Fall has got to be one of my favorite parts of the year. The temperature starts to cool off, deer hunting is just around the corner, and there is football every week. All of these great things, plus many more, come around each and every fall. However, there was something brand new to me this fall: college. It was nerve wracking to go and live on my own without my family or friends I’ve had for most of my life. I’d have to build a new social circle from the ground up.
At first it was hard. I was meeting lots of new people, but I didn’t quite hit it off with anyone and was struggling to find a solid group of friends. I was about ready to accept the fact that I would be friendless for the next four years of my life. Things started to change though about a week and a half into college. I started to get the hang of things friends wise. I figured out who had the same classes as me, where people’s rooms where, and what they were involved in during high school. Slowly a core group of friends was forming, and we all got along really well.
When making those first few friends, a common theme arose. They all were in FFA. Somehow we knew each other or had heard of each other at one point or another. It was something we could all relate to. Also because most of us were very active in the FFA, we had similar work ethics. We wanted to be successful in school which made it easy to study and to have positive peer pressure. Never would I have thought these individuals I had met briefly at State Convention or Ag Policy Bootcamp would now be my new best friends.
Now the moral of this story isn’t to only make friends and talk with FFA people for the rest of your life (even though FFA people are crazy awesome). I just want to stress how important it is to make connections with people, because you never know when or where those connections are going to be useful. While in this instance these connections helped me make friends in a new environment, that’s only one case. I’ve heard plenty of times how someone got their job because they knew someone who worked there or how they met their spouse through a mutual friend.
There’s the common saying of, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While there is a lot of truth in that, Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau President, taught me to take it one step farther by saying, “It’s not what you know or who you know but who knows you.” That last part is key. If a memorable impression isn’t made on the person, then they won’t remember to contact you when that job opportunity opens up or to invite you out for pizza. Whenever there’s the chance to meet someone new and make a lasting connection, take it because who knows when that acquaintance will become your best friend.
Stationed by the Rising Sun,