DECA Doesn’t Stop… Do You?- Vanessa’s June Blog Entry

As the school year quickly winds down, Minnesota DECA would like to congratulate all the 2012 graduates. We are hoping DECA members young and old have a really fun and safe summer. Finally, three months of freedom! While you are sleeping until 11, snacking all day and lounging at the beach, keep DECA in mind. While you’re kickin’ back, your competition may be on their A-Game still, preparing for the next year of competition. The State Action Team would like to share some tips on how to not put DECA on the backburner, and come back next fall ready to not only take home some hardware, but also make a difference within your chapter.

1. Brainstorm ’til you’re blue!
Some of your best ideas for the upcoming year may pop into your head while you soak up the rays, so embrace that. Your chapter may be in need of a new fundraising idea, a different idea for guest speakers or affective plans for community events. Keep the ideas moving, and bring them to someone who can help make them happen when the school is near. You never know, your new, out-of-the-box ideas could make history in your school. I know you are already envisioning some awesome things!


2. Learn from your leaders
While you are busy making all kinds of fun plans with your friends, Christine O’Neil, our newly elected Central Region Vice President, is someone you may want to stay in contact with. Find her on the, friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, or shoot her an email just introducing yourself. She would love to hear from you! As a delegation, it is important to not only know who your leaders are, but also understand their goals and ambitions. You can also stay in contact with any of the State Action Team members through Facebook, Twitter or email! We love to meet new DECA members and make personal visits to chapters. Ah, the beauty of social media!


3. Hike bike study.
After you have enjoyed a couple bonfires, and of course, a few mosquito bites, take a break to kick back and … study! It’s not all about cracking open a textbook, reading for hours or memorizing facts. Studying DECA related things (such as a marketing book checked out to use for the summer, a practice test, etc.) allows you to keep those marketing, finance, hospitality and management skills in the back of your mind. By doing this, you are better preparing yourself for the first DECA test (at a conference or in the classroom) you take in the fall. A little time here and there will make you into a better DECA competitor or a more apt DECA student. Maybe studying isn’t so bad after all…

4. Expand your horizons
I bet this summer you will do all kinds of new things that you will never forget. Don’t let the courage stop there! Take a minute or two to click here to learn about new events you may have never tried, or know much about. Once you find something you think sounds cool, do a little research, ask around, make a plan. As nerve wracking as it may seem to step out of your comfort zone and into a new event, it can also show you skills you never knew you had, or ambitions you never dreamt of before. Even trying one new event can help you continue to Aspire Higher. We believe in you! You got this.

5. SMART goals
The last thing you want to do is say “coulda, woulda, shoulda” when the end of August comes around. You definitely want to make the most of your summer vacation, and while you are doing that, you can help make the most of your next DECA-venture as well. Weather you are coming up with a new way to Make a Muscle for MDA or gearing up to try a new competitive event at your next competition, plan some personal goals for yourself. These goals can be anything you see fit, as long as they’re SMART. The S stands for a specific goal, one that has all the details laid out plainly. M is for measurable, which means that your goals should include something numerical that can help you to see if you are reaching them. For example, reaching a specific goal by August 1st is measurable. Ask yourself letter A, is it attainable? It simply means, when you are being truthful with yourself, can you really picture yourself doing this? If you can, it is probably also letter R, realistic. A realistic goal is one that you know how you could achieve, and why. Also, be sure your goal is letter T, timely. A timely goal gives you a time of day, week, month or year to get something done. With goals that SMART, you have to wonder, how could not achieve them?!

Vanessa Panchyshyn is the Vice President of Communications at Minnesota DECA.