Nicholas Spangler: Building Character

By: Kaitlyn Chambers and Cas Stence

Nicholas Spangler is a sophomore at Elizabethtown College. He is working towards obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in international business.

“I’ve always had a strong work ethic, but my dad wanted me to build character. When I was 12 years old, I got my first job at my fathers’ hardware store. He paid me under the table – I was making less than minimum wage – but it’s different when it’s your dad’s business. My job included cleaning shelves, helping customers, and cleaning equipment in the rental department. My favorite part of the job was inflating bouncy houses. I was working like, 30 hours a week during summer breaks, but it was worth it because I made a lot of money. My dad made me deposit half of my earnings into a savings account, which taught me the value of saving money for the future.”

“I tore my ACL while playing soccer during my junior year of high school. I was injured during preseason, which made me feel like I was letting my team down by not being able to play my entire junior year. Being on the sidelines that year made me realize how much I took for granted, like my own body and mobility. Healing from that injury was difficult, but my teammates encouraged me to keep a positive attitude throughout my recovery. After six months of going to physical therapy and completing daily exercises, I was able to play the game I love with the guys I’d been playing soccer with since we were in elementary school. I was so motivated to recover from that injury so I could get back on the field with my best friends.”

“This year I chose to commute to college instead of living on campus. I am saving a lot of money this way, and I can continue working part-time at my mom’s business. There’s a lot more on my plate now; I’m taking 18 credits this semester, working 10-20 hours a week, and driving to-and-from campus on weekdays. Since I’m not living on campus anymore, it’s been hard to maintain the friendships I made last year – but I’ve been trying my best to keep in touch with the people who are most important in my life. I’m still getting good grades in my classes, I care a lot about my academics. My parents are proud of me for being able to balance my schedule so well, and honestly, I am too.”

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