“What are your plans after high school?” Every high school student has been asked this question several times during their high school careers. Some high school students already seem to have a plan for their future, while others don’t even know where to begin.
Four people were interviewed about what they had planned or plan on doing after high school. Some had planned on going straight into the workforce or military, while others planned on going off to college. They were asked where they planned on working or which college they planned on attending and their reasoning behind their choices. They also mentioned some of the hardest challenges they have had to face while trying to achieve their goals. Based on their responses, it seems that deciding which career to pursue and how to pay for training are the hardest decisions.
Sergeant Kenneth Abrams was among the adults interviewed. Abrams teaches JROTC at Elkin High School, and he graduated high school in June of 1977. He had planned on going straight into the workforce after high school or joining the Army. Abrams made this decision because he “knew the Army guaranteed a job and getting a paycheck.” His biggest hardship was “learning to be responsible for the choices I made.”
Another adult expressed similar views. Kerri Mullis is a guidance counselor at Elkin High School who graduated high school June of 2003. Mullis graduated from Western Carolina University and chose to go to college because she wanted to “have a better future.” When asked about her obstacles, she mentioned that she had trouble “deciding what to major in.”
Aaliyah Ganzzermiller, a sophomore at Elkin High School, will be graduating high school in June of 2020. Aaliyah plans on going to college after high school in order to study medicine. She is undecided at the moment as to where she would like to attend. She is choosing to go to college so that she “could enlist in the military as an officer.” Aaliyah mentioned that some of the hardships that she is facing are “receiving scholarships and deciding what college is best.”
Another student, Hayden Brooks, is a senior at Elkin High School and will be graduating in June of 2018. Brooks plans on going to college after he graduates high school at Surry Community College. He made this decision because he said, “It is the best option financially.” One of the hardships Brooks said he is trying to deal with is “being able to find a job with a steady income.”
The common challenge for everyone seems to be identifying what they would enjoy that would also pay the bills. Making decisions that have a long-lasting impact on life can be a very terrifying and stressful experience that everyone eventually has to make, but having a plan early on will help a lot in the long run.
Not everyone will take the same path: some will choose to go off to work; others will go off to college or join the military. Whatever each student decides, it is certain that everyone should take initiative and start planning early so they can be better prepared for the future ahead.
Mackenzie Hunt, Isaura Rodriguez, Jarryn Kelly are Elkin High School English students