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 Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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It's The Most Wonderful Time For  College Students

Let's get this bread.

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It's a new semester, and time to get it together. Especially if you had an okay or horrible semester for fall, whether something personal or grade-wise, it's a new start, with new classes and professors and a clean slate. So, as the people say, let's get this bread.

Spring semester, easily a little better than fall semester because we are all one step closer to summer break and some are one step closer to graduating and being released into the real world. *Que tears for all our senior friends leaving us* But probably for most, if not all, spring semester is what we need.

After a crazy fall semester, I know I needed a fresh start especially since some of my classes made me want to break down in tears every day during the fall (at my math class). With the start of a new semester and no math class for me to spend a lot of my attention on, I am hoping for a less stressful semester where I can focus evenly on each class without stressing myself out too much.

Math is one of those subjects where I have to put tons of focus and energy on it but I felt as if I have never struggled as much as I did last semester. Honestly, yes, I believe that in a lot of cases how you perform in a class is due to how you handle it individually, but in some cases, it can also be how the professor teaches it. And boy, did my math professor teaching style clash with how I learn.

BUT, with math now behind me, hopefully, spring semester will sort of just be a little bit of a breather and I can enjoy it more than I did in the fall. And I know I am not the only college student who has a struggle like I did, it's part of life and all we can do is our best.

Spring semester can be a new, clean slate for all us.

One thing I love about starting a new semester is how I can take the bad habits I had last semester, and improve them over the course of spring. I always try to improve my learning and study habits from previous semesters to continue helping me grow.

Spring is all about new and fresh beginnings, and the start of a new semester can give us hope from bad, past semesters. And sometimes what causes a bad semester isn't even our performances in the class. Sometimes, life comes at you and knocks you off your feet. Sometimes, it's more personal rather than class.

What happens on in our personal lives outside of college definitely can take a toll on our overall health. I know students who have lost family members, or just had a difficult time readjusting back to college life, or just were in a funk struggle to land on their feet throughout the semester, and I get that. I have my bad days too.

With a new semester on the horizon, we can all take a breather and work towards a less stressful and more wonderful spring semester to enjoy.

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