I will be honest and say that in each of these young women I see these wonderful qualities: hope, humor, joy, determination, perseverance, beauty, intelligence, heart, beautiful smiles and amazing hair! (I am a girl, after all! Just look at their hair!)
When I think about the school year, I know so many of the great moments I have witnessed have been because of these young women.
They took the time to be leaders for their BJJTV Staff and their school. They shared in that responsibility and didn't wait for some magic title to be bestowed upon them. It didn't matter if they had been on staff three years or one, they all stepped up and took on responsibility for leading this staff to great heights. When one of them had an off day or week, another would step in and help pick up the slack. That kind of teamwork is something I dream of.
They found ways to tell stories that mattered to our school and community, too. Some of their work has gone "viral" and for good reasons, not for lackluster ones. They produced stories with heart, with gumption, and with the best interests of all the stakeholders in mind. I couldn't be more proud of the body of work created this year, and this year isn't even totally over yet!
As their time in BJJTV comes to an end, I have four thoughts I want to share with them, and any student who is about to embark into the "real world."
#1. Too many of our nation's youth are leaving HS and entering college with a lot of "brain power." Sadly, though, we have not equipped them with "work power." I am fairly confident that by being in a program like BJJTV, these ladies now know how to work and work hard to accomplish a goal. They know how to overcome obstacles and not give up. My TOP TIP for life success in college and in the work place is to WORK and get tasks done to the best of your ability in an acceptable timeframe. Bosses don't want excuses, they wants results.
#2. The biggest regret I have from college was not taking the opportunity that was handed to me before my senior year to study for a few months in London. What was I thinking? Oh, yeah...I was thinking about the cost and how it could throw off my graduation date by a few months and a guy I was seeing. Stupid! I still kick myself for that. Do not turn down amazing opportunities for crazy reasons.
#3. Get out of your bubble and network with new people. As you leave WHS, you can actually make new friends. You can live in a dorm or apartment with people you've just met. You can actually put down that phone and network socially face-to-face with new people. Do it. It'll help you grow and change in so many ways.
#4. Travel. Travel. Travel. Travel. I can't say it enough. You may say you don't have the time or money, that's a lie. You can start a fund now. I started young by stashing away cash I "would have" spent on expensive clothing or a fancy meal out in an envelope in my freezer. Now, I do something crazy and have a travel savings account and find ways to go on the cheap, like flyer miles via Southwest Visa Rewards. I have had friends ask me strange questions like, "Why are you going to New Mexico over Christmas with your mom?" My response, "I haven't been there yet." Every town, every state, and every country you visit will teach you more than I can possibly teach you. Just put down that phone and absorb your surroundings. It'll show you that there's not one "right" way to live, but many ways. Oh, and try the food, too. It's a fun experience to learn that Frito Pie in Santa Fe is amazing, but grits in Bowling Green aren't up your alley.
So, ladies, as you tackle the last quarter of your WHS experience, I hope you'll take some of my thoughts to heart. Also, know that I thank you all so much for an amazing year.