Lessons Learned At The County Fair

Lessons Learned At The County Fair

Because it'll always be much more than blue ribbons and fried food.

How to win graciously and live humbly.

You win some, you lose some, it's how you act when you do that shows your character. Whether you showed livestock or took still projects you learned how to do both.

Always have extra clothes.

You can keep them in your car, the camper or the show box, just make sure you have them. I promise, you'll need them eventually.

How to fair walk.

You know that quick and determined way you strut around the grounds before a show or the sale? That's the fair walk and normal bystanders just don't do it. They mosey along slowly and without purpose, which will drive you crazy.

You can sleep anywhere if you just believe.

On a hay bale, in a lawn chair, on top of the cooler outside of the barn or camper, if you fit, you can sleep.

Your parents actually might know a thing or two.

Remember all those times Dad told you to always make sure to keep a curry comb in your pocket on show day? Yeah, you'll only forget it once before you realize he was right.

How to market yourself and make connections.

Last names mean a lot at the county fair and in the world of livestock auctions. Make the right connections for yourself and you may find yourself in 10th place selling for nearly as high as the top three.

Procrastination is bad but manageable.

Raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by your project books the night before they're due. It's a pain in the butt, but we still procrastinate every year even though we say we won't. But it is pretty cool when you take first or second after a long cram session.

How to play at least two different card games.

It's a universal thing. When fair comes around, you play cards. Euchre, rummy or ERS, you play cards. In the barn, in the camper or on the community picnic table, you play cards.


As a livestock exhibitor your animal was yours to feed, water, groom and keep taken well care of. This doesn't stop just because it's fair time. While there may have been things that seemed more fun to do your animals always came first.

PJ pants and boots are always in style.

Especially before the suns even shone and you're mucking stalls or feeding show stock.

It's the absolute best time of year.

It's busy, it's stressful and it always go by way too fast. There's no time of year better than that of the county fair.

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.


As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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5 Things To Keep In Mind When You Finally Move Out Of Your Parent's House

Asking questions you never thought to ask, buying things you never imagined you would need, and trekking to places you have never ventured. But hey, that's where the fun begins, right?


Finally getting the opportunity to move out on your own is incredibly freeing and is a pivotal part of your "growing up " stage. But it isn't what I would call "easy," exactly. Moving takes a lot of time, patience and money, and can definitely wear on your sanity at times. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you're prepping to finally move out of your parent's house and on to your own adventure!

1. Moving is more expensive than you think.

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Yes, there will be the first and last month's rent, and utilities, of course. But there will also be the costs to ship your belongings to wherever it is you're moving to or the cost to drive it all there. There will be costs for signing the lease, the contract, and a processing fee. There will be the cost of the living room furniture you've never had to even look at price tags for, and dining room furniture, and bedroom furniture. Plus brokers/renter's fees and insurance. There will be the cost of internet and cable and switching all of the bills into your name. Most importantly, decor for the bedroom, living rooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and other common areas. Believe me, these costs add up pretty quickly, and it is not very fun.

2. Ask ANY and ALL questions that come to mind.

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Just a week ago, which would be three weeks before my move, I find out that our building doesn't have air conditioning. Now, being from South Florida, that was obviously not a question I would have ever thought to ask—It only came up when my future roommate posted a snap chat about how hot the room was getting with the summer heat in full swing. I am also responsible for a security deposit repayment that was never discussed in the listing for the room, nor outlined in my fees when I talked to the person I'm renting from. Huge surprise (and not the good kind). Whether you have a question about how the streets are cleared in a snowstorm, or about the commute at prime traffic times, or even what coffee places are nearby, ask away. There's no such thing as too much information when it comes to this kind of thing!

3. Don't pick the first place you see.

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As aforementioned, the place I will be moving in to, while absolutely amazing, is not perfect. There are some pop-up issues and fees that I never intended to have, and I thought everything would be a breeze with the apartment choice that I made. No place is perfect—that I understand; however, there may have been a better option for me. Financially, aesthetically, and commute-wise. But I picked the first place I saw because I was worried about it being snatched away from me. What I learned is that if it meant to be, it will be. So trust that you'll find a place that works almost-perfectly for you, and it may not be the first one. Look around, compare the TOTAL costs, weigh the pros and cons, and don't be afraid to say no if it doesn't fully work for you!

4. You probably shouldn't (and feasibly can't) take EVERYTHING you own with you.

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I own a lot of stuff. A lot of room decor, clothing, and shoes. So many pairs of shoes. And shipping everything I own would never work. It would cost me hundreds of dollars to ship boxes and even more to add checked-bags to my flight, and I (and my parents) would be broke. So, you do not need 20 pairs of shoes. You do not need to bring all 15 pairs of jeans that you own. And you can buy more room decor when you get there—maybe you'll even find inspiration for a whole new theme! Not to mention, getting rid of some of your clothes and belonging can be so helpful in shedding your past and getting ready for your future. And you can donate whatever you don't want to keep and help other, while also making yourself feel good! It's a win-win, and maybe you'll get to shop a little bit when you get there to fill those tiny gaps in your wardrobe...

5. Saying goodbye is definitely hard, but it is absolutely necessary.

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Yes, leaving the comforts of your grocery shopping being done, your rent paid, and a loving family is hard. You will miss your everyday routine and your friends and family. You will miss your pets and your old bedroom. But leaving fear behind and moving on to what could be the greatest adventure of your life is absolutely imperative. When you venture out on your own, you will make ti through hardships of your own and learn so many valuable lessons. You'll meet new people and make important relationships, both personal and professional, that will better your life. And you will become the adult version of yourself. I promise it will be worth it in the end.

Moving out is hard. Growing up is hard. But it is important, and we all need to do it at some point. Please remember to ask questions, pack efficiently, and have fun.

Until next week friends!

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