Going into the Honors program, I expected a very difficult, rigorous experience with lots of stress, sleep deprivation, and public speaking. Consequently, 90% of me didn't want to enroll in the Honors program. But I received a lot of support from my mentor and strongly believe college is a time to challenge ourselves: as one of my professors told her class, "You don't grow in your comfort zone." Once the program began, I quickly realized that the process of writing and defending a thesis wasn't a tear-down experience; we all struggled with the same anxieties and challenges, and the program really exists to build students up. It was an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience to hear about my peers' research and defend my thesis. Really, learning about the work other students were invested in was my favorite part.
For other people who are considering the Honors program, it is challenging but very constructive. If you're like me and think "I hate public speaking; I can't do that," it's not insurmountable. The public speaking portions of the program is only a small part and, in exchange, I got to meet some exceptional students and defend my thesis to eminent scientists from whom I have learned so much beyond the thesis writing and defense process itself.