Submitted by Rebekka Jay, VP of Membership
Conferences and events have looked very different this year. Some being virtual, some not happening all together, and some being a mix of in person, pre-recorded, and live virtually. Although none of these are ideal situations, we’ve still been able to make the most of our opportunities and learn how to adapt. I think I can speak for almost all of us when I say that we have gotten much better at using various forms of technology, and never thought we would have to know this much in order to continue living our lives to the closest to normal as possible. I think I can also say that this year has not been easy and many of us have wished we could go back to the ‘old normal.’
I don’t blame any of you if you’ve felt this way, I have too. Two of my main reasons for joining FCCLA way back in 7th grade was to meet new people and be able to travel. I had heard stories about going to national conferences in different states and members meeting people from all across the United States and finding some of their best friends in these people, and I wanted that too. This year has not made either of these easy. Even so, I have still been able to do one of these things, find my best friends in my State Officer team. From officers I was on the State Peer Officer Teams with to brand new officers, we clicked almost immediately, and I have leaned on them so heavily this year, I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of them. I could not be more grateful for my team, and I would do this year ten times over again if it meant being able to be on a team with them.
Even with all of this craziness, I feel there are still great things to look forward to, and things you can do yourself to help make this year the best it can be and end on a high note. For starters, our motto is ‘Toward New Horizons’, meaning we are looking forward to brighter days. While today may not be absolutely amazing, we still have so many wonderful days to look forward to, and we need to be living every day like it’s a good day, we shouldn’t be wasting all the days in between the big and exciting events. I feel I catch myself doing this a lot, just counting days and wasting time when I don’t have anything big going on, I’m always looking for the next big thing. And while it’s good to be exciting and looking forward to things, it’s always good to be thankful for all the days in between. Secondly, state and national conferences are virtual this year, with a few exceptions for national conference. These are both exciting times for traveling and meeting new people, and neither of those can happen too easily with our current circumstances. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t make either of these fun. Watch parties with your chapter are great, you can get together hopefully, make some great food, and interact with FCCLA as much as possible. Another idea is to participate in spirit days we have or competitions and get recognized on social media. We love to promote you and your chapter.
State and National FCCLA are working so hard to create plans for our members to be involved and have fun with these virtual events, and we love to hear from you on what we could do. Let me know of any ideas you have at firstname.lastname@example.org.