As my 21st birthday gets closer and closer I can’t help but be overcome with this bittersweet feeling. Unlike most people who are extremely excited to turn 21 I can’t help, but be a little sad. Turning 21 means that I will be reaching the end of my involvement as a member in the 4-H and FFA organizations which are both near and dear to my heart.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get a chance to judge at the Agriculture Education Speech Contest for FFA students. At first it just made me feel old being a judge and not a contestant, but then I realized that even though my journey as a member is coming to an end I still have a long road ahead of me with these two wonderful organizations.
Here are five reasons why I think it is important for you to stay involved in the organizations that had an everlasting impact on you:
- Current Members Deserve To Get What You Got Out Of It
Winning contest was one of the best feelings as a member, but trophies tarnish and ribbons fade. What you really get out of the organization is the memories, lessons, and an extended family that you can no longer imagine living without.
- You Owe It To The Organization
Being a teenager isn’t always easy and often times I turned to 4-H and FFA as my safe haven. No matter what came down lives rough way I knew I could embark in a new contest or adventure with the organizations that I love. They were there when I needed them most so it is only fair that I am willing to serve the organizations that served me.
- You Owe It To Yourself
I am passionate about FFA and 4-H. They make me happy and provide a light in this big scary world. I see a blue and gold jacket and my heart feels happy again. Even when I am not wearing the blue and gold there is something about being around the organization and the people in it that is good for the soul.
- You Can Still Be Impacted
If you stick around the organizations long enough you will find at least one person that moves you and inspires you to be the best possible person you can be. You might find that person to you is a member who was timid and shy but grew the courage to stand in front of a room of people and give a speech or when listening to a state officer giving their retiring address and realizing just how much that person goes through and still wears a smile on their face.
- You Can Impact Others
Being looked up to is one of the best feelings in the world. Your knowledge and wisdom as a past member can shape an individual and how they grow in the organization. Sometimes your impact might be made my judging a contest like I did or maybe you’re just helping a member recite oral reasons, it doesn’t take much for you to become an impact because of the blue and gold and what it stands for.