Exploring Options for Life After High School

Exploring Options for Life After High School

Joy Reider and Amir Heyward

It’s around that time of the year again; when millions of high school students are truly thinking about their future and how that would look for them. Many seniors are considering the traditional four-year college, however, that is not the case for everyone. Some students are considering other pathways such as community college, trade school, etc. As a way to shine some light on the different options seniors have after high school, the Raider Review spoke to 3 ERHS seniors who were all going on a different path.

Olawale (Wale) Adurota, is a senior who would like to attend a four-year traditional college. His reason for going to traditional “college is for the experience of being away from home, [he] would also like to get out of Maryland ”. To Wale, freedom means a lot, and he explains that “the option to explore and do whatever [he wants] to do, definitely played into [his] decision”.

 Every senior has a different college process, however, every senior applying to college has experienced the stress that comes with college applications. For Wale, “the most difficult part was not knowing what [he] wanted to do in the future.” He mentions that he “likes a lot of things” such as physics, philosophy, and reading, “so it was difficult to actually narrow down what [he could see [himself] doing for many years in the future.”  Wale is particularly interested in physics and engineering, with that in mind, “most of the colleges [he] applied to were STEM schools.”   

When it came to his mental health during this process, Wale says that he “felt that [he] completely neglected [his] mental health during the process because [he] was so focused on getting everything done all the time.”  Personally, he feels he had “too many things to do to even think about mental health.” However, Wale mentions that it was “afterward that [his] mental health suffered” the main reason for this was that “he wasn’t doing assignments on time and was left playing catch up with a lot of classes.” 

Damilola Odebo is taking a similar path, community college. Following high school, she plans to transfer to a four-year university after completing two years at Prince George’s Community College, a school she already attends through Dual Enrollment. When asked how she came to this decision, she mentioned that “[PGCC] offers a scholarship to dual enrollment students,” which will allow her to attend “practically for free.”

A big concern for her is the cost of tuition. Planning to become a general dentist, Damilola understands the gravity of student loans. “I won’t be in debt just doing my prerequisites,” she commented, “it’ll give me time to save up…for when I transfer.” Damilola is confident community college will benefit her in the long run. She says she’ll be grateful knowing she’s giving herself “some space to breathe immediately after high school.”

Damari Philson, nationally ranked #9 in featherweight youth boxing, is another senior at Eleanor Roosevelt. Looking towards a unique pathway, he’s decided to pursue his boxing career full-time following high school. When asked about how he came to this decision, Philson shared how he wants to make the most out of what he’s been given. “You don’t get many opportunities in life [like what he has] now with [his] career,” he commented. “College can wait.”

But Damari has plans to expand beyond boxing, too. He noted that boxing could help him “branch off into other interests like investing, real estate, and art.” Damari is taking advantage of the fact that “you can go to college anytime you want” and he’s confident this decision will allow him to reach success off his “hard work and dedication.”