Picking out your home for the next four years can be hard. For Brandy Smith, a senior PCJ major at UMPI, she didn’t find it hard at all. “So, I was the editor of my high school newspaper. I went to Mt. View High School and I wanted to major in journalism and I was looking and looking at NESCOM, and it was very expensive and complicated because it was part of Husson. I decided to look elsewhere, and I checked out UMPI. My friends and I came up and toured UMPI and I met Dr. J and thought it was a perfect fit,” Brandy said.
Brandy started school here in 2015 and just after completing her freshmen year, she was asked to do something. “I knew the editor of the paper, the University Times. He was a pretty intimidating guy and he had to step down and Dr. J asked me to be the editor. I had one day of training and my experience helped. It was a struggle, but being thrown into deadlines and leadership gave me a sense of responsibility in the early stages of my college career,” Brandy said.
When Brandy took this on, it wasn’t an easy task for her, but she pulled through. “Brandy stepped up in a very big way, because the paper is about a lot more than putting things in a template. It’s a lot of leadership. It’s been a joy for me to see how she has grown in confidence, leadership and become a very strong presenter. And initially that was very hard for her and now she knows she does it well and she likes doing it,” Dr. J said.
When Brandy isn’t working on homework or editing the paper, she is doing other things she loves to do. “My senior has been busy, but I really like to write poetry. I try to write a couple of poems for Upcountry every year. I like to bake. I am not much of a chef, but I can bake pretty well! I like to go camping. That’s not an option a lot in Maine: there’s like two peak months in the summer. I also like to watch Netflix, my favorite things to watch being comedy and horror. And I also have a rock collection! I am one of those people who see’s a pretty rock and think ‘I’ve got to have that!’ and I grab it,” Brandy said.
Within in the early weeks of May, Brandy will be walking onto the stage to receive her diploma she has worked so hard for. “I’ll be walking and see something and think, ‘Oh, I am going to miss that and didn’t appreciate it.’ Like the arching sun and the squirrel that lives near the library. Also, all the great people I have gotten to interact with in this area because I am moving. So I will try to maintain those relationships, but I won’t be seeing them every day,” Brandy said.
Brandy is also going to be missed. “Brandy was my work study and we always got along, but our relationship has gotten stronger because we’ve been working at it for so long now. She says being my work study is never boring because something will come up and we do it. She’s very versatile and adaptable. I am happy to see her go and spread her wings, but I am also sad because I am going to really miss her,” Dr. J said.
Brandy has spent the last four years working hard at becoming the writer she is. She has spent countless hours working on homework and editing the paper. When she isn’t doing that, she is working on her poetry and wants to showcase her poetry in a magazine. Brandy came from a small town to a college several hours away and hasn’t stopped. She went from the quiet, shy girl into a proud writer. PCJ students and professors alike will miss Brandy, but all wish her well in her upcoming adventures back home.