Man! I am exhausted, and I don’t think I can walk another step. Blisters line the bottom of my feet from walking hall after hall of the Indianapolis Convention Center, and up and down the stairs of Lucas Oil Stadium. My voice is scratchy from cheering on all of Missouri’s winners and there is a crick in my neck from sleeping on a flat, feather pillow for six nights in a row. Some of my professors are continuing to remind me to turn in my homework, and I still have a few exams to make up. However, I can tell you one thing for sure; my cup is full, and I feel like I could take on the world.
For many of us, this story may be painting a very familiar picture, and I’m sure you’ve already pinpointed it – coming home from National FFA Convention. Alongside several of you, I was able to sit in on delegate work and workshops, mingle with members from Missouri and all over the nation. We listened to some phenomenal speakers and National Officers give their keynote addresses. Each of these speakers left us with a challenge, every workshop gave us new tools, and all the members we met left us with a new story and perspective. But what now? How will we implement what we learned?
Let’s start with something small. First, we must reflect on our time spent at convention, all the information we absorbed, and the words we heard. Next, let’s make a list of things we can improve on and the flaws we see. With that list, we can sort the ideas we have for self-improvement and the ideas we want to implement in our homes and communities. We can continue with these ideas to create goals, reach out asking for help, and most importantly acting. While our improvement strategies might seem daunting and scary, don’t forget to be patient and extend grace to yourself and others around you.
Leaving convention can be bittersweet, but the feeling of wanting to change the world is one of a kind. However, what will you do with the knowledge you’ve gained and the stories you’ve heard? Will we reminisce on the memories hoping it will come again, or take initiative with what we’ve learned and strive to better ourselves and the community around us?
Friends, the choice is yours. What will you do next?