Air Force sets student on Path 2 Highlands

Matthew Massey

Matthew Massey. Photo by Holly Chaney.

Many, many times I have failed in life, and I’m here to tell you whatever is troubling you at the moment is not the end of the line.

After high school I found myself in a rough spot. Living paycheck to paycheck, stuck in a dead end job living off of Ramen noodles and Cup-A-Soup and in a slump from my first failed attempt at college.

Determined not to succumb to a fate of less than mediocre living, I decided to take a plunge; I sold what I didn’t need (which was not much), reluctantly accepted my parents offer to move back home (21 and living with parents’ is not a good pickup line) and enlisted in the United States Air Force Reserve.

From this point forward things were looking up. Basic training, while challenging and sometimes just a down right pain, taught me I could physically and mentally endure much more than I ever thought. My tech schools further reinforced that mentality with an increased academic workload in learning my job as a C-130 Loadmaster.

When I returned home, I began my first semester at Embry Riddle Aeronautical Institute, only to find that I was not quite ready for real world college, marking my second failure of attempting higher education.

Fast forward to May of 2012, I left for South West Asia on my first deployment. It was here that I began moving towards my education at GHC. I figured that if I could survive terrible living conditions in the arm-pit of the planet and still get the job done in an effective and efficient manner, then it’s high time I knock out this college degree.

After two successful academic semesters, meeting countless friends and going on lots of interesting adventures, like GHC’s study abroad trips, I am happy my life has led me to this college and presented me with the opportunities to grow and advance.