Natalie Koch

Everything Happens For A Reason

Natalie Koch

Natalie Koch – VP

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

 

Let me tell you a quick story. Rewind to April 2018 and the night before my area officer interviews. I sat in my room staring at my official dress debating whether or not I should take it to school the next day. If I just so happened to “forget” my official dress, I wouldn’t be able to interview. Yet when the morning rolled around, I knew I’d regret not giving it my all, and my advisors would be disappointed.

 

The school day was a blur. I was so nervous; I couldn’t think straight. Finally, as the night came it was time to interview. My knees were weak, and arms were heavy as Mr. Mertz would often say. I inhaled a deep breath and gave it my all. Two years later serving as an area officer holds some of the best memories I’ve had in the jacket. My life would be so different if I would have left my official dress at home. Everything truly happens for a reason. However, sometimes the reason might not be as clear or easy to see. Kind of like right now, as COVID-19 continues to take over the news and as events continue to cancel or postpone. As upsetting as these times may be, there is no better occasion to make some memories! Later in life, we might remember this as the time we spent with our siblings before leaving for college. Or, this might be the time we spent at our favorite fishing spot when normally we’d be in school. The reason might be unclear today, tomorrow or even a year down the road. However, we have the incredible opportunity to make the best out of the situation and create memories that will last a lifetime!

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Natalie Koch

Natalie Koch – VP

“There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.” These 15 words changed my perspective on life when past Missouri State FFA Vice President Isabel Legg said them during her reflections at Public Speaking Academy (PSA). This was the summer before my junior year of high school, and, up until this point, going out of my comfort zone was a risk I was not willing to take.

 

I have a reputation for getting homesick, and, quite frankly. both of my advisors did not think I could make it through the roughly 50 hours at PSA. However, this camp took me far out of my comfort zone. Taking a topic and transforming it into a speech in two days was a challenge, but presenting this speech in front of judges was another daunting task that forced me to step out of my comfort zone. Not to mention, I was able to stay the entire time without getting homesick.

 

The following week, I attended FFA Camp where I took a leap of faith and decided to deliver reflections one night in front of the entire camp… without note cards. I thought it sounded fun when the directors talked about it, but when the time came to stand up in front of the entire camp and give reflections, I was ready to throw in the towel. Afterward, I knew as challenging as this experience was, it was far more rewarding in the end.

 

The growth zone is a scary and uncomfortable place to be. There will be plenty of times when you would rather stay in your comfort zone, but the real reward comes when you step outside of the comfort zone and grow into someone you never dreamed you’d become.

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