When Missouri State launched their new campaign, Find Your Place, Follow Your Passion, my first thought was “What does that even mean? Shouldn’t it say, follow your passion and find your place?” It wasn’t until the second semester of my senior year that the slogan finally became clear. Before I tell you about my place and my passion, I must first tell you about how I got there. I will split them up into two blogs, first being how I found my place and the second on how I am following my passion.
Eight years ago I was going in to freshman year of high school. Eight years ago I found myself going to the local Relay For Life event because I knew that a boy I liked was going to be there. And eight years ago I was starting to learn who I am today, even though I had no idea. I did not know what this Relay For Life event was about, but, I did know that my middle school crush would be there. I also knew that is was a big enough event that my mom would let me stay the whole time, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. When I arrived, I was shocked at how many people were there, I knew it was a big deal but I had no idea it was this big. I also did not know that I would be walking all night, I soon found out that flip flops and jeans were not a good idea. It wasn’t long after I arrived, that I realized I was not the only girl my crush had invited to the event, even though I didn’t want to admit it, that was probably best, because, it allowed me to spend the night studding the event. I found myself watching everything, not just the activities and ceremonies that they doing but the way the “committee” was working together and working with the event goers. I wasn’t long till I thought “I need to be a part of this”, I saw the way the people were responding with such passion for the event. The following year I decided to join the schools FFA Relay For Life Team.
This year’s team had a little bit of different focus then years past. In April before the now June, a girl in the class above me had suddenly passed away after what was supposed to be a successful cancer removal surgery. With my class being 20 students and my high school having less than 100, this hit way to close to home. This year’s event was not just about raising money for great cause, it was remembering a friend who was taken too soon. That was the first year I had ever known someone who had cancer, and didn’t survive.
It was at that Relay I met my high school sweet heart. We continued to date and Relay together for 3 more years, it was kind of our thing. After breaking up at the end of my senior year, my best friend said “hey let’s go to the Relay For Life”. We were not on the team because we were moving up to Springfield for college, and as I mentioned before Relay was something me and my ex would do together. I was not really looking forward to going. Afterwards I am sure glade we went, it allowed me to get over the fact that the event was something that I and my ex used to do together.
The next spring I signed up to be on the Alpha Chi Omega sorority Relay For Life team, I was so excited, I had no idea that they had Relays at the collegiate level. Half way through the night they made an announcement. The announcement told everyone that they would be accepting applications for the next years planning committee. I’m not sure why God lead me to go sign up with all the other crazy thing I had going on in my life, but I am glad he did! Three short years later brings me to today. Participant to committee member, committee member to co-chair, and co-chair to the current Colleges Against Cancer President. My journey has not been an easy one, dealing with school, life and other responsibilities but I have never felt more “in place” then when I am working on Relay and working with others who love Relay. Relay For Life believe in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself. This is how I found my place, I challenge you this week to figure out how you found yours. Next week I will blog about how I am now following my passion.