Where are they now? Middlebury Union High School – Christie (Comes) Snell, 2005

Middlebury Union High School – Christie (Comes) Snell, 2005
Hometown, current residence, age: I grew up in Middlebury. I now reside in Brewer, Maine. I’m 29.
Family: I’m married to my husband Travis, in August we will celebrate our eight-year wedding anniversary. I have two children. My daughter Sarah is five and my son Cameron is 2.
What I am up to: I work full-time as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center. I have worked as a NICU nurse since I graduated college and passed my nursing boards in 2009. I am also a member of the neonatal transport team, which transports critically ill and premature infants from outlying hospitals in the state to the NICU by ambulance, airplane or helicopter.
How I got to where I am now: I went to the University of Maine in Orono. I graduated in 2009 with my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I worked as a certified nurse’s assistant while in college but the most influential opportunity I had was a senior nursing partnership in the NICU that I work in today. It was during that semester-long partnership that I discovered my love for the NICU and figured out what I was meant to do. I had an incredible preceptor named Peter who I still credit with helping me discover the most challenging and rewarding job in the world. Being a NICU nurse isn’t just what I do, it’s truly part of who I am, I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
How my Vermont roots have influenced who I am today: Vermont will always be home for me. I may not live there anymore but it’s still near and dear to my heart. My family remains in Vermont so I try to get back to visit often, but when I’m back it’s never feels like long enough.
My memories of high school: The highs of my high school years were all the fun times I shared with close friends. It didn’t particularly matter what we were doing. Whether it was a school dance, a sporting event or just walking down town after school for some ice cream. The low points were probably just times where, like any teen, I struggled to figure out who I was, how I fit in and what I was going to do with my life once high school was over. Looking back I realized I stressed about things like that way more than I needed to. High school is just the beginning, at the time it felt like this hugely defining part of my life but in reality it was such a small part. I would tell graduates not to stress if they don’t know exactly what they want to do yet, there is  plenty of time to figure it out and your entitled to changing your mind along the way.
My advice for this year’s crop of graduating seniors: Figure out what you love doing, find your passion, and do it, whatever it is. Some of your greatest achievements will come after your biggest hurdles. If it’s something you love doing it’s worth working for. You will have people tell you that you can’t do things, prove them wrong. There will be times in school and work when you feel insignificant, uncomfortable, and maybe even a bit awkward; push through and keep learning, this is when you will grow. You will know when you have found where you belong because even on your worst day, when it all goes wrong and you question “why” you will keep going because it’s what you love. Because all the good is better than the bad. 

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