Luke Updyke will always be remembered at Blue Ridge for his relentless diligence, passion, and drive. Updyke graduated last year with the class of 2018. His original intent post-graduation was to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, but life has taken Updyke in a couple different directions.
“My college experience has not necessarily been the standard ‘go to college and go to classes’ experience. I attended Temple for some time down in Philadelphia when they unfortunately messed up my crediting. It was such a bad scenario that I ended up withdrawing.” Updyke is now attending Binghamton University with a major in Advanced Economic Studies.
His advice for graduates? (which, really, serves as great advice for us all) “Be prepared to make decisions you’re uncomfortable with making. Oftentimes the most important decisions we make are the ones we would much rather not have to make. Through this, though, it is important to remember that everybody goes through them and that everybody GETS through them. That being said, be prepared to leave your comfort zone.”
Updyke has done quite a bit of travelling since graduation. He’s been to Canada, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Los Angeles for videography-related work commitments.
When Updyke was asked about his accomplishments he responded, “Although many people might take the opportunity to answer this question with “merits” or other widely reputable awards/honors, I would honestly say that the thing that I am most happy with accomplishing is finding out who I am, what I like, and mostly importantly what I am OK with/not OK with. I personally feel as though it’s incredibly important to know who you are before engaging in any goal-oriented tasks.”
Despite his humility, he has undertaken some impressive endeavors. Updyke is not only starting his own social media marketing business, he has made great strides in the photography/videography world. Updyke is a master at framing beautiful scenery (as apparent on his social media).
When asked how Blue Ridge has prepared him for all this, Updyke said, “Taking the AP classes Blue Ridge offers really helped with scheduling, responsibility, and credit evaluations from colleges. I highly recommend taking all of the AP classes you can!”
“My piece of general advice would probably be to remember that you will always get through things if you have the right mindset. A lot of the time I found myself worrying about things I couldn’t even control and it really took a toll on me. Learning relaxation methods and learning how to minimize the impact of anxiety/stress is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself in my opinion.” says Updyke.
Kyra Powell is a senior at Blue Ridge, who will have been in 16 musicals by the time she graduates! Kyra enjoys singing, playing guitar, piano, ukulele, and going outside. After high school, Kyra plans on moving to Florida where she can spend more time outside with her family (where there’s never snow!)