Day 88: Future Business Leaders of America

After writing my last post reflecting on the effect of quiz bowl on my life and realizing how far behind I am on my posts, I’ve decided to write a little retrospective on the different activities I participated in throughout high school.

FBLA, or Future Business Leaders of America, is the source of some of my fondest memories of high school and the development of my strongest friendships. I joined the organization as a bushy-tailed, bright-eyed freshman, looking for organizations to join that would make my resume look amazing and get into some super amazing college. That led me to join the organization, where I focused on competition. My freshman year, I competed in a testing event known as Business Math, which was the event of choice for nearly every freshman who was competing. I ended up placing 4th of state, just short of making it to nationals and having the chance to travel across the country to San Antonio, Texas.

My next year, I was driven to do better and make it to nationals. I felt like I had failed with my last performance, and wanted to go to Anaheim. To do so, I competed in 2 events that year, Business Math again and Intro to Technology Concepts. At state, I achieved my goal, placing 3rd in Business Math and 1st in Intro to Tech Concepts, qualifying in both events for national competition. My trip to Anaheim was amazing, and the first time I had traveled without my family, making a grand old time. At the end of the trip, I placed 7th nationally in my event, but wanted to do better and place in the top 3, so I could get some money from the sponsors of the national event.

Junior year was when I decided to branch out. I saw that my friends who had competed in performance events had both placed 2nd and decided to try to follow suit in hopes of achieving my goal. As a result, I chose to do Business Financial Plan, a presentation event, and Computer Applications, a backup testing event. After winning at state and qualifying for a trip to Nashville in both events, I found myself not even making finals for Business Financial Plan, even after hours upon hours of practicing our presentation and refining our plan. I improved my presentation skills, but decided that testing was the way to go.

This year, I competed, I placed 1st in two events at state, and qualified in both. I competed at nationals in the testing event of Computer Applications and got 3rd in my event. However, it didn’t feel the same as it did when I made stage as a sophomore. There wasn’t that same excitement, even though I won the money I wanted. It was depressing how the whole thing had come to an end and how the magic and mystery was gone after being so involved for so many years. I was so proud of my 7th place, but for some reason, I didn’t even get a picture of my trophy.

Maybe it was the fact that my life is moving past these competitions. That 7th place was one of the biggest things I had done, but now I think about how it wouldn’t really have a place on my resume. I enjoyed my Chicago trip for the trip, not the event and the trophy. Everyone else seemed to be so much more excited about their trophies. It’s weird.

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