Editor’s note: This is a report from Student Career Days by L&L intern and Cleveland Community College hort student Daniel Steffancin.
I didn’t win any of my events.
The best result I had at PLANET’s Student Career Days was in Arboriculture Techniques, taking lucky spot 13 with my awesome partner in the event, Anthony Angelotta. High five us, because we are stoked that we accomplished and earned that placement!
In a culture that celebrates number ones, with the number twos on down beating themselves up over it because they didn’t win, why should I be ecstatic over being number thirteen? Hell, let’s look at my being satisfied with placing 53rd in Weed and Turf ID, while we’re at it.
I think I have an ability to recognize and acknowledge the outstanding work and talents of my colleagues and admire it and celebrate it instead of resenting it. I have no direct control over their skills, only my own. I’m still a student, and even though I will have a degree by the end of the year, I’ll still be one, though my class room will change. It will be the workplace, because school can only provide me with so much, and my career will provide for me plenty of opportunity to improve my skills. I don’t know everything and someone please shake me if I ever claim that I do, because without learning new skills, techniques, information, and perspectives, I will have stopped caring at that point.
So, let’s not forget that I placed 17th in Plant Problem Diagnosis. My Tri-C classmate Amanda Bostick placed an awesome 5th! Amanda is the top 5th student from a PLANET accredited program of recognizing and knowing treatment for plant diseases and pests such as Sudden Oak Death and Bag Worms. I think she’s amazing. She was my study partner for this event and I can’t be happier she kicked my behind in it. She is probably responsible for me getting 17th place. She helped me along and drilled me every chance she got. Amanda, if you are reading this, thank you!
So let me now contradict my previous statement and beat myself up a little bit for placing 37th in Woody Ornamental ID. I did second guess myself and change 3 of my correct answers to 3 incorrect ones. What possessed me to do that?
What will I learn from that?
I need to relax and be confident in my gut instinct and take time to have fun and take it all in. Would it hurt to stop and smell the roses, or should I say, star magnolia that I did smell during the competition? And while I am doling out greeting card style advice, would it hurt for those number ones to stop and do the same?