A Thank You Letter To 4-H

A Thank You Letter To 4-H

And the green clover that made me.
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Head, heart, hands, health. These four H's played a huge role in my life growing up. If you're not familiar with them, they're the four H's that make up 4-H, one of the largest youth organizations in the country. I was blessed enough to spend twelve years as a 4-H member and my time with the green clover had a huge impact on my life. After all these years I believe a thank you is in order to the organization that made me.

Thank you for the memories.

The more I look back, the more I realize so many of my fondest memories growing up revolve around 4-H. Instead of "This one time at band camp" for me and many of my closest friends it's "This one time at 4-H camp". Whether it be at camp, the county fair, leadership conferences or anything in between, my 4-H memories are some I'll never forget.

Thank you for helping me learn to be responsible.

One of the biggest lessons I learned in 4-H was how to be responsible. I had livestock that needed to be taken care of, work that I volunteered to do and I was an officer in several clubs. My animals relied on me for food, water, and other basic care. My club relied on me to help lead or guide them, to keep track of minutes and to budget as well as many other things. It made me mature and grow up but I never even realized it til I was done.

Thank you for teaching me time management.

"I can't, I have 4-H," was a common phrase heard out of my mouth whenever people asked me to do things, especially during high school as I became more and more involved. I had to learn to balance out school, meetings, projects, homework, county fairs, camps, sports, various trips, family, and what often felt like so much more. I had to make sacrifices to be able to do everything I wanted, and sometimes that meant turning down that movie invitation or basketball game, but it was always worth it.

Thank you for giving me positive role models.

Everyone needs a role model and many of mine have also sported the green and white. As a kid, my role models were my club officers and my camp counselors who seemed so cool. As I started becoming more involved with the older youth programs I looked up to the older members and advisors. Even, today, when I'm asked who my biggest role models are I always respond with Hannah, my county extension agent turned state specialist. She and the other people I've looked up to have had a huge part in me becoming the person I am now.

Thank you for letting me become the role model.

One of my favorite parts of 4-H was working with little kids and younger members. I'll never forget the first time I helped a new member with her sewing project and her mother said, "She really looks up to you." I always wanted to be a positive impact on others lives and 4-H gave me the opportunity to do so.

Thank you for giving me a second family.

I say, family, not just friends because they truly became family. Words can't describe my love for the people I worked so closely with. My 4-H family was always there with open arms, helping hands, loving hearts and in true 4-H fashion, plenty of food. My friends that I made during my years as a member have become some of my very closest and I know I'll have these people for the rest of my life.

Thank you for making me into the person I am today.

I simply wouldn't be the person I am today without my time as a 4-Her.

I owe a lot to the green clover. It's given me countless friends, memories and life lessons. Tonight I'll thank God twice for all of the many things that He and 4-H have given me.

Cover Image Credit: Blake Fox

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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5 Tips For Incoming College Freshman

Remember when everyone told you that high school was going to be the best four years of your life.. and then it wasn't? Well now for some of you, comes the BEST and WORST four years of your life. Here's a little bit you need to know in order to be prepared for the eventful year to come.

Scleigh1
Scleigh1
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Yes, believe it or not your parents, friends, and teachers were right. College is SO much different than high school in so many different ways. Luckily, I just survived my freshman year so I was in your place literally a year ago today. Everyone tells you how different college is from high school but they don't tell you how and that's what I'm here for! Lets just start with the 1st difference....

1. A whole new world

You will feel like your in a new world because in a way you are. You will suddenly be surrounded by so many groups of people, new cultures, different lifestyles, different languages, everything is so NEW. Not only are you not going to class with the same people everyday that you have seen in the hall for years but you are going to classes with complete strangers from all over the states and sometimes even the world. You are suddenly going to have to share a room with a stranger or even a best friend which can also lead to some issues. But what is most important to know is that even though you feel alone the first few weeks or even months... trust me so does everyone else, its okay to feel overwhelmed its normal. We all have absolutely no idea what we are doing we are all just pretending like we have somewhat of a plan. I met most of my friends my freshman year through being completely LOST on campus.

2. Making new friends

One thing that you aren't taught how to do in high school or honestly by anyone is how to make friends. I knew most people in my classes throughout high school so when I started college I hardly knew anyone besides my roommate. It definitely took me a while to branch out and start making friends but I had to remind myself to put myself out there and eventually I met some wonderful humans. Remember to always be yourself and you will attract people that WANT to be your friend. It takes time but once again, you are not alone. It will look like people already have their group and stuff but everyone is struggling just as much as you most likely.

3. Responsibilities 

The new responsibilities you will have... get prepared, they will hit you like a truck or at least they did me. You will suddenly be responsible for cleaning your room, doing your laundry, feeding yourself, doing your homework, remembering specific dates, paying bills, honestly the list becomes never ending because you are slowly becoming an adult :(((( I remember a time when I wanted to be an adult, now all i want to do is be in kindergarten taking a nap LOL, Luckily I already was familiar with most of these things as were others im sure but there are also people that haven't had to do some of the things by them selves before which can be overwhelming at times. You will eventually fall into your own personal routine and get your own system going and things will become second nature. Don't be afraid of this, just be prepared in order to have the most stress free incoming year.

4. Academics...

The real reason we are in college in the first place. Yeah, here is where your parents and teachers were right... high school courses and college courses can be either very similar or very different. It honestly depends on what the course is and who your professor is but, for the most part, college courses and professors are much different. Professors do not like to repeat themselves and expect you to remember any important dates they mention. They expect you to write it down, no excuses. In high school you teachers would give you a break but that's not really how college works. Some professors may cut you some slack but most wont. Do NOT waste a professors time and remember that even though you are paying to go to school there, you can get kicked out in a heart beat so don't risk it. Refrain from talking in class, and show up!!! you can miss one thing and the next thing you know you have a 5 page paper due in a few days. Save yourself the stress and just pay attention for the whole 50 minute or hour and a half class you have.

5. Packing 

PACK LIGHTLY!!! I packed so much unnecessary clothes, decorations, etc, that I ended up not needing or never even using. Safe as much space as you can because your dorm room will definitely get cluttered fast and you will accumulate more things throughout the year. So, pack the clothes and decor you NEED. Try your best to not over pack (as hard as it is (; )

6. Homesickness

No one:

Every college student ever: "Ugh I can't wait to go to college I hate living here!"

You know we've all said it but you will most likely get homesick at some point. My house is not far from the College at all and even I still was homesick sometimes. Its one of those things that everyone goes through so remember you are not alone. Luckily, we live in the 21st century too so you can always video chat your fam and send them some love. Its okay to be homesick just try to get more involved and do things you would do if you were at your own house. I always try to bring a few things from home too just to look at and remind myself that I will see my family soon.

Freshman year was difficult for me to adjust to as im sure it was to others, so hopefully you keep these tips in mind this summer as you prepare for your first year of college! I am excited for you all to start this next chapter, welcome to the beginning of adulthood class of 2023!

Scleigh1
Scleigh1

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