When I saw Sebastian Lopez walk into my office today, I almost fell out of my chair. I squealed loudly because that is what happens when I am surprised by graduates, who return to visit McKee. Plus, I will just say it, Sebastian was an energetic, rambunctious student who pushed several major nerve endings. I wondered how he was going to make it in the military when following directions was a challenge. Well now - here is Sebastian's post secondary success reflection:
Private Sebastian Lopez
United State Marine Corps
I was a loud and silly person who rushed to do everything at the end of the semester by turning in classwork, homework, and projects. I barely passed classes at McKee. I am not going to lie.
I wanted to be in the US Marine Corps since I was 5. Being at McKee, and seeing the recruitment station, which was down the hill, made me interested in going to talk to the representatives. When I spoke to the recruiter, I could sense a difference in the way he spoke, his deportment, his character, and his confidence. The whole package made a very strong impression. He talked about the Marine Corp, about the physical fitness, and the benefits.
I did Basic Training in Paris Island, South Carolina. I was motivated to stay the course. Motivation is the biggest key because I wanted to make sure that my parents were going to be proud. I also wanted to be able to come back to McKee and say, “I am a Marine.” I also wanted to show that even the loudest, and laziest kid that scrambled to do everything in the end could do something as hard and as disciplined as the U. S. Marine Corps. Being able to say that I am a United States Marine is something no one can take from you. I’ve even influenced some people to join as well, some who are students at McKee.
My advice to McKee students is the following - If you are going to go to college, try to find out about tuition assistance NOW. All that good help that is being offered at McKee, like scholarships – DO IT. Don’t leave it to the end. If you’re legitimately going to join the military, then there are three points to consider.
1. You have to have motivation. You need to have something to keep you in a state of mind through the tough times, and there will be many tough times in Boot Camp. You need an internal voice that says, “This is why I am here, I am doing this.”
2. Keep your body physically fit. You have to be fit, for any branch of the military, especially if you are joining the Marine Corp. When I was at McKee I weighed 215 pounds. Getting out of boot camp, I weigh 145 pounds. I run 3 miles in 20 minutes.
3. Be prepared to have a loud voice to scream back at your drill sergeant that you fully hear his/her commands; especially, if you are in the Marine Corps.
Finally, have a back-up plan, even if you join the military. As for me, I am heading off to deployment in North Carolina and looking forward to the future.