Here’s a nugget of info about me, I graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a.k.a. Georgia Tech. GO JACKETS!
CNN.com covered a viral video of Georgia Tech Sophomore Nick Selby, welcoming this Year’s Freshman Class and its pretty AWESOME! You can read about it here, but watch it to be inspired.
Selby is a Presidential Scholar – let me tell you, that means he is super smart, probably has a perfect GPA and was recruited for Ga Tech because of such and his leadership potential. Seeing him made me reflect back on my own experience as an undergrad.
I went to Georgia Tech because it was big, but not too big; it had a fabulous reputation – people seemed to be impressed when someone said they graduated from Tech, and as an older school, had many unique and fun traditions. I grew up in an ACC family, so preferred an ACC school to the SEC.
I was not the top of my class and as such certainly was NOT recruited like Selby or my presidential scholar friend at Ga Tech, Pam. I learned from the admissions office, I was actually on the bubble when it came to acceptance and it would not be “easy” for me. I remember at my orientation, way back when, they told us – look to your right, now look to your left…… one of the 3 of you will not make it to graduation. All right then, welcome to Tech!
|My Georgia Tech Freshman Rat Cap and a Plate my Granny made and gave me.|
At the end of MY Freshman year, I had been on Academic Warning and was struggling to keep a C average. Holy cow that school was hard. I really think they were trying to weed out the weak, the quitters. The amazing thing about my experience was no matter who you were or what your GPA, there was an “we are all in this together ” mentality. If you wanted help, people were willing to help you out. We suffered through Profs who gave tests so hard they we lamented to each other “I got the shaft, should have taken Vaseline with me”. I learned about the grading curve – yes my first ever college test – in Chemistry class, I made a 39 – out of 100 and that was a “C”.
At Tech, we studied hard and played hard when we had time. We relished in traditions like the ‘Rat Cap’, the Tech Tower, the Rambling Wreck and we loved our “Fuzzy Bee” Yellow Jackets!
|Cap still fits and fun tradition cussing out the rivals! Apparently tradition holds we cuss alot since Fight Song names us all Helluva Engineers!|
Selby told this year’s Freshmen, “We chose Georgia Tech because we want to do the impossible.” And while I struggled and wondered many times during my undergrad if I would make it, I did the impossible in my mind. By my senior year, I was on the OTHER Dean’s List – twice…..you know the good one if your grades are 3.0 or above. So grateful my parents never judged me on my grades “so long as you do your best, how can we be disappointed”.
So while I never went on to win the Nobel Prize or build an Iron Man Suit, I can attribute so much of what I have done and my “life skills” back to my days at Georgia Tech. I DO value excellence. I learned to never give up, if you need help GO FIND IT, and if you truly do your best, its OK not to be the top person in your class….though I certainly was jealous of my Presidential Scholar friend Pam. Truth be told, she worked hard too, we all did. You had to if you wanted a diploma. Most of all, I learned when things get tough, a sense of humor can be your best weapon to stay sane refocus and get back on track because sometimes, despite all your best efforts, things do not go the way you want them to.
In my career before Mini Me, I was successful in many positions because I was able to bridge the gap between the two types of people who often just can’t understand each other or communicate well – technicals and non-technicals. I aways gave my best, and colleagues seemed to like working on my projects because I tried to bring that sense of humor when thing got tough. Thanks for that Ga Tech.
I know some people are surprised when they learn this Stay at Home mom graduated from such a prestigious institute. While no one asks my Grade Point average (thank goodness) and people seem impressed, I do get that – “don’t you feel like you wasted our degree” vibe. Did I? To quote Mrs Incredible when asked about leaving saving the world to men….“I don’t think so!”
I was asked at Preschool once, “You graduated from Georgia Tech? What are you doing working here?”
I answered with pride “Raising the bar. Well that and recruiting – giving our kids some basic skills they will take with them to Georgia Tech”. The big one being Self Confidence, which I think is the same message Selby was conveying – well with much more drama and a bigger audience than me.
To the Georgia Tech Class of 2017, good luck and enjoy your college experience to the fullest – its a wild ride and a badge of honor to get your diploma. And to to Selby, thanks for your ROCKSTAR message. You inspire.
So tell me readers, what do you think of Selby’s message?
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