To The 4-Her In their Last Year

To The 4-Her In their Last Year

Take it all in.

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It's hard to believe you've made it here, right? Seems like just yesterday you were still a Cloverbud trying to learn the pledge. Now summer is right around the corner, the heart of most members' 4-H year. So, last year member, this is to you.

Take it all in.

Blake Fox

As best as you can, take in every memory. Let your parents and advisers take those pictures. Stick around after your meeting laughing those extra few minutes. Stay up late telling stories in your cabin at camp, just don't let the director catch you. Say yes to one more hand of cards in the barn. Look around at the sights around you before the last time you walk in the ring. You'll want to remember every detail.

Take every opportunity.

Blake Fox

Don't skip out on your club meetings. Say yes to the fundraiser. Sign up for that project. Make room for summer camp. Apply for that award. Accept an officer position. Run for county fair queen. Sign up for showmanship. Go on that trip. If you don't, you'll wish you had.

Say thank you.

Blake Fox

Thank your parents; you couldn't have done it all without them. Thank your advisers; they helped mold you into the young adult you are now. Thank your family for their constant encouragement. Thank your buyers for supporting the program and your future. Thank your non-4-H friends for understanding your hectic schedule. Thank your 4-H friends for the helping hands, loving hearts and for being the ones who helped make your experience what it was.

Make the best better.

Blake Fox

Tim McGraw says it best: "Help the next one in line, always stay humble and kind." Just like you were once a new member who seemed a little lost or scared, help the next generation. There will always be little eyes on you wanting to be just like you one day. Be the good role model the members above you once were for you. Nothing's cooler than seeing their small victories and knowing you played a helping hand.

To the last year 4-Her, while it may be bittersweet, remember to smile. It was all worth it.

Cover Image Credit:

Blake Fox

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28 Signs You Were In Marching Band

They can take the instrument out of your hands, but they can’t take the music out of your heart.
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Forever haunted by the sounds of metronomes, drum majors yelling, out-of-tune flutes, big-headed sax and trumpet players, loud percussionists, and the "one more time"s, marching band is something that truly changes you, and the memories and lessons learned stick with you for life.

1. You're really good with routines. All that waking up early and staying up late has been good for you.

2. You feel a weird emotional connection to any marching band you see.

3. When you return to your hometown football games, you are dragged into helping the band move equipment.

4. Every time you see your old marching band, you are judging everything. EVERYTHING.

5. You have really good time management skills. Not everyone can balance school work, rehearsals, practicing, family, friends, future plans, anxiety and other activities.

6. You can immediately recognize any old tune that you've played.

7. You have immediate connections to people that used to be in band.

8. You judge people by what instruments they used to play.

9. You have a love for music that is unlike any other that anyone who wasn't in band doesn't really understand.

10. You know the reason that you're a good kisser is from years of practicing your embouchure and breathing exercises.

11. You are actually fond of bus rides after years of changing, sleeping, singing, and practicing on buses.

12. When listening to music, sometimes you have to resist the strong urge to start conducting.

13. You own a lot of tall black/white solid socks.

14. You find yourself walking in step and in lines with strangers without trying to.

15. You also find yourself giving and responding to loud short commands.

16. You can't stand when people don't clap on beat. (It's really not that hard, people.)

17. Saliva doesn't actually bother you anymore thanks to years of trombones slinging it at you.

18. You're pretty good at dumbing things down (teaching freshmen how to march wasn't easy).

19. The "this one time at band camp" joke has never been funny, especially since that is actually how some of your best stories start.

20. Tan lines don't bother you anymore, because you've had much, much worse.

21. You hear a pop song on the radio and start judging whether or not it would make a good stand tune.

22. You like to think that you are pretty fluent in Italian thanks to all the musical terms you've learned.

23. You are forever haunted with the loud clicks of a never-ending metronome. (I'm looking at you, Dr. Beat.)

24. "Hey Baby" will always be the greatest love song of all time. (Ooh ahh.)

25. The words "dot," "box," "block," "pit," and "one more time" have totally new meanings.

26. You know how to take criticism and make yourself better, because band directors are not fluent in compliments.

27. You are (sadly) used to being under-appreciated.

28. Most of all, you understand that, despite everything, the show must go on. Marching band has giving you the determination, strength and courage to continue no matter what, which is a quality that you will use for the rest of your life.

Cover Image Credit: Andrew Constans/www.bluecoats.com/

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5 Places In Madison, WI For The 'Outdoorsy Type'

If you love spending time outside, this one is for you!

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I have always been an avid fan of the outdoors. From camping, to hiking, to canoeing, I love it all! In an effort to get to know my new home of Madison, WI a little bit better I decided to compile a list of some great places to check out around the city if you're one who enjoys time outside. I asked several of my floormates, friends, and classmates what some of their favorite outdoor destinations around Madison are. I combined these answers with a few of my personal favorites and came up with what I think are 5 of the top outdoor spots to check out in Madison.

1.Picnic Point

On the far reaches of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve lie Picnic Point. UW students and community members alike flock to Picnic Point year round to enjoy an escape from bustling city life and a breath of fresh air.

2. Allen Centennial Garden

Located in the Lakeshore neighborhood of the UW campus, the Allen Centennial Garden is a beautiful spot to enjoy expertly crafted floral arrangements. The garden is open from 8AM-8PM Monday-Friday and is available to the public!

3. The Lakeshore Path

Running from the Memorial Union terrace all the way through the Eagle Heights neighborhood, the Lakeshore Path is an easy, and visually stunning way to get across campus. A walk, jog or bike along the path down the shores of Lake Mendota is guaranteed to put you in a great mood.

4. Lake Wingra

Lake Wingra is a bit further away from the UW campus than the other places that I've listed, but well worth the journey. It's beautiful shores provide a calming place to unwind and explore.

5. The Memorial Union Terrace

I would be remiss not to mention the famed Memorial Union Terrace. A shining landmark of Madison, the terrace is the perfect place to relax with friends and provides a beautiful view within the midst of the city.

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