Two years ago I got my letter for national american miss and found it intriguing so I went to the open call with high hopes and low expectations being that it was my first pageant. Nevertheless I made it so I read every magazine they gave me front and back a million times. I got all but 40$ in sponsors and booked a hotel room right away so that the price was cheaper(the magazine informed me of this)
Fast forward to pageant weekend get there and get my shirt(I couldn't sign in yet cause late check in was the next day and I was late.. Oops) anyway got to the PJ party and instantly spotted a few girls I had met from the open call and talked to them and met a ton of other girls and had a blast. I had talent the next day which went okay considering my CD messed up and had to use my phone as backup(also did photogenic) then got ready for formal and intro and it was another great opportunity to talk with the girls. Then we line up and do our thing.
So speed threw interview to crowning and I by some miracle got 2nd runner up in both talent and photogenic. But didn't place for a title but I didn't care nor expect it being my first pageant. And from there I was already getting ready for next year.
So this year comes around and my state didn't have a pageant so we had the appointed miss program where we write an essay, send a picture, do a phone interview, and fill out the application and a $25 entry fee. And I came out some how with a runner up title. Its all about effort and realizing its about building relationships not a prize collection.