As I walked back into the room I had just spoken in minutes before, anxiety started to fill my body. I kept reminding myself, breathe in, breathe out. The same three judges I had just seen were now smiling pleased to announce who would be the two from our room moving on to the final round in State Division II Prepared Public Speaking. As they announced my name as one of the two, I was overwhelmed with joy. Then it sunk in. I have 30 minutes before I have to compete in front of new judges. My advisor said that gave me just enough time to decompress and get some energy food, so off to the gas station we went. As we drove back to the competition, he quizzed me over facts, but in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but worry. I had worked so hard to make it out of the area, district and state preliminary contests. Now, I was bound for the state finals! As I confronted my advisor about my fear, he assured me I had nothing to worry about. I had made it as far as I could possibly go. Now, I just needed to give it my all.
Believe me your experiences in the National FFA Organization are going to be a roller coaster. Ups and downs are everywhere, but these successes and challenges will prepare you for the future. I want to remind you to enjoy these experiences and live in the moment. Yes, worry some — but not too much. If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that after the rollercoaster ride is over you had fun and want to do it again. Keep that statement in mind as you venture through your own FFA experience roller coaster ride.