By Emma Petersen, Robertson City

Suppose a turtle is put into a rocket ship. Seriously, imagine it. The type of tiny turtle you might see attempting to eat a strawberry too big for its mouth. Suppose that tiny turtle is put into a rocket ship.

The divots in the turtle’s shell gleam as she takes step after tedious step. Once in the controller seat, the turtle is isolated and stuck.

5 .. .4 … 3 … 2 … 1 !

The blast off’s tremendous jolt presses her back against the controller’s chair.

Then, a glowing ball, cascading light, shooting across the sky scares the turtle into her shell.

The light keeps growing. Growing – until the glorious burst of light no longer scares the turtle; she allows herself to peak out and admire the shooting star.

Now suppose that turtle was a metaphor for the girls entering Girls State. Suppose Girls State pushed us to the stars. Suppose it put us into the controller’s seat. If we chose to be brave, we were in control of our week’s enjoyment. Girls State told us to stay out of our shells, and ultimately our wishes were illuminated and granted.