Kansas FFA Blog

In with the New

“Oh I already moved all your stuff out because I was planning on having a sleepover soon,” said my sister as she lead me through our house. It had only been a week since my last visit home from college, but as I opened the door to my room, I found things to be a little different than last time. Okay actually, a LOT different.

The walls were now painted grey. My sister’s bed, desk, and bookshelf replaced where my furniture once stood. I peered into the closet only to find her clothes, her bags, and her shoes in every single storage rack. The old hardwood floors and the popcorn ceiling were only two things that remained the same about that room. Everything else had changed. It was as if I had never lived there. And while this new layout was initially different, I couldn’t be happier!

Over the last 2 months, I’ve experienced my fair share of “newness”. Everywhere I look, new experiences surround me. Let’s throw it back to the beginning of the newness. The week before the start of school was finally upon me, and I still hadn’t purchase anything for my new room in college. After scavenging the local Bed Bath & Beyond and Target for hours, I finally went home with a new bed spread, shower caddy, notebooks, and storage bins (among other items). The shopping process was overwhelming and expensive, but necessary for preparation.

A few days later, I packed up all my bags and moved into the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. To my surprise, I spent the next 24 hours signing at the top of my lungs practicing for the highlight of recruitment week: Serenades. Every year, fraternities in Manhattan practice songs and dances, called Serenades, to preform to each of the 16 sororities on campus. We practiced non stop with jazz hands, leg kicks, and crazy dance moves to old and new songs like “Party for Two” by (our Queen) Shania, Dancing Queen by Abba!, and Raining Men by the Weather Girls. I sang and danced all afternoon with my soon to be Brothers. While we were all sore and voiceless on Sunday morning, the Serenade experience built up our excitement for the new school year.

That excitement was helpful on the first day of school as I trotted through the rain. Thankfully I made it to each of my classes without getting lost! But I was even more grateful to be surrounded by new friends in all my classes. As I went on about my day, I realized new teachers could make this year all the more interesting. Whether it was my Econ teacher proudly showing off his toe shoes or my Chem teacher wearing a shirt that read “coffee straight up,” I knew at that moment I was ready to embrace this new school year.

In life, we are constantly presented with new experiences. These experiences might take hours and end up costing too much, like shopping. Or maybe, like Serenades, they leave us voiceless and sore for days after. Sometimes these new experiences might scare us, like meeting new friends. Sometimes these new experiences will force us out of our comfort zone.  But it is through these experiences that we learn to grow. I’m reminded of a quote from Winston Churchill that goes like this,

While changes might seem foreign at first, they almost always come with progress in some way or another. As someone who appreciates new opportunities, this quote speaks to me. It reminds me that by opening up to new experiences, I can eventually find the personal growth that we’re all looking for.

This new school year presents us with an opportunity to start fresh with a clean slate. This is a new chapter in the best novel we could write: our life novel. Let’s embrace the newness and make the most of these new experiences this year!

Living to Serve,

-Michael Dowd

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