Life after high school

Mya Wright

We ask young children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and we ask soon-to-be college students to select their major prior to any higher education exploration or experiences. This line of questioning asks the individual to pick an aspirational future self based upon who they are prior to  beginning their futures. 

Different high school experiences could lead to totally different futures compared to your classmates. Your personality, what you’re involved in, and who you surround yourself with in high school are all factors that play into picking your dream college. 

Luke Sauser, dual sport athlete and senior, said his future is greatly influenced by who he has become throughout high school. 

“I have developed preferences about what I want to major in and the type of job I would like to have, which is to be an industrial engineer,”  Sauser said. “I have also become a lot more aware of the world around me and that has also greatly influenced my opinions and what my future will be.”

Although Sauser is very involved within the school community, he is looking forward to his future in industrial engineering at the University of Illinois. His high school experiences have greatly influenced his decision. This major requires someone who is very organized and dedicated. Playing two sports since freshman year of high school has helped Sauser develop these traits.

Maya Wilson, a senior involved in color guard, says her high school experience has led her to enroll into ISU and have new experiences within her hometown, even with COVID. 

“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and having new experiences, overall broadening my horizons,” Wilson said. “I’m planning on going to ISU, I did take the ACT, but the application process didn’t need your score for that due to COVID. ”

While none of this year is how we imagined it, it has been a year of realization; there have been some silver linings and growth. Kobe Smith, a senior, says this moment is different than he’s ever imagined it to be. 

“I imagined senior year to be the most enjoyable year of high school. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to have things like homecoming and other small events that I was looking forward to,” Smith said.

While it’s unfortunate that these seniors can’t get the senior year they’ve hoped for with their classmates of four years, these students said they are grateful they had the chance to find themselves and better prepare t for the future even with all the chaos surrounding them.  

In fact Smith, Wilson, and Sauser said high school has taught them important valuable life lessons that they wouldn’t have known without attending.

“If you work hard in high school and put in the time and effort, life after high school will be much easier,” Smith said.

Sauser agreed: “I also learned that sometimes it is better to be quiet and let others speak their minds, because it is very hard to learn when you’re the one talking.”

Lastly, Wilson said U-High’s uniqueness as a school in the area was instructive.

“I’ve learned a lot about independence and doing things for yourself in school,” Wilson said. “U-High is so different in a way we’re not like any other high school in this area.”