Where we go next


Harrison Hopkins, Staff writer

High school has certain checkpoints. First day of school, join a club or activity, make new friends, get a license, and get a job. All these things generally happen within your high school career. Maybe not all of them will happen for you or maybe you haven’t gotten there in your life yet. But the one sure thing that all Carroll students will accomplish someday is graduation (or at least that’s the goal). That’s why everyone is here after all. Of course, there are other things that come along with being in high school. It’s important to have fun, make memories, get involved, learn and all that jazz but the whole reason for all of it in the end is to graduate.

Students graduate so they can move onto the next chapter in their life’s. Some students go to college and others have a different idea. Some know what they want to study right away in college and others are not sure yet. Everyone’s journey in high school is different so it is only logical that everyone’s next steps after high school are different too.

For the average high school student, you are in school for 4 years in total that is 720 days of education. 720 days of homework, 720 days of cafeteria lunches, 720 days of waking up early, and 720 days of your life. But high school is just one chapter in a person’s life. It might feel like the longest and hardest part of your life but something to remember is that there is so much more to come.

The future can mean a lot of different things for people. There really is no map for what to do next. For some seniors that are going away for college. They are leaving their parents for the first time and won’t have that to hold onto. Yes, this means learning how to do your own laundry. For others who decide to stay local for college that still means adjusting to a new life.

Most people have stayed within the same comfort zone of friends and activities all throughout high school. Now with student’s journey ending, many will have to face the truth that it might be time to expand and branch out. That could mean joining a new club and finding something new about yourself or making new friends. One senior that choose the route of leaving home as well as leaving the state is senior McKenzie Nadeau. McKenzie is an artist in both music and fashion. She decided to continue with your love for fashion by attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, or SCAD for short.

“Most of the decision making on where I wanted to go came down to me. Of course, I had my parents input and guidance. They told me to keep things in mind like the distance between school and home, the cost, and what programs to do,” said Nadeau.

Savannah, Georgia is different from the corn fields and small-town life of Fort Wayne. Not only does a new environment with sun and beaches that come with McKenzie’s transition, but also has removal of the safety net that her parents have provided for her throughout her life. For the first time, students like McKenzie will have to learn how to solve problems, be safe, ask for help, go to sleep and wake up on time, and be responsible, all without a parent’s hand to hold. All of this probably seems overwhelming, and in truth it is, but for the students that have always wanted to say goodbye to the Fort then going long distance for college is for them.

“Of course, there are things I hope to do at SCAD, I want to find a friend group but at the same time keep in contact with all my friends from Carroll. Also, I hope to learn a lot about self-reliance and problem solving, but I will always remember my parents are just a phone call away for some extra help,” said Nadeau.

Now heading hours and hours away from home isn’t for everyone. Some students after high school still want to go away for college but at the same time stay close enough to maybe come home on a weekend to visit friends or have their parents do their dirty laundry. Lauren Monasa is one student who plans to go to a in state school. Lauren is attending Ball state university; this school is within 2 hours from Carroll and allows students like Lauren to experience life away from home at a dorm room but at the same time be close enough to home. Something about Lauren that many Carroll students face is being unsure what they want to major in.

“My biggest question right now is what am I doing with my life? I have so many questions that I wish could be answered right now. I got accepted into the college I wanted but now the next step is figuring out what to do with it,” said Monasa.

Believe it or not, its normal and okay to not know what to do exactly in college. Many people go into college for the first year and don’t know what to major in, and by the end of their university experience they know. That’s what college is for after all, for students to find things they love and pursue that.

If going out of state isn’t for you as well as leaving home isn’t then there are plenty of local colleges to attend. There are many advantages to staying local for college, it doesn’t cost as much, and students can stay with there parents through college for extra guidance. Maddie Carr is attending PFW to study medicine and plans to stay home during her college years.

“Ever since my seventh-grade career class I’ve been kind of set on anything that has to do with forensic Science, so I chose to go to nursing school to become a forensic nurse, but lately I’ve been pulled toward becoming a woman’s doctor,” said Carr

Staying at home for college still does gives students a new fund since of freedom and a new start. For Maddie she hopes to keep her friend group form Carroll as well having a whole different experience form high school.

“I am mainly just looking forward to being able to make my own schedule and be on my own time. Also, I was part of after school activities throughout high school that took up most of my free time so now finally I can do something new and have free time,” said Carr.

The routes of post high school going into college doesn’t just end with out of state in state and local schools. Other students decide to go in a direction that they feel they have a calling to. These students like Michael Sweat decide to enlist in the military after high school to get an education and at the same time join a group that serves and protects. Michael’s real love is in the ocean, he wants to join a branch of the military that will help he pursue that passion. He has been attending training on weekends to prepare him for his next steps after graduation in the military.

When asked why he decided to go down this path Michael’s biggest reason was to be surrounded with people that have similar passions to him and to expand his abilities in new ways.

“I see myself hopefully out on the ocean with people who share my passion for everything that’s out there. I want to become a better person in the military and hopefully learn skills that will help me for the rest of my life,” said Sweat.



High school lest you pick some classes and be expressive and free, but there was always a little linearity to it all. All those limitations will change for students after they graduate high school. No matter what path students take when it comes to their next step in colleges, they will be faced with new people, new environments, new freedoms, new struggles, and a new adventure.

High school is just a chapter in your life, and graduation is the exciting cliff hanger at the end that opens so many possibilities for the future. Whether planning to continue a passion you found in high school or find something completely new, the true answer to where students should go and what they should do after high school is unanswerable because its all up to you. Students can go wherever they want after high school and chase whatever dream comes into there heads. High school gave the tools now its on you to use them.

“The best thing about high school I’d have to say was meeting all the people that I can now call my friends today and forging bonds with them that I will have for the rest of my life,” said Sweat.

“I wish I could go back in time to freshmen year and tell myself not to stress out so much and that high school might be scary but in the end it’s not that deep, and to make sure and enjoy it,” said Monasa.