Monday, May 18, 2020

We Are Never Alone

It has been two weeks since our team has moved back to the FFA Center. We have been in full State Convention mode finishing up scripts, developing retiring addresses, and getting videos in place.  And through it all, our team has made it a goal to make sure that we also dedicate some time to enjoy our last few weeks in Trafalgar.
When we moved back, I made it my personal goal to walk to the Vesper Bowl every day. So far, no matter the temperature or weather, I have kept up with that goal.  However, it really was not until the other day that I realized why I made that goal.  I was walking to the Vesper Bowl with my teammate Dillon, and when we arrived, he looked at me and asked, “Why is coming down here so important to you?”  In the moment I honestly did not have a concrete answer, but I thought about that questions for the next few days, and then it finally came to me.  

A tree in a forest

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Six years ago, I came to my first FFA Conference.  That conference was Summer Challenge, which was a week-long in July that was open to members of all ages.  I was just getting out of my seventh-grade year and I really did not know anybody outside of my school, so that week seemed like eternity thanks to my nerves.  Throughout most of the week I felt like nobody wanted me at the conference; I felt alone.  By the second to last day, I was ready to go home.  I even went into Mrs. Ariens’s office to call my mom to come pick me up. 
Luckily, my mom’s verdict was for me to stay.  We had our reflections in the Vesper Bowl that night, and when the reflections themselves came to a close, I sat in the corner by myself and tried to hold in the tears until everyone left.  However, the fear and anxiety that had made me want to leave was a little too overwhelming.  And to my surprise, I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I looked up to see that it was one of the State Officers, Lindsey O’Hara.  She sat down with me and talked about everything that was going on.  I soon came to realize that people did want me there and that it is impossible to be alone at the FFA Center.  The only reason I felt that way is because I never reached out to anyone.

A tree in a forest

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That is the reason that I made it my goal to walk to the Vesper Bowl every day.  During this pandemic, there have been times that I have felt alone.  With all of these changes happening from graduations, to conventions, contests, church services, and literally every aspect of our lives, I have felt overwhelmed.  However, my many trips to the Vesper Bowl and having the chance to be back with my teammates have reminded me that we are never alone; we just need to take the hands that are reaching out for us.  We are all going through this together.  Do not be afraid to ask for help, let someone be there for you.  In times like these, where we are all going through this together, we are only truly alone if we do not ask for help.

Always here,
Noah Berning

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