National pageants tend to be the highlights of my year. Despite the fact that I’m competing for a prestigious national title, I’m still able to enjoy myself and make new friends. With NAM Nationals being only a few weeks away, the tips in this post should be implemented as soon as possible to ensure you go into Nationals with a clear and happy mind. By now, you should have already completed your four hours of community service and your resume, memorized your personal introduction, finalized your wardrobe, started a packing list, and practiced your modeling routines. When it gets very close to a pageant, I tend to develop tunnel vision for it and forget about the world around me. To keep you from doing that, this post will help you remember to do certain things (that you might’ve forgotten about) before the pageant.
Here are five things to do before you leave for your national pageant:
1. Tell Your Teachers
In the midst of pageant prep, you may have forgotten your future absences from school. To prevent stress, tell your teachers you will be out as soon as possible. This way, they can help you plan ahead for the assignments you’ll miss. If they are unable to give you the notes or homework ahead of time, reach out to your classmates about catching you up on the work you missed for each day you’re gone. Be prepared to turn in all missing assignments on the day you return to prevent a flood of 0’s from bringing down your grades. Don’t forget to bring an absence note and express your gratitude to your generous teachers and classmates!
2. Set Your Goals
There are two types of goals for you to set before you leave for the pageant: performance and personal. Performance goals concern how you do in each area of competition, while personal goals concern your behaviors outside of competition.
The easiest performance goal to come up with is winning the pageant. However, despite how equally deserving each national finalist may be, only one in your division will walk away with the crown. Besides, the decision the judges make is out of your control. Because of this, it’s important to set goals that are dependent on the steps you take to achieve them. Performance goals should have a focus on doing your personal best and steps you can take to achieve it.
Some good examples of performance goals are: do better in evening gown by remembering what my coach told me, hit all my poses perfectly in casual wear, and feeling more relaxed in top model.
At my last national pageant, my performance goal was to have the best interview of my pageant career. I did this by figuring out what I wanted to communicate to the judges, solidifying my platform, and doing practice interviews. Accomplishing this goal gave me a sense of accomplishment, despite not winning the pageant.
Next are personal goals. Personal goals are different for everyone, but the main idea is to change your behavior to make the pageant a more beneficial and enjoyable experience. Similarly to your performance goals, your ability to accomplish your personal goals is completely in your control. These goals may or may not to have smaller steps to them. The larger ones can be started weeks before the pageants while the others are done whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Some good examples of personal goals are: introduce myself to every contestant in my age division, make three close friends, and be more organized throughout the week.
At my last national pageant, my personal goal was to keep a positive mindset throughout the week. I did this by changing my lockscreen and homescreen to positive affirmations and giving positive affirmation booklets to the other national finalists. Accomplishing this goal throughout the week made me happier and more excited to compete.
3. Have “The Talk” With Your Family
Oftentimes a national pageant will turn into a family vacation. This is especially true of NAM Nationals and other family-oriented pageants. Although it’s great to have your family to cheer you on, sometimes their behaviors in the hotel room can cause some bumps in the road. A week before you leave for the pageant, I suggest having a family meeting with everyone who’s coming along to let them know how they can best support you throughout the week. These requests can be organizational (ex: stay out of the bathroom in the morning so I can do my hair and makeup) or more emotional (ex: reassure me that the only person I’m competing against is myself). Remember, your family is there to support you!
4. Write Letters to Yourself
Ever since my second pageant, I’ve written uplifting letters to myself for each day of pageant week/weekend. In these letters, I tell myself what is on my schedule and remind myself of my personal and performance goals for the week. I usually read these letters before I start my hair and makeup for the day, and they give me the boost of motivation I need. You can also write letters to read immediately before competition that include tips and tricks you should remember while onstage or in the interview room. Don’t forget to make yourself laugh, and be careful not to put too much pressure on yourself.
5. Remember Everything Will Be Okay
This is a pageant. And despite its glory, it is not your entire life. You are more than a crown and sash. How you do at Nationals will not dictate the rest of your life. Winning the title is great, but not winning doesn’t mean you are worth any less. We compete in pageants for the experiences, skills, friendships, and opportunities, not just to win.
With that being said, it is okay to be sad or disappointed if you lose. You spent a lot of time, money, and energy preparing for the pageant. Don’t let this disappointment distract you from the accomplishments you have made throughout the week. Don’t let it stop you from celebrating the achievements of the new queen either. Remember: in pageantry, you are paying for someone’s opinion.
Those are five things to do before you leave for your national pageant! I personally do each of these things and they’ve improved my Nationals experience so much; I hope they can do the same for you. Thanks so much for reading, and good luck at Nationals!