By Caraline Malloy, Lifelong Girl Scout, and former Girl Director and Media Girl
Hi, Girl Scouts! As 2019 is coming to an end, and 2020 is quickly approaching, I want to share just a few of the things I have learned and accomplished throughout this year – with the help of Girl Scouts, of course! 2019 has been an extraordinary year for me. This year marks my graduation from high school and my entry into college. Yet, it also includes me earning the highest award in Girl Scouts; I am elated to call myself a Gold Award Girl Scout!
Goodbye high school, hello college.
Like for many people, high school was the time I really learned about myself; such as my own unique likes and interests, and what my capabilities are. However, Girl Scouts made my first major life transition (from middle school to high school) easy. My time spent earning journey awards and participating in product sells taught me I could be successful in any instance if I put in the necessary work.
High school, with all its new experiences and obstacles, was challenging; yet, the confidence and work ethic I developed from being a Girl Scout helped me to succeed and earn my diploma, my Gold Award, and my associate degree two years early! Now, I’m a proud student at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
New friends, new adventures
Once upon a time, spending just a night away from home was terrifying to me. So, the thought of moving two hours away from home was daunting. However, I think one of the most beneficial things about growing up as a Girl Scout was learning how to be independent. Starting at 7 years old (shout out to the Brownies!), I learned a lot about financial literacy and the basic day-to-day skills you need to thrive in life. I attribute the smooth transition I had into being a college student to those important lessons.
Another big fear of mine was being alone. As a shy, more reserved person, creating new friendships can be difficult. Yet, I was greatly surprised by all the great new friends I met during my first semester – many of whom are Girl Scouts, too! One thing I will never forget is that Girl Scouts is a sisterhood, and our shared experiences and ideals can lead to some great friendships.
Also, being a Girl Scout really taught me how to speak up for myself. This came in handy when some really awesome people visited my campus, like the Disney Pixar artist Matt Nolte and mental health awareness advocate Jordan Burnham. A much younger, less confident me would’ve NEVER had the courage to ask either of them for a picture. If Girl Scouts hadn’t have given me that sort of courage and confidence, I wouldn’t have the pictures now to tell the tale!
Like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)
Being in college is all about being a G.I.R.L. Like with anything in life, you have to work for what it is you want. Straight A’s are possible, but you have to set goals for yourself and be dedicated enough to stick with them. Likewise, going to internship and job interviews can be intimidating, but you have to take the risk and the initiative to reach your end goals. At times, you will be asked to lead the debate team or to run the club meeting; and, in some instances and facets of college life (such as the ones mentioned), you have to be able to embody being a G.I.R.L.
I am very lucky to be a Girl Scout because it gave me the blueprint to being successful. All I’ve had to do is be confident enough in my abilities to follow it. Of course, there were moments where I felt I wasn’t prepared to successfully complete the task or workload I had. But, with much work and effort, I did exactly what I thought I wouldn’t be able to do. I can’t count all the times I didn’t think I would succeed, but Girl Scouts taught me how to persevere; truly, how to do try hardest until I reached my end goal. As a college student, much of what I learned during troop meetings, award projects, and outdoor excursions have made a lasting impact on my confidence and character; so much that I was able become a Girl Scout troop Junior Volunteer, balance my schedule, make the Chancellor’s List, and land an internship- all during my first semester of college!
From being a top seller in the Fall Product Program, earning my associate degree at 18, becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout, to getting accepted to a great college – Girl Scouts has been the fuel behind my motivation and drive to do better. I know Girl Scouts will continue to be the fuel behind doing better for many other girls too, for many years to come.
If you are ready for a life of fun, lasting friendships, and endless motivation – don’t hesitate to join Girl Scouts today!