I had the luxury of getting to do two Independent learning projects this semester. Both had their ups and downs challenging me but I am glad that I did them and will continue to work on them.
My first Independent Learning Project was my leatherwork, and getting better at flower tooling. I found this one hard to motivate myself to do because I was always busy doing work for customers, that I didn’t want to do it for a class as well. But I just kept telling myself my payment was my grade and I got some progress made. The most beneficial part was the motivation to buy newer, better tools, and getting involved in blogs and forums about leather work. This opened some many doors and I have learned a lot.
My second Independent Learning Project was rodeo. This is my senior year and I really wanted to make it to the College Nation Finals. At the start of the semester I was in the running to go but ultimately fell short. But I learned a lot about myself as a rider and how to handle my emotions and strengthen myself mentally. I started the season fresh out of a knee surgery and it was hard to dedicate myself to all the physical therapy. It hurt at times and made me wonder if I wanted to keep rodeoing. I got on some bulls that flat bucked me off and made me come to the terms that I can’t ride everything and always have room to improve. I rode some bulls that really tested me and built my confidence. And I got bucked off some bulls I know I should have rode but had to humble myself and remind myself we all make mistake. I learned how to block negative thoughts, people, and those mistakes out and not let them effect my future bull rides.
While I did not make finals I am excited to see how my new positive mindset will forward me in rodeo as I continue this summer and the next few years. I have big goals but plan to achieve them and become a great.