TBL May 2024 - 19

Keep Calm & Carry On:
How to Stay Cool Under Pressure
High School member Nikitha
Philip had plenty of experience singing
the national anthem, including for Illinois
State University, the Peoria Rivermen
Hockey Team, and her own school, Normal
(IL) Community High School. Still, singing
" The Star-Spangled Banner " for 14,000 attendees
at the opening session of the 2023
Middle School & High School National
Leadership Conference (NLC) in Atlanta
marked her biggest audience to date.
" I tend to be a very nervous person
before I perform, so I was pacing around
and singing the anthem in my head for
hours before the performance, " Philip said.
Her adviser, Tara Pendleton, and
friends gave her positive encouragement
throughout the day. By the time her big
moment came, " I felt confident, " added
Philip, who also placed first in Digital
Video Production during the NLC.
Feeling nervous or anxious this time of
year is common. Between final exams, decisions
about college and graduate school,
and competitions, the end of the program
year can lead to additional stress. But
learning how to stay calm under pressure
is a key skill in the business world, and it's
one many FBLA members have mastered.
Isla Ashoff took first place in Digital
Citizenship at the 2023 NLC as a student
at the James B. Sanderlin K-8 IB World
School in St. Petersburg, Florida. She
prepped by using Quizlet and taking
notes. Before the competition, however,
she experienced trouble sleeping and
felt nauseated.
So Ashoff spent time in quiet environments
or distracted herself with friends.
During the objective test, she focused on
the question she was currently answering
rather than worrying about how much
time she had left.
Sanjana Sreeram, a Canada FBLA
member who earned first place in
Accounting I, also found it difficult to eat
FBLA member
Nikitha Philip,
currently a junior
at Normal (IL)
Community High
School, received
from friends and
her adviser before
singing the national
anthem at the 2023
Middle School
& High School
National Leadership
in Atlanta.
and had a hard time concentrating on
some tasks before her event, even though
she had completed multiple practice tests
and researched concepts leading up to
the NLC.
Before her presentation, " I was
advised to not think about the outcome, "
said Sreeram, who also visited tourist
sites in Atlanta to keep calm before her
event. " I told myself to give my best
performance and enjoy every moment of
the experience. "
FBLA's Director of Awards & Recognition
Jen Staley advised those members
giving a presentation to be familiar with
the rating sheet, while those taking an
objective test should focus on the competencies
on which they'll be assessed.
For all students, preparation is key.
" You'll be calm if you're prepared, "
she added.
Dan Hazlett, the FBLA adviser at
Stanly Community College in Albemarle,
North Carolina, who also serves as the
state's Executive Director for FBLA Collegiate
and is on FBLA's Board of Directors,
reminds members that feeling stress or
anxiety is normal going into an event.
" It's a sign that you're excited to be
doing what you're doing, " Hazlett said.
Members' Advice on
How to Deal with Stress
* " Take a deep breath and remember to
always be confident. You are amazing,
and you can do it. " - Nikitha Philip
* " Even if you don't win, just being
there is an achievement. " - Isla Ashoff
* " Consider the NLC to be an
experience in total and focus on
the personal development you get
through it. " - Sanjana Sreeram
" If you don't have some nerves, you
probably don't care about how you'll do. "
Hazlett noticed that many students
talk about how badly they expect to do
before a test or presentation rather than
going in with confidence.
" If you've prepared, walk into that
room and assume you're going to do
well, " he said.
Want to Sing the National Anthem?
Do you want to sing " The Star-Spangled
Banner " before your peers at the NLC?
Apply here before May 15, and you may
be selected!
MAY 2024 | 19 |

TBL May 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TBL May 2024

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