Just Do It, You'll Thank Me Later.
Have you ever pondered on doing something? Or wondered, “What's in it for me?” Have you ever questioned authorities, feeling more like a guinea pig than a human? Yeah, that was me too. I heard the phrase “Just do it… you’ll thank me later,” quite a bit from my advisor while wearing the blue corduroy. However, those “meaningless” tasks were the most developmental. Those tasks were where I met new friends, challenged myself and learned new skills. Unfortunately, instead of offering a “thank you,” I passed along a sassy smirk. As I remanence on my days in the FFA, the highlights were lessons and accomplishments were the evolution of the lessons.
Let’s start with livestock judging. I knew I wanted to do a CDE, just was not sure which one. I told myself I was not going to be like my older brother, I wanted to try something new. Being a stubborn freshman, I put my name in the alternate spot of the small animals team, only to hope that they would let me on the team. Well, they didn’t. Instead of randomly putting me on another team, or none, my adviser talked me into the judging team. Well, it turned out I loved judging. I applied my skills I learned in judging, such as public speaking and decision making, to other avenues of my life. Every day, I judge my own livestock when selecting keep/cull, choosing my next show pig, or competing with the judge at county fair in placing the class of market hogs. Just do it, you'll thank me later.
I was a shy kid. I was comfortable with my group of friends and now my livestock team, and that was all. I remember when my advisor came to me with the application for Greenhand camp. I laughed at him and said no. I was not about to pay money to “waste” a week of summer. But, guess what he had to say to me? Well, it turned out Greenhand camp got me off to the right start with FFA. I met so many people that I am still friends with today. I connected with some new mentors (FFA state officers), fell in love with the organization, and was looking forward to my career in the blue and gold. Just do it, you'll thank me later.
Fast forward to my senior year. I was now the president of my chapter, busy with sports, work, school and the farm. This was back when I thought I had a tough life with a busy schedule (college took me by real surprise). Of course, my advisor piled paperwork to be documented, phone calls to be answered, and FFA members to satisfy. My facial expression resonated that it was his job to do all this. But after he set me straight, I did the work. It may have sucked at the time, but I can now think of the skills and leadership developed. I was cultured to be professional and confident on the phone; plus made some awesome contacts that had benefited me in the long run. I understood the “why” and “how” to my state degree and taught my classmates, rather than just filling in numbers. I learned to prioritize my responsibilities, which have helped me in college. By doing the “behind the scenes” work, I helped myself, my officer team, and my fellow FFA members fully experience the opportunities of the FFA. Just do it, you'll thank me later.
Sometimes, lessons are learned the hard way. When somebody as selfless as your advisor asks you to do something or go to an event, he generally does not want to see you suffer through the antagonizing task. He will always have an object or end goal in mind with the request. There are so many leadership activities within the FFA and I was blessed with resources right in front of me. Without the encouragement and push from my advisor, I may not have enjoyed FFA as much as I did. For the memories, the laughs, the lessons learned the hard way, and the leadership, I would like to say, “thank you.”