were and still are a plethora of questions for me to ask all of the individuals who were initially unknown to me: “Where are you from? And what high school do you attend?”. It also helps immensely that on the inside we are all striving to challenge ourselves and seek excellence by attending the program. Coming from my bubble in Northern Virginia, it was an eye-opening experience for me to learn about places in Virginia I had never previously known; meeting individuals from these regions who seemed so different, but are actually so similar to me.
Meeting new people is a great experience, but it’s more than just making friends and
having fun. Governor’s School has instilled communication skills into every one of us as young adults, a priceless yet lifelong skill. This skill can be carried out into the workforce, as well as college. Whether or not we become researchers sharing work at symposiums, or are simply expressing our ideas and interests to one another, the networking we practiced is vital to our future lives and success. Communication is essential, no matter what passion we decide to pursue.
The communication skills we have developed are not the end, they are just the beginning. As young adults, we have our entire future ahead of us to pursue whatever we want; with passion. Dr. Mike Ellerbrock taught us on our third day about opportunity cost, which is what you give up for your next best choice to do something one more time. He expressed that “opportunity costs are invisible but real,” and I only now realize this as I reflect on my first week so far. Although we are dedicating a large portion of our summer to the Governor’s School for Agriculture, we are gaining vital experience which we would have otherwise have missed out on. “We are agriculture”, and we are able to tackle the world ahead of us.