"When I first found out I was going to go to GIA last summer, I totally freaked (and not in a good way). I was worried because I'm really shy, so I thought I would have a hard time making connections and friends. When I got there I was instantly surrounded by people who shared the same interests as me and who were not afraid to say hello and just start a conversation! It was great to see other people who loved the same things I do and I could connect with on that type of level. After being around these people for two weeks I found myself not being afraid to come out of my shell and be a little more outgoing. Throughout the (Almost!) year, the experience has stuck with me. Ever since GIA, I have found myself being less and less afraid to speak up and come out of my shell and more and more excited to find and meet people who have my same interests."