Written By: Shannon Huntsman: Distinguished Young Woman of Utah 2020
I sat on the couch grumbling! My sisters were trying to convince me to participate in the Distinguished Young Women scholarship program again! Ugh! When would I be able to convince them that it just wasn’t for me. I am in the middle of five brothers, and the only girl in my family to replace dancing and singing with hunting and fishing. I had worked hard my whole life to, “fit in with the brothers,” and participating in a program just for girls DID NOT, “fit in with the brothers.”
(Never say never, because look how good I still fit in!)
“It changed my life.” One of my sisters said for the hundredth time.
“Fine,” I said. I COULD NOT have this conversation one more time, so I looked up the program and signed up online. I had no idea what to expect. As the local program grew closer I got so excited!
Finally the day arrived and it was not a let down. Just like my sister said. It changed my life! I met with other girls in Utah and had SO MUCH FUN! Not only were the other girls amazing, but there were SO MANY SNACKS! As I went throughout the day, the directors of the program kept talking about something called the Be Your Best Self program that was a big part of Distinguished Young Women.
So what is the Be Your Best Self program?
HAIRS. No, not the ones on your head. HAIRS is an acronym I like to use to remember the five elements of the Be Your Best Self program.
I- Be Involved
As I have gone through my Distinguished Young Women experience I have grown to love Be Your Best Self!
1-Be Healthy. Not only does this mean to stay physically healthy, but it is just as important to stay mentally healthy. Give yourself time to relax and don’t beat yourself up too much.
2-Be Ambitious. Start today. Don’t procrastinate! You have the power to change the world. Who better to do it than you? So set a goal, and go for it!
3-Be Involved. There are so many ways to get involved. In your school (even when it is online), in your home, and by serving your community.
4-Be Responsible. For a long time I thought being responsible just meant that you were doing what your parents and teachers expected of you, and you got things done on time. Now, I know that there is so much more. Being responsible is all about prioritizing what is most important in your life and dedicating your energy to those things. It is more than just turning in your paper on time.
5-Be Studious. Education is such a blessing! So when you have the chance to learn something new then DO IT!
I am not perfect. I am far from it. I love a good slice of chocolate cake and I get annoyed with my brothers all the time, but I have learned there is so much more to life than silly youtube videos and chocolate cake. The more time I dedicate to each of these areas, the more involved I become with those around me. These values have truly helped me become my best self. As the Distinguished Young Woman of Utah for 2020 I can say with conviction that even when you don’t want to push yourself, even when you feel uncomfortable like I did when first entering Distinguished Young Women. You are YOU! And that is enough!
We challenge all of our Be There Girls to BE YOUR BEST SELF and help spread this message this coming week and always! Watch our instagram and facebook for activities and challenges to do from home. BE YOUR BEST SELF AND CHANGE THE WORLD ONE GIRL AT A TIME!