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Looking to the future

Seniors at BHS look to their future after high school and what they need to do to prepare for what is to come.

Michael Tenney, Staff Writer

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When students enter high school, many feel overwhelmed with the idea that they need to know what they’re doing after graduation in four years. However, by senior year, many students have some sort of plan for the rest of their lives.

Not many people look forward to applying to college. Students strive to fill out their applications and finish their essays all for a letter stating whether they’ve been accepted or denied. Quite a few students in the senior class took an interest in medical programs at college, including senior Abby Laverriere. She applied early action to her colleges.

“A couple of my schools required early action so I applied early action everywhere because I just wanted to be done,” said Laverriere. “So, I’m in the [in-between] phase right now. I’m waiting for some schools to get back to me.”

Senior Cassie Riley, looking to study bariatrics, applied to her colleges at an early time in hopes of hearing back early. To prepare herself for the colleges application process, she wrote several essays outlining her love of her major.

“All I really had to do [when applying to college] was mention that I wanted to be in science and had an interest in bariatrics,” said Riley. “When this will really come about, is when I’m a junior or senior in college [to prepare for my career].”

Riley hopes to study bariatrics, which is the treatment of obesity, in college. Riley found a couple of ways and different techniques doctors utilize to treat their patients.

“You can be a surgeon, which means you would perform gastric bypass, taking out thyroids, things like that,” said Riley. “Or you could be a preventative doctor, where you would be more personable with them and treat their thyroid problems, heart disease, and manage their weight.”

Laverriere filled out the Common Application throughout the summer. Hoping to study as a Physician’s Assistant, Laverriere took on many job shadows at local hospitals.

“I needed to work over the last school year, over the summer, and this school year to try to get as many job shadows as possible,” said Laverriere. “If anyone has ever tried to get into a hospital or a doctor’s office, it’s actually really hard. You have to fill out all this paperwork and finally set up a date. So, it took me a couple months to get just one. It was definitely exhausting.”

While some students apply as early as possible, some may not. Senior Sam Keating plans on applying to Southern Maine Community College [SMCC] on an “On the Spot Admission” day. This is a day the college comes to interview students and give them a decision of their acceptance into the college “on the spot.”

I figured that it would be more cost efficient to go to SMCC and then transfer out later when I built up enough credits,”

— Sam Keating

said Keating. “When I have a career, I can transfer out and further build my education.”

One of the necessities to apply for college, the FAFSA, is something guidance counselor Jennifer Rowland believes made its way to to the top of the seniors priority list.

“I will say the Class of 2017 is the best I’ve ever seen as far as filling out the FAFSA,” said Rowland. “There have been so many kids that are on it.”

Whereas Laverriere’s major requires her to get job shadows in preparation for college, Riley’s major requires more experience later in her college life.

“What really matters is my graduate program,” said Riley. “Where I’ll be getting my MD [Doctor of Medicine] in medicine and bariatrics.”

Riley took an interest in bariatrics a year and a half ago, combining her love of fitness and science into one passion.

“I think a lot of people [think] that [people that are] obese are inherently lazy and that’s not the case,” said Riley. “It’s often something they grew up with in childhood and is a genetic issue. I want to help them preemptively with disease and obesity.”

Keating plans on majoring in accounting with a minor in business. At SMCC, he plans to take full advantage of his college education.

“At first I wanted to teach,” said Keating. “At some point along the way, my hopes [moved toward] something more attainable. I’m good with numbers, so accounting seemed to fit.”

In order to prepare for his “On the Spot” admission day, Keating felt he didn’t have much to do.

Sam Keating.

“I talked to my guidance counselor, I put my name on a piece of paper, and that was it,” Keating said.

The stresses of college come through in multiple ways. Laverriere finds applying early action can potentially make the application process a bit more stressful.

“If you’re not ready in time, [applying early action] could be stressful,” said Laverriere. “But, I kind of knew where I wanted to apply, so it wasn’t that much of a hassle. I wanted to get as many job shadows as possible before I applied so I could put them on there. Other than that, I had an idea.”

Rowland sees various types of students when it comes time to apply to college. Whether a student needs help with everything or just one sentence in their essay, the guidance staff is there to help.

“Certain kids don’t need any help at all,” said Rowland. “They hand me their senior brag sheet, we meet for 15 minutes a couple times and everything is good. Other students come in and need help filling out their application, asking for their letters of recommendation. So, it really ranges as far as what students need.”

However, college time also makes itself out as an exciting time. Laverriere feels excited for what’s to come in the future.

“Once you get an acceptance to a place you want to go, it’s a lot harder to fight off senioritis because you’re like ‘oh, a school already wants me’ so you just want to go already,” said Laverriere. “But, you just have to focus on what you’re doing here because they do still care on what you’re doing in high school.”

Laverriere feels her family is starting to grasp the idea that she may not go to college close to home.

“My family is kind of adjusting to the idea that I’m not really going to be around,” said Laverriere. “It’s kind of weird because I will most likely be at least six hours away from my family. So, I know it’s kind of hard for me too, to realize I’m not going to be able to just go home.”

At the end of the day, whether it’s going to a medical office or a construction building, Rowland wants to see all of the seniors with a plan after high school.
“What we want, our goal for every class, is for everyone to have a plan,” said Rowland. “Whether it’s applying to a four year school, a two year school, a trade, having an apprenticeship lined up, or just having a full time time — that’s what we want. That’s what we’re here to help you with.”

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The student news site of Biddeford High School in Biddeford, Maine
Looking to the future