It had been a long day of campaigning. The more serious girls were exhausted from the chit chatting and the long walks from city to city, county to county. Girls with more modest ambitions were sprawled out on couches, moaning, "What took you so long?"

It had been a long day of campaigning. The more serious girls were exhausted from the chit chatting and the long walks from city to city, county to county. Girls with more modest ambitions were sprawled out on couches, moaning, "What took you so long?"

Despite all the intense, engaging work of the day, we never missed out on girl time. Exchanging stories, learning new perspective and bonding to become life-long friends all occurred simultaneously in the microcosmic world that was Buckeye Girls State 2010.

During the six days that I spent on Ashland University's campus this June, I went through the vigorous trials that today's politicians face. I developed a cause and platform, campaigned like crazy all over my dorm and lost, learning that, when there are 900 girls, not everyone can win.

Fortunately, being in the good graces of the Governor had its perks: I was appointed a high-ranking job within the legislative branch. I delegated bill drafting to my staff of 20 eager girls and edited over 40 bills within the span of two days. It was a gratifying task, and one that didn't allow my learning skills to rest.

Perhaps the most eye-opening aspect of the mock-government camp was the array of girls with whom I lived. Our informal nightly sessions covered topics like celebrities and movies, while also delving into more serious matters, like economic justice and educational equality. A charismatic girl from Canton, Ohio spoke often of the poverty within her school and neighborhood. While she always proudly launched her bio with, "I come from the Football Hall of Fame," she always concluded, "How do you think it makes me feel knowing that I live in the ninth most miserable city in the country?"

Many girls had never even heard of the SAT. Only some had had the opportunity to take even one Advanced Placement class, whereas at Bexley, there are more AP courses than periods in a day. Needless to say, this put things into perspective. We go through high school thinking that higher learning opportunities like AP classes and PSEO are educational rights-and personally, I think they should be offered to every student-when the fact of the matter is that most students aren't as fortunate as we are.

When we were first introduced, I told the delegate from Bishop Hartley, "There is a disproportionate ratio of country girls to city girls." Many delegates described life on the farm, going to a school in the middle of a cornfield and dreaming of going to college. I warily approached these girls, fascinated by their rural lives just as they were intrigued by my life, one where Easton is only ten minutes away. Despite the limited resources of some of their schools, all delegates were talented, strong conversationalists and driven -- attributes that I learned can be found in almost any setting.

In retrospect, I discovered a new appreciation for the education I have been blessed with so far at Bexley. I was able to engage girls in debate over the best way to solve the recession and create jobs, and I was able to concisely and clearly express my ideas to hundreds of girls, all a testament to my teachers and the speeches they forced me to give. I would like to thank the Columbus Post 430 and the Bexley Women's Club for selecting and sending me to Buckeye Girl State and opening up my eyes to the world outside the "Bexley bubble." And like the slogan for this year's session, I am richer for the experience.