The Home Stretch


So close I can taste it, the sweet moment when I stand tall on the stage and reap the fruits of my efforts.  It has taken me over ten years, across three countries, and four colleges, but alas friends I will have finally completed my journey at the Universities at Shady Grove with a degree in International Business at the Smith School of Business from the University of Maryland.

On the Shady Grove campus we have dedicated this week to Seniors (woot-woot!), because this Spring’s 2016 class has only 49 short days left until graduation.  It’s the time to reflect on your achievement, your ups and downs, and appreciate the person that you have become.  Wiser, smarter, more educated, you have only begun to take the first steps towards a whole lifetime of success that awaits you.

Lessons Learned

“Eye on the Prize”, live by this, trust me, it will keep you focused and motivated to keep charging forward with your goal.  It’s a phrase you repeat to yourself daily because the challenges and the road blocks that will inevitably arise you will overcome, and looking back after climbing the summit you will realize that it was all worth it.  Everyone’s path is personal and unique in its own way, I have had my own problems along the way, and I have stumbled but never deterred.  This campus has been an absolute blessing.  The big jump from Community College to upper level undergraduate courses is steep, and this campus is especially suited for the transferring student because everyone arrives on the same footing.  From day one I have forged a fraternity with my fellow peers, we have shared all of our classes together since my first semester Junior year and I will be standing beside the same friends come commencement this May.  Our study group sessions, late night cramming for exams in the library, collaborating on projects, and all the fun times and memories from on campus events has made this the most special moment of my life.  I wish it didn’t have to end.

Where I stand  

This Friday I will receive the Academic Achievement Award for my program, a recognition I am honored to hold but I fell like it only half belongs to me.  The faculty, staff and peers on our campus motivated me and encouragement to be my best and excel.  This community supported me, gave me a home and place that I felt I belonged and I am proud to call myself a graduate from the Universities at Shady Grove.  With only a few weeks left to the semester I feel like Senioritis is setting in, that affliction to students in their final year noted by an ebbing in motivation and lackluster performance.  Time to put it back in high gear and finish on a sweet note! Thanks for following me on this journey.  I hope to read about you’re own someday.

Your’s truly, Derek


About dereknehls

A Senior at Robert H. Smith School of Business, follow me as I accomplish my aspirations to become a business professional at the UMD's Shady Grove Campus in Rockville, Md.
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