The Beloved Blazer

I’ll never forget that dreaded moment freshman year when my chapter advisor handed me an oversized, uniform-looking blazer to try on.

“You must wear this at the state conference,” he explained.

It was so big it practically reached my knees.

“I will try to find you one in a smaller size,” he sympathized, realizing two of me would fit inside the blazer.

After that first encounter with the blue polyester suit jacket, I was determined to not be friends. Little did I know I had a big future with that DECA blazer.

During this first experience as a DECA member, I saw this blazer as a barrier to self-expression. How dare this article of clothing limit what I could wear and diminish my self-confidence in this competitive environment! However, sitting in the large opening session in Anaheim, California, I realized the first benefit of the DECA blazer: warmth in the large cement room.

Not only is the DECA blazer the perfect shield against rain, snow, heat or cold, it also provides a sense of unity. When I wear the blazer, I realize I am not just representing myself, but all of DECA. When I slip into my blazer, I stand a little taller and walk with a little more pride. Appreciating how much this organization has given me, I have never been more humbled to wear my blazer. After all, DECA is something special, and good things need to be shared.

If you are wearing a DECA blazer for the first time, embrace the opportunities that come with it. It may not be the fashion statement you were hoping to make, but it will allow you to experience success on a whole new level. I will always cherish the journey with my beloved DECA blazer.

Follow Christine on Twitter @c_oneil46.

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