To Be or Not to Be…Maybe that Isn’t Quite the Question
By Lisa D. Richardson -- Event Registration Specialist, Crew Coach, and Leadership Advisory Board Member
At twelve, I was convinced that at twenty-six I’d be a successful veterinarian on my way to opening my own practice. But life had other plans for me - and if there's one thing my years in Girl Scouts taught me, it was to be open to other ideas and to be flexible in my planning.
It is that combination of intellectual flexibility and openness that allows me now to deviate from the rigid path I had imagined for myself. Instead, I found myself venturing down a new road that fits my personality and talents in a much more unique and exciting way: I decided to enter the field of theatre management.
Given the current job market and a public education system that, for better or worse, has largely been refocused on “essential” subjects only, with music and arts programs dwindling or disappearing altogether, I know students today often feel like they are being forced into choosing from a very narrow range of possibilities. This pressure can indeed be overwhelming and discouraging. I am here to tell you that, as a Girl Scout, you are not only prepared to handle that pressure, but you have opportunities and skills that will help you resist it – that expand your career choices, and that will ultimately get you to where you want to be.
Over the last few years, Girl Scouting has taught me a few important lessons that I’d like to pass on to you:
- It’s okay to change your mind – If you have an interest in something, go for it! Take advantage of your time as a young Girl Scout; take leadership classes or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classes; research other fields that are interesting to you. Use ALL of your resources - you never know where an opportunity might lead.
- No combination is too bizarre – My college major and minor were Animal Science and Astronomy, respectively. I was also a rower and member of the Women’s Chorus. Today, I pull my skills from all of those activities - being well-rounded (a phrase we hear so often!) really is the best way to go.
- Stick with your guts – Even the most determined occasionally begin to question themselves along the way. High school and college, while fun, are kind of crazy places - just use all that you’ve learned in the Girl Scouts to get you through.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – It doesn’t make you weaker; if anything, it makes you stronger! Forming bonds with those you find inspirational will not only increase your knowledge -- it will give you the confidence you need to succeed. The world is rougher than you expect, but not rough enough for you to back down from a challenge!
I am still a Girl Scout (as I have been since age 4!), and I’m so glad that I have something that I love so much supporting me. Remember, you don’t have to stop benefiting from the Girl Scouts just because you’ve graduated from high school. Growing up allows you to give back in your own way to the organization that gave you so much. You can teach classes and even volunteer with a troop. Maintaining a connection to Girl Scouting will help you stay focused and motivated to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. You’re never too old to learn something new; don’t be afraid to try!