Hello to all my Troy University family members that are joining my blog. My name is Patrick Hurd and I am excited to share some of my life moments, thoughts, and introspect with you this term. I recently graduated from Troy University on July 26, 2019 with my Associates of Science degree and I will be graduating from my bachelors’ program on December 13, 2019. I would be willing to bet that everyone is wondering how I will be graduating again less than six months from getting my two-year degree. I have been asked that question several times over the last month and will answer it for you all once again. But before I answer the question, allow me to give you the backstory to bring everyone up to speed on my Troy experience.
I graduated from Millry High School way back in 1995 and received a full academic scholarship to Troy University. My parents and I were so excited because we had no idea how we would afford my college tuition without going into debt. My high school principal and teachers worked to help me secure a scholarship at Troy and I was off to the races to start my freshman experience. The first thing that I realized when I stepped foot on campus was that Troy was a long way from home and it was a lot bigger stage that I now had to perform on. My first class showed me that I should have payed a lot more attention during my high school years. I had to quickly acclimate to a more advanced pace of learning, but I was up for the challenge. My first year passed so fast and I was ready for my first summer break as a college freshman.
As the last day of my first year at Troy ended, I returned home to Millry for my summer break. I quickly landed a job at a manufacturing plant in Waynesboro, MS because I wanted to make my own money and not burden my parents financially. While working at the plant, I would gain the attention of a young lady that I would eventually marry and have two wonderful children with. As life started to take on a new form for me, I did not return to Troy the following Fall semester. Instead, I focused on the new life that I had started, and my formal education was replaced by some hard-hitting lessons from the School of Life. Over the years, I would take a class here and there because I was committed to reaching my educational goals regardless of the amount of time it would take. From 1996 through 2019, my enrollment was spotty at best. I often had to get waivers for re-enrollment and was also on probation for my grades most of the time. I was reminded by the words my grandmother shared with me on several occasions, “The race is not given to the strong nor the swift, but to the ones that can endure until the End”.
During this extensive span of time, I joined the Air Force at the age of 39 and accumulated nearly thirty college credits. I transferred them to Troy to count towards my degree. I had accumulated one hundred and fifteen credits over that span of twenty-four years. Once I got focused on the finish line that awaited me, I reached out to my advisors and was guided on setting up my associates degree graduation and today, I am only six credits shy of my four-year degree. I realize that my life is far from the cookie cutter template and it has been filled with bumps and bruised, twists and turns, and highs and lows. But here I stand, ready to face life with even more exuberance than I did on my first day on Troy’s campus. Returning to the campus this past July was a surreal moment as I sat in the graduation hall with all the young graduates. It is easy to feel bad that it took me so long to finally finish, but I was reminded of grandma’s quote from the bible and made the choice to be thankful for my journey to success. My message to all my readers is that we should appreciate the process that it takes to refine us into our best version. If diamonds could be produced in microwave moments, they would not hold the value that they hold. It takes time to reach our goals and if you can reach yours in a short amount of time, then the goal is not lofty enough. Please stay tuned for me second installment of Medicine in the Candy where I will share more life jewels on how I am achieving higher heights while helping other do the same.