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Planning for the Future

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When finished with high school, students face many options, including registering for college, enlisting in the military or pursuing a trade. Regardless of how someone plans ahead, consensus is that the best way to start things off is with college. Many other options can bring success as well, but there is a reason why high schools prep their students for immediate entry into postsecondary education.

Working and making money are the first two things that come to mind when thinking of adulthood, but they don’t eliminate fun and continued learning. College is the opportunity for someone to discover what they want to be, and much can be learned through the experience.

Most of the time, a college degree brings better wages. According to usnews.com, the millennials wage gap between college grads and high school grads has a 17.5 K average and grows each year.

If college is a little out of price range, don’t fear; there are many other options to choose from. For example, in-state schools are genuinely cheaper than out-of-state schools and private schools, plus according to emory.edu, the average financial aid package is $29,000. And there are also lots scholarships to apply for to bring the cost down as well.

“I had difficulties in college,” English teacher Rachael Wilkinson said. “But as a whole, it was worth it.”

College isn’t a cake walk because life isn’t either. So expect it to be difficult because there are times when everyone wants to quit. The decision is in the student’s control: do they want to put in the work to succeed or have difficulty making their dreams come true?

“College gave me a career with pension,” Creative Writing and English teacher Marie Thrailkill explained. “I didn’t think I was intelligent due to previous educational struggles.”

College is where many people learn who they really are. They begin learning about a certain subject or subjects and realize that it/they suits them best.

“The best thing I have done in college is focus on my major,” said Nick Grace, a UMBC freshman. “I am undecided [but] the extra time allows me to research a major I may be interested in. I would stress good study habits. In high school some students can get away with studying little to none, but in college you will fail for sure.”

Choosing not to study will deprive people of time and money because, according to collegedata.com, the average yearly cost of college $33,480. This amount will add even more to the growing average debt of $30,000 yearly, according to ticas.org.

“One thing that colleges look for is perseverance,” SAT Prep Math teacher Rebecca Mello said. “They don’t want to waste their time with people who get one difficult assignment and immediately say ‘I’m done.'”

Generally, it isn’t smart to try and force a person to do something they feel they aren’t ready for. If college seems too difficult, the best thing to do is wait. People who put themselves in situations they refuse to understand are setting themselves up for failure. So if someone knows they aren’t going to try, they shouldn’t be in college.

It is better to not do so, not going to college can pay off. As stated before, the military is not a bad option. America will always need soldiers.Not all jobs are in the front line. There are mechanical, tactical, and surveillance jobs in all branches of the military. Plus, there are great benefits offered, and, if you choose to leave the force, the government will pay for your college tuition.

Another smart idea is vocational education, which helps a student prepare for a certain career they have in mind. The most recognizable trade schools are those that teach culinary arts. Preparing food is a delicate skill and takes years to master. Those who love to cook should keep culinary school in mind.

The other great thing about vocational schools is that they are in the area just like a local college. Take the Lincoln Tech trade school in Columbia, Maryland for example. It is local and offers many different courses. As for those who have cooking in mind, L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland offers an extraordinary opportunity to follow culinary culture.

There is also the option of attending college later. Some people are set on making money more than education, and the human brain can certainly become sore after being filled to the brim over a 12-year period. These people will therefore choose to put college off for the time and instead contribute to society with a job.

Many famous people have made their mark by not graduating college. One is Apple creator Steve Jobs, who attended Reed College but dropped out due to his parents not being able to afford it. Furthermore, Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard didn’t even finish high school and is now worth $8 million.

The ways someone sets their life up for success differ drastically, as there are hundreds of options out there. Don’t fret, because anyone can find the path to success. And whether it comes through having a role filling society’s plan or keeping America safe from outside forces, people can be anything they want to be if they put their mind to it.

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The Student News Site of Catonsville High School.
Planning for the Future