Senior Goodbye: Nick Kirkines

West Point here I come!

Photo Credit Candice Shelbrack

West Point here I come!

Nick Kirkines, A&E Editor

I never thought I would ever be so lucky to have the opportunities that I’ve had thus far and subsequently will have. Looking back it’s surreal seeing the physical, emotional and social transformations that have helped shape me into someone I’m proud to be. Part of me doesn’t want any of this to end, but I know that it has to. In the pit of my stomach I have all these feelings stemming from not quite knowing how I ended up where I am. All I know is that there are people in my life that, if they had not been there, I would be staring at a drastically different conclusion.

First and foremost, I want to take a moment to appreciate my personal superhero: my Dad.  Growing up he was always tough on me. What would you expect from Senior NCO in the US Army? He taught me to work hard, to improve and strive for perfection. There are countless lessons that he’s taught me. There are even more I have yet to learn. However, there is one that I never quite grasped until now: Knowing oneself. Knowing yourself so well that, even if you are unsure about something, you can say with confidence who you are and what you will, or would have, done. I don’t even know how that has passed over my head all these years. I just know that I owe everything, from my discipline to my academic successes, to him. He gave me the tools and let me discover for myself what I wanted from life. He gave me the choice to be my own man.

Next the woman whom, without her, I wouldn’t be here: my Mom. My forgiving, loving and wise Mom.  I never really thanked her enough. So I want her to know just how much I know she has sacrificed for me. She has been my biggest fan ever since I learned how to walk. Giving me the love and safe haven I needed when I was feeling weak, and supplying me with a view of the world unique to her. My Mom is a wonderful person. She has her idiosyncrasies but I would never want to lose her. As I look to my future in college I can’t help but know that I’ll miss her guidance and forgiveness wherever I go. I love you, Mom. Thanks for always being there. I hope the woman I marry is every bit as wonderful as you are.

I promise to make you both proud as I embark down the path I’ve chosen. I know full well the trials I face, but I know that you guys have prepared me to face them and accomplish my mission.


A cadet will never lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.

-West Point Cadet Honor Code


I am ready to become the man you have always believed I can be.