A Long Overdue Milestone


It’s been seven weeks since we started the Portland Senior Experience, and it feels like it was yesterday. That means we only have four short weeks left, which sucks because I finally feel like I have hit my stride with the work I’ve been doing and the people I’m working with.

amigoodenoughHowever, graduating next month is a long-overdue milestone in my life.  At one time I had no desire to go to college, let alone make the time commitment necessary to receive a four year degree.  To say my emotions are mixed is a drastic understatement.

See, when I was in high school, I did only what was required to graduate. I had no desire to go to college, unless it was to play a sport, so I had no need to do well in the classroom.  Now let me be clear, I do not regret the way my life turned out or joining the Marines after school, but if I could go back and do one thing over again I would have cared more and tried harder in the classroom.

What’s my point? If you don’t like where your life is at a given point, do something about it, and be willing to work your tail off until you finally accomplish it. The ten-years-ago me would have never envisioned graduating from college; I doubted myself too much. In four weeks we will graduate from the University of Oregon and I can only hope that the rest of you take as much pride in that as I do.

The lesson? Don’t doubt yourself, because in the end it’s not just your brain that is tested in school, it’s your heart.

Go forth and conquer PDXSXers, it has truly been a pleasure.

-Nick Smith

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7 Responses to A Long Overdue Milestone

  1. Wow, funny how your post and my post came out so similar! It seems like we’re all watching our internships go by and reminiscing.

    Brilliant post. I absolutely agree with your statement “it’s not just your brain that is tested in school, it’s your heart.” I have found that what I’ve learned during my four years did not come from the classrooms, but in the dorm halls, houses, publications, athletics, and events that I’ve participated in over the duration.

  2. Great post Nick. I will start by saying that I am glad you decided to go to college because I now have a friend in you 🙂 that being said, working your tail off is very important. I think we all need to value our internships more and what they are offering us, experience in our fields. Good luck with the job hunt man.

  3. littlebrittanyb says:

    I really like how you mention not to doubt yourself. That is something I am definitely guilty of. Your story is incredible, and it shows that you have worked very hard to get here. I agree with Branden as well, you learn so much outside of the classroom. A lot of what we learn comes from the most unexpected places and people. Great post Nick! Good luck as you continue on!

  4. megmarieshea says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience recently and in the past. I enjoy learning about everyone’s journey and I am glad that this blog has allowed people to do that. I think that everything happens for a reason and your story could not support that argument more. I really hope all the best to you and your family 🙂 All your experiences have made you who you are today and you should be very proud of yourself.

  5. Your points pertaining to self doubt hits home for me. I find myself listen to the little, self-concious voice in my head too, so don’t feel like you are the only one. Like you, it is not that I regret my time in high school and the early days of college, but I would not have hurt to work harder. At the time I was concerned with other things. Luckily, over the past few years I have gotten better at ignoring that voice in my head, and have been doing more and more things outside of my comfort zone — the PDX Experience is my proof!!

    You should be extremely proud of yourself for all you have done. You served in the Marines. Also, most people never go back to school, but you did.

    – Nick

  6. kttodd says:

    I’m with Megan, thanks for sharing that story, I always like hearing about people’s stories. That was really fun to read. I think being at this transitional point where we all are can be a really easy time to start feeling self doubt. But you make a great point–it’s not just about what we’ve learned in classes (although that’s important too), it’s about experiences and how hard we’ve worked. That’s a great reminder right before graduation, so thanks. 🙂

  7. jackiemc90 says:

    Great story Nick, you’re killing it. I’m definitely with you on those feelings of: “what the heck is happening next…” You’re going to do great!

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