Rachelle Peterson

One week ago today I was adopted in to the Quarantine Room. I was carted up to the tiny little room and brought before the little group sitting around the table. I never thought that a few “sick” people crowded in a tiny little room with no air conditioning and no water or food could change my life so much.
While much of the Sim forgot about us on Wednesday, the lessons I learned that day were unforgettable. For some reason the close quarters made me feel closer to the “sick people.” I didn’t judge any of you for pointing out flaws in our plans, or for complaining about being stuck in a hot room. I literally felt like any of you could be my super awesome cousins. I learned in that room what it felt like to be accepted, and how to accept others. I learned to sincerely listen to other’s ideas, and to consider more possibilities. I learned how to keep big secrets.
On Thursday I learned to work with the Forgotten as a team. We worked together to do interviews, make trades, keep people out of our borders, and make mischievous plans. I learned what it felt like to be told your leader tested positive for the disease that was going to kill everyone. (Mr. C., when you told us you tested positive I literally felt like you had told us you had a terminal disease and was going to die in a few days. It felt that real!) At the end of Thursday I learned to open the borders and have everyone come in to question you. I learned to let go of all the secrets I had been hiding inside and to be open about everything.
On Friday I learned to welcome all people in and treat them like I treated the few trapped in that little room with me. I learned even more the power of unity, and the reality of imperfect people. I learned that everyone has something important to say, and listening to them could completely change the outcome. I learned how much one person could totally change the situation, whether it be with a lot of money (Michael) or a bomb (Nick) or a brilliant principle about family (Amanda). I learned how one person could impact a whole room of people with a few core rules, a big heart, and a loud voice (@Mr. C).
This was my third year attending Sim Week, and I learned more this week than I have the my past two times combined together. Thank you all for changing my life and impacting me with unforgettable lessons.
Thank you a million times over, and I will never forget any of you.