In the middle of the school year, many seniors find themselves overwhelmed with the notion of beginning a new life after high school.
With endless options to consider along with the stress of family members never ceasing to ask questions about the future over the holidays, students may feel pressured to make quick decisions.
“My parents have been urging me since Freshman year to make up my mind since it would be here before I knew it,” senior Julia Jeffries said.
One of the most common questions asked by family members are ones relating to college: attendance, room and board, and last but not least, the college of choice for the individual.
While some seniors are more ambitious than others, it is a common misconception that the selectiveness or “ranking” of the college one attends actually defines him or her as a person. In reality, what is most important is whether or not that college will make a student comfortable and happy while attending.
Other factors to consider include the responsibility and even privilege that students must already have before beginning an independent life after high school.
For example, some students do not have the means of paying for college right away. While financial aid and scholarships are available, going to college may place a student in debt for decades to come. This may lead a student to question the overall benefit or gain from attending college right out of high school.
“[I’m paying for college] mostly on a scholarship but I’m gonna need some student loans and I’ll probably pay for the rest,”Jeffries said.
Other factors that may influence a student’s decisions after high school include the idea of taking a gap year. This means taking a year after high school to work or travel before attending college.
A common misconception of the gap year is that students are not as likely to attend college after taking a year off. According to the Wall Street Journal, 90 percent of students who take a gap year end up returning after a year. This goes to show that it is completely within the student’s control of when and if he or she will return.
This gap year experience can be a great benefit to those not sure of his or her plans for the future, or for those who wish to work or have life-changing experiences before attending college.
Yet another choice available to high school seniors is to attend a trade school. Some students at the high school already attend the cosmetology program, which prepares and educates students for attending beauty school in the future.
“I plan on working more after high school trying to find a job in the cosmetology industry because I want to start right away to build up a clientele. I do plan on trying to go to a barber school,” senior Hannah Eisenberg said.
Other trades that students may be interested in are carpentry, landscaping and computer programming.
Overall, the options are endless for seniors in high school and students should choose what to do during their lives not based on the desires of others, but on what he or she truly wants.
“I’m confident since I have a lot of interest in pursuing psychology even if it is a lot of work,” said Jeffries.