Effort Counts | Teen Ink

Effort Counts

May 16, 2023
By Ryan2008 BRONZE, 820e.minnesotastcannon Falls, Mn 55009, Minnesota
Ryan2008 BRONZE, 820e.minnesotastcannon Falls, Mn 55009, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Narrative Essay 

Effort Counts 

It was my first day on the crops team and I was only friends with one of the team members. I recognized others but didn’t really know them. I was neither excited nor ready to put in the effort needed to succeed on this team. It felt weird having to wake up early in the morning just to learn of something I wasn’t all too excited about. I knew this was going to be a very long year. 

As we started studying in the first few weeks, I was learning how my days were going to be, getting used to my new schedule. These first days were a little awkward, I would do ID, where I looked at various plants and seeds and tried to identify them. This being my first year, I didn't know what all of the seeds or plants were, and couldn’t identify them, so I underperformed. The next parts of my mornings were spent sitting at a desk, learning, where I would try to take in as much information as possible. These mornings were where I learned everything I know about the crops team. This new schedule frustrated me, and made learning difficult these first few weeks, but I eventually got over it, and focused on just getting to my first big event. 

Almost halfway done with the school year, and all this studying yet there was so much ahead. Like regionals, the part that counts, is the part that's graded. Yet all I was thinking about was my trip to Hawaii the next day. I wasn’t able to focus and that led me into a hole. I was able to do the regional competition early that year which helped a lot. I went in after school and got right to it, working on the three stages of the competition. This being regionals it was a little laid back, with the whole goal being to teach all of the kids in crops what regionals are like and for it to be a learning experience. Despite the fact it was difficult, I fortunately had my coach with me to help. Really all I wanted to do was finish everything and leave, because the next morning I was vacationing to Hawaii. Since the regionals are more laid back, I was able to run past the amount of time I was given, and finally got it done. Looking back on it I thought I should have stayed focused on my contest rather than my vacation. 

State competition went similar to regionals, I didn’t study the night before nor was I focused on what state actually was. It was all a new environment, it worked the same as regionals just on a way bigger scale. After the competition the next day we had the award ceremony, I was nervous they took us backstage and got us ready to go on. We started walking and formed a line across the stage, and were announced as 2nd place. I was happy, we got second in the whole state of Minnesota, but I also saw that my teammates were a little bummed out that we didn’t get 1st. It didn’t end the way they wanted and I wasn’t happy with how I performed. 

The next year, with nationals in my mind and friends on my team, started great. I was scoring well with my memory from the previous year and I was happy. Our coach had given us our studying materials and we were off for a new year. We all knew from the start that we had a really good chance at getting to nationals this year being that we got second last year and the 1st place team couldn’t compete. But studying didn’t come with me that year, and I think the biggest reason was that I lacked self-motivation to study, I knew I needed to focus more on it but lacked the will power to study when I could just stay in bed on my phone. 

We won regionals and no one came close to our score, and I was ready, and also excited for state. But I would remember that in the competition they only take the top 3 scorers in a team, but 4 team members could compete and I was the one with the low score, so really my score didn’t matter, and I didn’t like this feeling. I was also scared for nationals I had, bad studying habits, and feeling bad because I wasn’t putting in a half-decent effort. I carried this not studying all the way to state. 

My final state competition on the crops team. I walked in and felt good, we started early which wasn’t ideal, and they then had us split up having each member being the letter A, B, C, or D. I was the C and went with the C group to my first part of the competition. I had a member of my team in the same group as me, In a way it almost made me more confident, and feel better about the competition. After we got done we met up with the rest of the FFA chapter and waited for everyone else that was still competing to get done. I wished I’d studied more for this competition and regret not doing so. 

Awards, this part took forever. We had been sitting all day and not too happy about it. We got taken backstage, getting ready to be put on the spot. We got in line and started walking on stage. All the finalist teams were on the stage at that point, and then they announced that we got 1st place. To be honest, we were all expecting it, but it was still pretty surreal. Later on, I learned that I finished 34th at state, which really isn’t that great compared to my other teammates who finished in the top 10. I'm still happy that I was able to compete but wished I had contributed more of my time to studying. 

I started this team with bad studying habits and carried them on through the years I’ve been on the team, which I deeply regret. I’ve always realized that this was a problem, but never really did anything about it. I learned that effort counts and me not putting in my full effort affected me and my team, it also left me with lots of regret. For my coming nationals competition which takes place in October, I’m going to put in my full effort, and not just for me, but for my teammates and my coach who I met on my first day on the crops team. 

The author's comments:

Its a speech about myself.

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