Monday, April 9, 2018

The End... Or the Beginning?

The twinkle of a lightbulb as it dies out.
A high school graduate walking across the stage, accepting her diploma.
Sitting on the beach in Florida for one last time, soaking in the rays.
Feeling a tear form in your eye as you watch your dog take its last breath.
Watching the last second tick away from the football game.
An FFA member unzipping their jacket for the final time.
All of these signify an end, something that might change forever, or just a brief moment. I’m sure we can all think of a time in our lives where we had to leave something we loved. For me, I will never forget moving schools in 8th grade. I was so scared to leave everything I knew to pursue agricultural education classes and participation in FFA at a new school. All of my friends, teachers, classrooms, and everything I knew was gone. These are familiar feelings to many students who move schools: uncertainty and fear for the future.
The change was very difficult at first. I found a couple friends to show me around and teach me about the school, but I was still resistant. I couldn’t help but be stuck in the past remembering what my friends were like and all the fun we had. Luckily, a few weeks in I met someone who would stick with me throughout my high school experience and teach me the ropes of Howard Lake Waverly Winsted. At my new school, I have met some of my best friends, been taught by teachers who helped me decide my true passions, and participated in activities that have helped me build character. I consider the community and school my home.
None of that would have been possible if I would have continued to stay stuck instead of switching schools. We always have the opportunity to look at each ending as a beginning, and that’s what kept me from truly embracing the move. Did I grow while at my first school? Of course I did. From preschool all the way to 7th grade, I was always learning and growing. However, without that change, I wouldn’t have been able to experience an agriculture program and FFA chapter to discover my true passions. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.
Everything is happening in our lives for a reason, exactly when it needs to happen. I came across a quote that I think accurately puts into words how we can all transition from an ending. It says:
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
For some of us this ending might be as simple as that lightbulb dying out that has to be replaced. Or, for many of us, the end we see will be when our time in FFA concludes. That beginning moment of putting on your FFA jacket or attending an event unsure of what might happen led you to memories upon memories. Taking off that jacket may seem so hard now, but being a supporter of the organization has its rewards and memories as well. We might be saying goodbye to being an active high school member, but the skills we have learned along the way will help make us successful in the future. We can succeed and start that new beginning because those that support us decided to invest in our futures.
The time of the year is coming where graduations, spring conventions, and many more endings are coming. How are you going to do to use what you have learned in your growing experience to plunge forward in a positive light to a new beginning? You can leave that light bulb burnt out and wait around for someone to change it, OR you can replace it with something brighter and cherish the change that has occurred. You decide what’s possible.

Stationed by the Door,

Maddie Weninger

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