What Comes Next for Seniors?

Graduating+Class+of+2016

Brandon Santana

Graduating Class of 2016

Emily Saba, Editor

Seniors: the next few months will fly by before we know it. Prom, final exams, Grad Bash, and Graduation are all on the horizon of our final weeks in high school, so it may be hard to focus on anything else. However, there is that one question that lingers in the back of our minds: What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

As much as senior year marks the end of high school, it also signifies the start of what comes next. For some, this decision came early. Senior Sydney Briggs plans to study aerospace engineering at UCF in the Fall.

“My college plans are set,” said Briggs. “I know at this point where I’m going, what I’m studying, and what goals I want to achieve while there.”

I find myself in a similar situation where I’m confident in my plans for the near future. This is largely because I have four older siblings who all took different paths after high school, and I am fortunate enough to take their experiences and learn from them myself.

Still, a large portion of students find themselves overwhelmed and under-prepared to make these life-changing decisions.

Senior year is stressful as is when not thinking about how pivotal the next few years of life are; do students have to make a plan for their entire future right now?

For some, paying for college is what creates an obstacle. For others, it is simply not yet finding a direction that you want to go in life. The thing is, we seniors are seventeen and eighteen years old, and the adult world seems pretty intimidating, and that is okay. Not having a game plan for your life set out in front of you at this age does not mean you are falling behind.

If you find yourself feeling directionless with only a few short months of high school left, it’s important to think of the options you have. No, you don’t need to plan out your whole life in this moment, but yes, you do need to think ahead to this next year or so.

  • Have you already decided your university, degree, and career goals? If so, congratulations! As long as you are secure with your plans, the most important thing is to work hard to achieve what you want.
  • Are you already accepted into your dream college, but not sure what you want to study? This is the category that a lot of seniors fall under: you have an idea of how you want to spend the next four years, but feel lost when it comes to planning after that. If this is you, keep in mind that simply being in a new environment such as college may give you a better sense of your goals.
  • Are you not sure how you will pay for college? It’s a sad reality that college tuition and fees are much too expensive for a majority of students. The good news is there are plenty of scholarships out there for people in this situation. True, it isn’t realistic to expect a full ride of scholarships without putting in tremendous effort. Still, it may be beneficial to take a gap year/semester to work full time and save up for tuition. Also, local options such as PBSC and FAU are great schools to commute to and alleviate room and board fees.
  • Does college just not seem like the right fit for you? This may be due to not having direction, and feeling unsure if college will do you any good. This may also be due to having complete direction, and knowing you can achieve your life goals without a degree. The important thing in this case is to keep moving. Picking up a job, even part time, could be a good way to continue to be productive while figuring out what you want to do next.

Psychology teacher Mr. Gray finds that there is no doubt about the importance of higher education.

“It’s such a huge investment in yourself,” he said.

He encourages students to begin taking classes and use the knowledge to find the path they want to take from there.

 

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