12 Practical Life Skills I Gained From FFA

12 Practical Life Skills I Gained From FFA

All are very, very useful.

Being an FFA member was hands down one of my favorite things I did from high school into the start of my college career. Now as someone who at least attempts to be a professional, successfully functioning adult, I can see all of the things that I gained from my time in the blue jacket, some of these being skills I use very frequently. Here are just some of the very practical life skills I gained from FFA that still help me as an adult.

1. How to (hopefully) not trip on a stage

"One foot in front of the other, lift those feet up, make yourself look good, you've got this." At least you tell yourself that, unless your Sydney Snider, then technically you trip BEFORE the stage at least.

2. How to get dressed in a vehicle

And look dang good when you're done too. Look out world, here comes the blue jacket!

3. How to match shades of black

Because nothing is just black and you really hope your pants/skirt match your shoes, socks and pantyhose. Now there's off-black, jet black, true black, raven black, dark black...

4. How to tie a(n almost) perfect tie

Everyone in the chapter tried to learn and had their designated tie tying professional for any official dress occasion.

5. How to get multiple people in and out of a restaurant fast

"Y'all, we've got fifteen minutes for EVERYONE to order and be back on the bus. We will NOT be late."

6. How to remove/hide stains on a white shirt

May or not be tied closely to the point above but it's fine. Anyone got a Tide stick? No, okay move your tie a little to the left.

7. How to stockpile on pantyhose and black socks

Because they always either went missing or got a hole in them, which also then taught you...

8. All the tips and tricks to make pantyhose last

Spray them with hairspray right after you put your skirt on, it helps avoid runs. But if they happen, clear nail polish near the ends of it can prevent total disaster.

9. How to function on next to no sleep

10. How to pack for a trip (maybe last minute idk)

Yes, I've known we left for camp tomorrow the last two months but it's fine okay relax I'll pack in the morning.

11. How to (attempt to) read directions

I'm pretty sure we're supposed to take the next exit to the right! Oh, crud, we're going South...we need to go North...it's fine, scenic route!

12. How to navigate crowds quickly

Okay, we're supposed to be lined up on the other side of the convention center in...five minutes. Cool, let's go!

13. How to make the best out of every moment

The saddest part of being an FFA member is knowing your time doesn't last forever. So that's why you try out for that officer team, go for that contest, stay up just a little bit later laughing with your friends. And the memories made and the lessons learned along the way make every moment so worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.


Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.


A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.


So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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