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We can do that: A TAS Alum’s take on Georgia Tech pep talk


Georgia Tech: Where fun goes to die. Not exactly the type of place you’d expect a great speech to be born. I came to this supposed foxhole amidst rumors of deflated grades, harsh professors, and Saturday nights spent playing World of Warcraft.  Shuffling into my freshmen convocation, I was exhausted, tired, and downright homesick.
So you can imagine my surprise when Nick strolled upon stage, and I ended up witnessing one of the greatest college convocation speeches of all time. As Nick began to speak, a frisson of excitement turned my weariness into inspiration. Only then did I discover that Tech could offer so much more to its students than 2.0 GPAs and 20 hours of homework per week.
His speech made me realize why I came to Tech in the first place. It is a place where people found value in knowledge, as evidenced by the passion I saw on stage. And I am lucky to be a part of it. It might have taken Nick a year at Tech to realize that, but I was already on the same page as him. And I have to thank my high school for that.
Coming from a place like TAS, where stress is a more common malady than the flu, it might be hard sometimes to appreciate your high school education. But whether it’s making new friends, looking for someone to sit with in the dining hall, or even watching a speech, you’ll find that TAS is an integral part of who you are, who you become, and whoever you strive to be. And trust me, that’s a good thing.
Whereas Nick might have gotten his fame from telling us “We’re at Georgia Tech, we can do that”, I walked away with a message that was much more profound, and unfortunately largely overlooked: Be proud of your school!

– Jack Baxter (‘13)


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