The Impact GMC Prep Has Had On Me
By Colby Sanford
Since my first day of school on August 4, 2017 I knew GMC Prep was different. I remember the feeling of the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up while I stood shaking in formation surrounded by strangers and pretending to know what I was doing. The energy I felt that day hasn’t faded at all even after seven years. The character traits and life lessons that I have gained during my time here are something for which I could not be more grateful.
GMC is a school that prides itself on developing students and cadets of good character and they never fall short. I have learned and do so many things that other students my age would not normally do. I choose to abide and live by an Honor Code of not tolerating lying, cheating, or stealing every day when I come to school. Even though it seems like a simple task to follow, it can be hard sometimes, but I have grown to embrace it as my time goes on at GMC. This school has taught me to respect and to always be kind to others. I learned that respect isn’t always just about saying yes sir or no ma’am; it can be a simple good morning in the hallway or actually taking the time to be quiet and listen to someone whether it be a student or a teacher. GMC has also taught me to give my all in everything I do. I always hold myself to be above the standard from doing the best I can in my classes to having a good uniform for formation every morning. Lastly, I have grown to love being a servant leader. I first began volunteering with GMC whenever they did events such as Wreaths Across America and I enjoyed helping others and getting the mental reward of knowing that I had done something good for someone that was less fortunate. I have taken on that characteristic of giving myself in selfless service and now have over 400 hours of community service within the Milledgeville community and around the state of Georgia.
GMC Prep has also given me many opportunities as a student to learn and grow as a person and a leader. The leadership aspect of GMC is one of my favorite parts. It has taught me how to assess and adapt to any stressful situation that could be thrown at me, such as planning our annual leadership camps for our Battalion or doing homework 5 minutes before the bell rings. I will think back to these moments and use those leadership attributes and quick thinking skills instilled into me throughout my career and life. The life experiences did not stop at just our high school level, but we also had national and international experiences. I had the opportunity to work with the National Guard and fly in helicopters for fun and also be a part of a second place National Championship Raider Team where I was able to compete with other kids from around our nation. The most influential and enlightening trip I have ever taken though was to the Royal Hospital School in the United Kingdom. I was told about this amazing opportunity my sophomore year and planned to take full advantage of it. I was able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. My classmates and I dove into the UK’s version of JROTC and we were able to do military training, create lasting friendships with the students who attended the school, as well as grow closer to our friends while we travelled around England whether it were on a military base in the middle of nowhere or in the center of London next to Big Ben. These are just a few of the unique opportunities that GMC has created for me and I will hold onto all of these memories for the rest of my life.
Lastly, I feel GMC Prep has prepared me to jump into the deep of end of the pool of life. The teachers have done nothing but help me, guide me, and push me to be better than I was the day before. I know I will keep in contact with them because I feel they are more than just someone showing me how to do a math problem or teaching me about what makes up DNA. They are truly some of the most influential people to whom I have been exposed. GMC has also helped me realize that what I want to do with my life is serve others. I plan to purse an Academy or join ROTC and serve our country and give back.
GMC was definitely a struggle for a little 6th grader but as the years have gone by, I have realized that my time at GMC will always have a major impact on my life. I will never be able to describe how I feel walking through Usery Hall every day and seeing the people that I know have a special place in my heart. I might never say this again, but these last seven years of my life at GMC have been the best yet and I would never trade them for the world. I would not be who I am today without this place.