My grandfather, Richard Ward, always told me, “You may not have everything you want, but you have everything you need.” Persevering lies in the things that you already have and need, but it is the wants that get in the way of life. Perseverance occurs throughout different periods in your life, but it helps you grow and develop as a person.
When I was in the 2nd grade, I had to attend summer school because my scores were low in math. This may not have been exactly what I planned for or wanted, but with the encouragement from my family and the resources provided for me, I continued on through school and graduated high school with college Calculus credits that cover my math classes at Purdue University.
When I was 6 years old, my sister showed livestock, and I would go out to the barn with her every day. Most people say they led their siblings' calves to certain places or helped wash their calves; however, you wouldn't see me leading my sisters' heifer or help wash. Right behind my sister's calf, you would see me leading my imaginary calf with a show stick in my left hand and a halter dragging on the ground in my right hand. I never understood why I didn't just help on my sister's real-life calf, but now that I look back on it, I just wanted to set my own goals for myself by watching my sister and applying it to my own imaginary project.
When I was 12 years old, I started my first year of 4-H with a crossbreed steer named Fame. At first, I had trouble keeping a 1,500-pound steer from throwing his head around everywhere, but after a few weeks, I had created my own show ring outside and I took him outside and practiced till trust had been built between the both of us. Perseverance comes in many ways. For this moment, it was practicing and applying myself to be the best I could be at home before going to a show.
Throughout my 10 years of 4-H and going to several national shows, I traveled across the country from Reno, Nevada to Timonium, Maryland showing champions that have not only gone back home and become quality productive cows, but have produced carcass contest winners at state and national levels along with ranking as Certified Angus Beef. Throughout this journey there has been many difficulties that have crossed my path, but they are overcome with perseverance which requires hard work and persistence.
Persevering was taught to me when I was younger, but it also applies in my life to this day. I attend Purdue University majoring in Animal Sciences with a concentration in Meat Products. I strive to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree and continue to work towards my Masters and Ph.D. Everyone says college is fun and free, but my first week of classes was full of many breakdowns. After a few weeks, I decided to go through with my classes each week and to get help from resources on campus, but after a while I had to persevere and overcome my struggles by making decisions that would benefit myself for the future. A hardworking, role model of mine told me that College is for developing and growing. Not only growing in knowledge but also in yourself. I made decisions of moving my classes around in my schedule and starting with classes that give me a stable background of knowledge that leads up to more intense classes. Persevering in life involves making decisions that will help you succeed.
With my involvement in the Angus industry, perseverance has been a large part of my life, especially when it comes to showing cattle and making breeding decisions in my own herd, but my story exhibits the continuous path of perseverance and humility that have evolved over the years and encouraged me to be the person I am today. These knots represent the points in my life where perseverance came into play and overcame those wants, but the story does not end with a knot, it is continuous with never-ending experiences assisted by perseverance.