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GARNER, N.C. — Scotty McCreery might be the reigning "American Idol" but he is still trying to be a regular teenager. Recently, he went to the Lowes Foods and remembered his former job of bagging groceries.
"I do the self-checkout, so I can see if I still got it," McCreery said.
The 18-year-old senior at Garner Magnet High School is also thinking about college. He has applied to Belmont University in Nashville, Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., North Carolina State University and East Carolina University.
"We might be applying to a couple more," he said. "We're just waiting to hear back. Haven't heard anything back from any of them yet."
McCreery said he is enjoying balancing his time between music and school.
"It's kind of back and forth – on the road and back at school and back home," he said. "But it's fun for me."
McCreery was able to meld his two worlds together a few months ago when he filmed his music video "The Trouble with Girls" at Garner Magnet High. The clip featured cameos by his friends and classmates.
"They were loving it. You should have been at school the next day hearing them all in the hallways talking about how they were in the video and which scene they were in," he said. "They enjoyed the brief little glimpse into what my life is like. They were all (saying) 'You have to go through this every day?' I'm like, 'Yeah.'"
During the holidays, McCreery tried to find some anonymity. He participated in Operation Christmas Child, a trip sponsored by Samaritan's Purse to bring gifts to children in the Dominican Republic.
"That was an incredible moment for me that I will never forget," he said. "Just being able to give them the box of gifts and see them when they opened it and their faces light up."
McCreery said it was great to be able to share the moments with the children and not have them identify him as the "American Idol."
"They didn't know me, which is kind of good. I didn't want them to. I just wanted to be there and be under the radar," he said.
Now, McCreery is on the road with country superstar Brad Paisley mostly in the northwest.
"Anywhere it's cold, that's where we're going to be" he said.
When McCreery is done touring in March, he hopes to be back pitching with the Garner Magnet High baseball team.
"I'm just looking forward to getting back out there and being on the mound. I don't know how much I've got left in the ol' arm. I've been away from it for awhile, but I'm going to give it my best," he said.
McCreery even made a New Year's resolution to get in shape.
"Today, I actually went to Bojangles and instead of getting fried chicken, I got grilled chicken," he said. "I'm telling you. I'm making a step."