Tuesday, February 25, 2014
~~ the following is a piece I did for the 2013-14 school year of "The Ram Pride," Ringgold High School's school newspaper ~~
This time of year, many students have a good idea of what they're going to do after high school. Deadlines for college applications and scholarships are quickly approaching, along with the due date for financial aid in March. Some students aren't going to college, but by this time a lot of those people also know what they are doing.
Sarah Krempasky, a twelfth grader here at Ringgold High School, has been very involved in the college application experience. She wants "to major in music/theater." The main school she has in mind is Point Park University, which is a communications-focused college in Pittsburgh. She says PPU is "fabulous," and, "I like the way they structure [the music/theater program] more than [other colleges]." She feels the stress of the application process, and jokes, "it's a horrible, horrible process."
A 2010 statistic from the National Center of Education Statistics asserts that around 5.7% of the population was in college. According to the Washington Post, "only 27% of college grads have a job related to their major." Also, from CNN Money, "in the 2011-12 academic year, the average net cost for a full-time student at an in-state public university was about $15,000 for tuition, fees, room, board, books and incidental expenses, according to the College Board."
Another senior, named Bryce Imhoff, has very different after-high school plans. Bryce plans to "[drive] for a gas company." Currently, Bryce is in the tech program that RHS is associated with, in a "gas and oil class." In this class they "learn as much as possible," he says. He claims he won't do any additional schooling "other than getting my CDL," he says. I asked if he's happy with this path he's going down, and he said he is, so long as he's making six figures.
No matter what one chooses to do afterwards, high school graduation is a pivotal moment in the average American's life.
The seminar I teased earlier about alpacas was hosted by tenth grade student Noah Smith. This seminar took place in February and was Noah's first. Noah's seminar was unique in that he had hands-on experience with his subject matter, as he frequently works with alpacas owned by family members. I asked him if he plans to do more seminars and he wasn't sure, but he did say that if he did he'd probably do one on massage therapy. He said he had fun and he "guess[es]" he's proud of how he did, but he claims he prefers watching seminars over hosting a seminar. His advice for students who haven't done a seminar yet but are considering taking the plunge? "Take the plunge."