“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Congratulations!

Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

~Dr. Seuss

            The day I graduated high school, tables were full of gifts and cards.  Between the towels, school supplies, dorm accessories and laundry money, I thought I was set for college.  That was until I received the greatest gift of all, a book….Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.  This was not just a normal book, it was the graduation keepsake edition with the surprise with keepsake pictures of me from my parents and sisters, notes of encouragement my teachers had left me and memories my closest friends had left me.  Past those pages in the book, there was a section that I needed to fill out about “My Dreams.”

Right after high school, I thought I knew my dreams.  I wanted to go to go to Kansas State University to be an Ag Teacher and get a job and then go travel.  This is was my plan and I was going to stick with it.  Nothing was going to change my mind….Until I started having second thoughts about what I was doing in Kansas, why I was going into AgEd, where would I go with this major anyway and when would things start going to my plan?

While questioning everything I was doing in college, and working on moving to my new place off campus at K-State, I found my book and was reminded of my dreams.  I had forgot WHO I was doing this for.  When I had written my dreams, I was wanting to impress my family and friends with the places I would go and hoped that it would please them. But was that what I wanted?

Dr. Seuss wrote:

“You have the brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. 

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.

And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

YOU.  That was the key word.  You. Me. Melissa. Your dreams. My dreams! Was I doing everything for me?  As I went to go look back at my dreams in my book, they didn’t seem like I was writing them for myself.  I needed to figure out what I wanted for myself because I can steer myself any direction I want to go.  I didn’t know if I wanted to switch my major or if I wanted to stay in the Agricultural field.  Then I remember Dr. Suess saying:

“Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as rainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along.

You’ll start happening too.”

So after a many long discussions and meetings with my advisor, I decided to stick with AgEd and see what would happen and just go right along with everything.  After some education classes, classroom observations, connecting with some great Ag Teachers, I reevaluated my dreams.   Looking at my dreams I made after just graduating high school, they seemed at a far distance….but I then looked again with an open mind and was able to see my steps I was taking to make MY dreams come true.  I just needed to add a little more “umph” to see where I would go with it.

That extra “umph” turned out to be an internship with Colorado 4-H Extension.  I had the opportunity to work for my county extension office to gain experience in the non-formal side of Agricultural Education that I never knew.  While on this internship, I found myself constantly repeating “Oh, the places you’ll go.” I traveled all over the Eastern Plains of Colorado.  I had the opportunity to work with some outstanding people all over the state that share a passion for agriculture and promoting agriculture in a different way than I ever thought possible.  They were sharing their passion through 4-H members, judging at fairs, doing field trials to inform the public on insect infestations, diagnosing field diseases to help farmers, helping the future generation learn about the importance of not only agriculture but life skills.

Picture1

“Oh, the place you’ll go.”

After this summer, I could see the places I had been and why I was pursuing the major I am in.  All along, I was headed down the path I was intended to go but for different reasons that had taken me a while to find.  Dr. Seuss said it well but another great author put it this way:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I can’t wait for that next “place” to travel in my life book.  I may not know exactly where it will be or what I will be doing, but that’s the thing about life: it’s full of adventures and surprises. So go! Go explore and see all the places you CAN go!

Picture2

In Love and Sisterhood,

Melissa Poet

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