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Nick Villegas

By Nick Alvarado

Nick VillegasThe life of a Palo Alto student can be hectic at times, but Nick Villegas learned to take it all in stride.

“You just got to go with the flow man,” he said. “…you can’t let things overwhelm you, no matter how crazy it gets.”

Villegas or “Fat Nick,” as he is referred to by his friends, manages to hold down a job at Wal-Mart and still takes three classes at Palo Alto toward his associate’s degree in Communications. Villegas believes holding a job and going to school forms you into a more disciplined student.

“It definitely forces you to cram at times, but it also helps you manage your time more effectively,” he said.

Villegas graduated from McCollum High School in 2011 and decided to take the practical approach and do his basics at PAC. He believes there is no point in taking out massive loans to start at a university when you can cut the price by a third attending a community college first.

Although only a freshman in his second semester, Villegas realizes college and high school are completely different animals.

“When I started here at PAC I was kind of caught off guard with all the freedom I had. It was hard to not get careless,” he said.

Villegas does his best to keep his priorities straight, but he did acknowledge that there must be some time for fun. He said that if you spend all your time working and neglect to enjoy yourself every once in a while, you will definitely burn yourself out.

Villegas battles his stress by playing basketball, watching sports, playing video games and hanging out with his friends. He doesn’t always have time to sit back and relax, but when he does, he tries to make the most of it.

“That’s really the only way to keep yourself going,” he said, “…having as much fun as you can, when you can.”