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The College Crunch: What to Do After High School

THE COLLEGE CRUNCH: WHAT TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL -- Senior Columnist Laurelie Holmberg has decided to attend Middle Tennessee State University next fall, but she still has words of advice for students who are undecided about their future endeavors.

Stacy Alexander

THE COLLEGE CRUNCH: WHAT TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL -- Senior Columnist Laurelie Holmberg has decided to attend Middle Tennessee State University next fall, but she still has words of advice for students who are undecided about their future endeavors.

Laurelie Holmberg, Columnist

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Senior year is a busy time for many students; ACT testing, college visits, and normal school work tend to accumulate quickly. It can often feel as if one is drowning in a sea of school. For most seniors, though, by the beginning of April, they know where they will be attending college or where they are headed after high school. For some, however, this time is known as the College Crunch.

The College Crunch is a scary time for many students. There are many options that one can choose to pursue after high school, so it is often hard to choose just one career field. Some students prefer to attend college while others strive to find their place in the armed forces. Other students, however, have no idea of what is next for them. This is totally okay of course, but it is better to know now than later. To help sort through all the choices for seniors, I decided to interview college advisor Stacy Alexander. She handles transcripts, college visits, and much more here at Central. Over the past two years, she has helped over 250 students go to college or other post-high school careers. Together, we have composed answers for the students with too many choices and not enough time.

Starting off, my first question dealt with narrowing down college choices or career choices in general.

“First, look at your grades and test scores. These will determine whether you can attend every school on your list. Next, consider the cost and scholarships you can receive to aid that bill. Then, you have to choose yourself what school is the best option for you, and is where you want to go,” Alexander advised.

That sounds good and all if one has come up with a list of colleges they are considering, but what about the students who do not know if they even want to go to college?

“If a student doesn’t know if college is right for them, we always suggest the TCAT program at Chattanooga State Community College. This way, they will receive some form of education they can fall back on for jobs in the future. I have students who don’t think college is an option come in and learn about TCAT, and it is like their whole demeanor changes,” Alexander stated.

The TCAT program Alexander mentioned is a wonderful option for students who do not wish to seek a traditional college program but still would like some education after high school. The TCAT program gives students certificates for certain programs such as automotive technology, cosmetology, and much more. Many students pursue this option because they can join the workforce more quickly.

Finally, the last question I had was for students considering joining the Armed Forces. For the answer to this, I decided to ask Senior Matthew Frazier who is attending The Citadel, a military university, in the fall.

“The military is a good option for students who want college taken care of and also crave a more adventurous experience. There is a variety of options for everyone, and [it] is helpful for students who want to pursue a more organized future. It can be extremely challenging and is certainly not for the light-hearted, but if you follow through, it’s a wonderful experience,” Frazier explained.

I totally agree with Frazier, I knew from the start I was not looking for a military experience while in college. For some students, however, the military is the only option they see. While speaking to Alexander and many other students, I realized a few things that are most important when students graduate. One, is that it is alright to take time to figure things out, but one should always have some sort of plan as to what they might want to do after grade school. Two, no matter what one chooses, they must make the choice for themselves and no one else. Lastly, but easily the most important, every student has a place somewhere after high school where they can achieve great things; they just have to find it.

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About the Writer
Laurelie Holmberg, Columnist

Hey everyone! My name is Laurelie Holmberg and this is my first year in the Digest. As the senior columnist, I plan to give all my readers fun and entertaining...

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The College Crunch: What to Do After High School