Heading toward College

When the seemingly long and drawn-out road of high school comes to an end, graduates have to face a potential life-altering decision: Go straight to college or wait a year or two? Students make insane excuses on why not to go to college after high school. Some are legitimate, like life happens, and that decision is just postponed. But some students are just sick of school. College is extremely different than high school. “I was able to choose my classes and that made it so much more fun and relaxing,” said Dimond alumni Annalisa Tornfelt. Being in control of her own classes, she was exited about going to class to learn and was able to focus more on what she wanted to do. Unlike high school, where students take all of their classes in one day every day, in college some classes meet once or twice a week. Another popular excuse for not going to college is students don’t know what they want to major in or get a degree in. It makes sense to be prepared and know what the plan is before doing something, but sometimes it’s best to just jump and see were you land. During History teacher Lem Wheeles’s senior year of high school, he wanted to become an engineer. He really respected engineers and how much they help people everywhere. But he realized he wanted to help people more face to face. So he became a teacher. Lots of people don’t have enough money to pay for a full ride to college, but that isn’t a good excuse either, because there are many scholarships out there for students to grab. More than $3 million are designated for scholarships. Plus, we live in Alaska and get dividends every year. Chelsey Westover is a senior is looking to go to UAA for the first couple of years because she doesn’t know what she wants to major in. By going to UAA first she can get the required courses done and pay in-state tuition doing so. If she were go to a school out of state, she would have to pay more for the same classes. Her parents also saved her dividends every year, and that helps with the cost also. Shirley Reeves, Dimond’s Career Resource Center coordinator, says that about 65 percent of students stay in Alaska and get their majors here. But there is a program called Western Undergraduate Exchange. This program lets students pursue education out of their home state and still pay instate tuition. Sixty percent of Dimond’s students choose to go through the WUE program. Reeves said, “I think there is a post-secondary option for everybody. Know that you’re going to need it. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t going to need it. It’s going to put you higher up the food chain when it comes to jobs.” Westover said, “It’s preached a lot about how it’s important…It’s not ‘til afterwards that you realize how much you really need it.”