By Becky Nelson, SAU #43 Public Relations Specialist
Newport – Samuel Nelson graduated from Newport High School four years ago. Heading into his final semester of college, he had a lot to say to the Newport Senior Class set to graduate in June of this year when they gathered for a senior advisory session last week.
“Don’t mess up. I think I went fishing more than I went to class my final semester of high school, and it bit me,” he said. Nelson went on to tell his tale of “floating through high school. I did okay, but if it wasn’t for sports keeping me on track and getting good enough grades so I could play and my parents and teachers heckling me, I would have accomplished nothing.”
Nelson, an “average student” as he described himself, had no intention of going to college and “didn’t really reach my potential at any time in high school.” He said he resisted the advice of his guidance counselors and teachers and “I remember saying to one teacher who was trying to get me interested in going to school that I would never go to college. I would get a job and be happy with it.” At the urging of his parents and some teachers, Nelson did apply to four colleges “and I was accepted at all four. It was only then that I thought maybe I wasn’t as dumb as I thought I was,” he said.
“It’s a lot of work and a tough process. You have to think about what you want to study, where you want to go, how you’re going to pay for it and you think ‘have I really learned anything in high school’? You have to travel to schools and meet people, and it can be overwhelming when you’re in your senior year. It’s mind jumbling,” he said. “But once you get to the point where you’ve chosen where you want to go, you think you can relax. But that’s when senioritis bit me,” he said. “I flunked one class and messed up in another. I didn’t need the credits to graduate, so I thought I was fine because I had been accepted.”
The 2015 senior class, gathered in the Lou Thompson Room of the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center was quiet as Nelson described getting his room contract, his rooming assignment and contacting his roommates when “I got another piece of paper from the University. I don’t remember exactly what it said, but they had reviewed my transcript for my final high school semester and decided I wasn’t welcome to come to the University anymore.”
Nelson stayed at home and worked as his classmates went off to college. “It sucked,” he said. He then had to petition the University for re-admittance, meet with the Dean and several faculty of the College he was interested in and “talk my way back in and convince them I really wasn’t a screw up. It was really tough.”
“If I can get through one thing, it’ to not let up. Don’t screw up. And if you’re not thinking about college, look into it. Send out a couple of applications, because you might just get an acceptance back. And don’t mess up, because even if you’re not going to college, employers don’t like to see that you were lazy and gave up. Don’t stop trying. And listen to your guidance counselors, teachers and parents,” said Nelson. “You don’t want to be in panic mode in June.”
Asked by Senior Class Advisor, Kayleigh Durkin what students can do to resist the urge to fool around and stop trying with a case of senioritis, Nelson said “go fishing after school. Set aside an hour after school to do your homework. Be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there. You don’t want to work your butt off for twelve years and not graduate or have a college revoke your admittance. Don’t mess up.”
Seniors have just finished a week of finals for the first semester. Second semester classes begin on Monday, January 26. For more information about Newport High School, please visit the school web page at www.sau43.org or call the guidance office at 863-2414.