Prepping for YIG: A Student’s Guide to YIG

That time of the year is approaching once again. The time that is enjoyed by every student attending – YIG. As defined by the YMCA website, Youth in Government is a program which allows high school students to serve in a model government. However, anyone who has attended YIG knows that it is so much more than that. Youth in Government is time for students of all different walks of life to come together. It is a time to form new friendships, enjoy the scenery of Columbia, and get a nice break from school. But make no mistake, the fun-filled four days consist of hard work and sleepless nights.
The YIG committee, made up of multiple representatives from each grade, has been working behind the scenes for months. In addition to room assignments, t-shirt designs, and gathering the proper forms, the YIG committee had the grueling task of dealing with bills. From CCES, a grand total of 144 people are attending this year’s conference – meaning that around 70 bills were reviewed by the committee. As of Wednesday, October 3rd the final drafts of all bills were officially sent to Columbia. If you do not know by now, it is a great idea to learn your bill front and back. It would also be in your best interest to have your sources written down with you because the majority of students will have phones or tablets to research your bill. If you’re easily offended, try to loosen up prior to going to YIG. If someone speaks in opposition of your bill, don’t take it personally. In order to move on, there must be opposition speakers.
However, now that bills have been sent off and everyone is in the process of finishing their speeches, the nerves are beginning to set in – especially if this is your first time. Which if it is, no worries. The Mrs. Jordan Jacobssen advises newcomers to, “Pack warm clothes and bring an umbrella. Make sure to check the weather prior to packing.” Alex Goldsmith, a junior attending YIG for the second time, suggests new participants to “pack snacks in your suitcase for your room. Also, if you plan on eating breakfast be sure to leave in plenty of time because lines are usually really long.”
Youth in Government is only fun if you participate. Don’t be afraid to speak up and represent Christ Church. Also, try not to feel overwhelmed. However, if you do find yourself growing worried, don’t be afraid to talk to another student about it. They most likely are experiencing the same feelings as you. McKoy Crawford, a sophomore, suggests new delegate to, “Listen carefully, so you know where to go. It can get confusing very quickly. Also, try new things. When other delegates are representing a bill, don’t be afraid to speak in favor or opposition of their bill.” Make sure to stay attentive so you won’t get lost. Thursday morning, the first full day in Columbia, is the hardest for everyone, but after that it’s all smooth sailing.
So whether you’re truly passionate about participating in a model government or you just want a two day break from school, YIG is a time enjoyed by all.