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High school is the time to experience an array of different events. This includes making new friends, joining the right clubs, and finding yourself amongst the crowd of confused freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. A lot of these events will characterize you as you continue to grow throughout the four years you spend in high school. One of these occurrences includes attending competitions and conferences hundreds of miles away from your home city.

Lets face it. As teenagers – you probably haven’t had the opportunities you can find in events such as attending your organization’s state or even national competitions. Personally, my best high school memories come from trips such as these. Whether it be the bus ride that lasts for hours on end or the bonding between roommates in the hotel room – these trips at the conferences offered by your club are memories that will last a lifetime. Trust me when I say this: opportunities like this will be more difficult to come by in college, graduate school, and the rest of your life.

There are some important things to remember when attending these special conferences. Usually at these state and national forums, people your age are sprawling far and wide at the convention center and the hotels surrounding it. With that in mind, there are some simple but incredibly important tips that can come in handy in order to make sure you have the best experience possible after coming back home from these events. Lets dive right down into it.

Meet New People

This may seem self-explanatory, but in reality a ton of people miss out on this opportunity. Why you may ask? Simple. We are all fully caught up with spending time with our friends in a totally new environment that we don’t realize that it is the perfect time to meet new people who share the same interests as you do. Also – if you are nervous to approach anyone – remember this: everyone is nervous. New people are interesting. Just don’t go overboard and come off as overly friendly. That can turn off people at some times.

Sight See

You’re in an entirely new city! In some instances – you can even be in a completely different state. Make sure to ask your advisor and chaperones to have the opportunity to sight see with your school. Yes – the conference is important. Yes – doing well in competitions is important. All of this is true. Just don’t lose track of the idea that trips like these are the opportune moments in which memories are made. Seeing that one special monument or museum can make all the difference.

Take Full Advantage of the Conference

Don’t think of competition at these levels as a joke. Sometimes students can be overwhelmed by the amount of freedom or new experiences that these trips can offer and lose track of some of the core opportunities they can seek. For example – a lot of times different businesses set up seminars and trainings that are held throughout the span of the convention. Take advantage of these events! Go to them and learn from them.

Be Mindful of Other People

With everything said and done, it is incredibly easy to lose focus in the world you built for yourself. Realize that in several instances – there are numerous tourists and families roaming around the same hotels your organization’s competitions may be held. In short – be mindful of your actions and attitude around other people. Don’t be too loud or overly hyper as it can get you in trouble and sometimes even disqualified from your specific competition.

Overall, these conferences are meant to help you grow. If you don’t have these opportunities available at your school, found clubs yourself such as HOSA: Future Health Professionals or Business Professionals of America. Both of these are just a few of the hundreds of organizations that offer state and nationwide conferences. Make the best out of this trips.

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