Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Unexpected Outcomes

I was watching the Lions game the other night and at half time I thought for sure the Lions would beat the 49ers and get their ticket to the Super Bowl. However, that thought quickly escaped my mind once the 49ers scored 17 points in the 3rd quarter. That night the Lions unexpectedly lost. Sometimes in life, we experience unexpected outcomes. For the Lions, this outcome was less than ideal. However, on the flipside this unexpected outcome made the 49er's dreams come true. In life, we will have highs and lows accompanied by surprises. It's important to celebrate the positive surprises and reflect on the not-so-positive outcomes.

When it comes to unexpected outcomes the first memory that comes to my mind is being awarded the Albright Gemlick Scholarship through Parkview Hospital. This scholarship is open to 3 students from every school or sports club that uses a Parkview Affiliated Athletic Trainer Program. This amounted to 80+ students competing for 8 scholarships. Upon hearing news that I had been nominated for this scholarship the first thought that came to my mind was that no one from my school had won this award and they were way more qualified then me. 

Nevertheless, I still applied boasting my commitment to athletics with my 12 Varsity Letters and my commitment to academics with my 5 Academic All-State Recognitions. Sometime after turning in my application, I received my invitation to the awards banquet where they would announce the 8 that will receive this scholarship. I sat and listened to video after video of these seniors who broke school records, started charity organizations, and went above and beyond at their school. After naming 7 of the recipients they get to the final award and pause. This award was different; this award was dedicated to a student who had passed away. This student was known for their outstanding character and compassion. As a result it became a tradition to name a recipient who has outstanding character and compassion. That recipient was me. I still don’t know if it was my essay, my letters of recommendation, or simply my list of accomplishments that aided me in winning this award. All I know is that it was an unexpected outcome, one that I celebrated. Remember that surprises will happen more often than you think and that we have to celebrate the good times and reflect on the hard times. 

Conner Keeslar, State Northern Region Vice President

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

New Year, New Mindset

I am sure we have all heard the timeless expression, “New Year, New Me,” which probably led to crafting a New Year’s resolution that you hoped would make the next year of your life the best yet. I’m not usually one to participate in making these resolutions, but that all changed this year. 

If you know me you know I love sarcasm, but sometimes satire can be very negative. That might have been why my mom got me a “365 Days of Positivity” desk calendar for Christmas. At first, I thought this gift was just a joke and my mom being my mom, but I decided to bring that calendar down to the Indiana FFA Leadership Center to sit on my desk. 

This year, I have incorporated a piece of positivity into my daily routine, leading me to create a New Year’s resolution to be a more positive person overall. This new goal is very vague and could look like many things to different people, but for me, it is all about reflection. Every day when I sit at my desk, I tear off a piece of paper, read a quote, and think about how to apply it to my life. Already halfway through the first month of the year, I have found some especially helpful and thought I would share them: 

January 1, 2024: “A positive mindset brings positive things.” - Phillip Reiter

  • What better way to start this new year and journey than this? Honestly, I have always heard iterations of this quote and have brushed it off. Mindset is so important, especially when it comes to trying new things. If you tackle a new challenge or experience with a positive mindset, growth will come out of it, no matter the outcome or result. 

January 3, 2024: “Lead from the heart, not the head” - Princess Diana

  • Leading with compassion from the heart can create a community around you. This is something that I have learned this year. You have to care and value those you are leading to have a positive impact and influence on them.

January 12, 2024: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop

  • Kindness can brighten anyone’s day or put a smile on their face. My mom always tells my brother and I to choose kindness. Of course, my brother and I think it’s just a corny and kooky saying that our mom uses, but the weight her two words have is indescribable and a mindset most people lack. Remember, acts of kindness are always appreciated.

“New Year, New Me” has become a cliche in our culture, but New Year’s resolutions can encourage positive growth and change in our lives. As January winds down, revisit some of the goals you set for yourself this year or craft some new ones because you never know the growth they will allow until you can reflect on the experience. 

Keep Growing, 

Carson Rudd, State Reporter