By Faithe Stallings, Features Writer

All through the ages of youth, kids change what they want to become when they become adults. Once they reach high school, the reality of mature responsibilities hits them in the chest. At a minority-based school, would it be stereotypical for them not to be ready or would the students show that they have learned? Examining seniors and freshmen to see the differences in the thought processes by age group is to find out what their plans are for the future of the last millennial generation and earliest of Generation Z.

High school is a memorable time in every human’s life. The years in this young adult time period determine what a student will be later in life. Recent polls conducted by YouthTruth have shown that not only does a majority of students look forward to college, but they may not be prepared for it. Students are not taking advantage of support services and are even less prepared for future careers than college. More than 87 percent of high school students do want to go to college, but after that, they become confused; less than 45 percent of students surveyed find preparation positive.  School helps students develop skills for their future careers and college interests, providing counselors who can help with admission. The requirements of college may be intimidating, but studies show it is best for students to prepare for their dreams before their senior years.

Are students prepared and actually looking forward to adulthood, or are they dreading the mere idea of being on their own? The age range may be a variable in what the students say and as to what type of career they want; it may also determine how serious they are. Two seniors are differentiated in importance. AAlani Eddins has been preparing for college even before high school. She has known what she has wanted to do since she was a child and is a part of research projects out of school and plans to do her Senior Project on the issue.

“I love helping people, especially those who are less fortunate,” she said.

Eddins’ career choice is to become a speech language pathologist.

Davon Manigo was more of the opposite

“If you mean college, honestly I just want to make money,” he said.

He suggested interior design from the skills of using his hands, but he wasn’t interested in the choice nor did he seem excited or prepared for it. Freshmen’s responses were similar. Omar Simms and MyKenzie Truesdale responded.

“I know that there is a small chance of becoming an NFL player, but I have been preparing, and if that doesn’t work out, I have a plan B,” Simms said.

Simms has been studying science at home and plays sports nearly every day afterschool. He decided just what the future holds for him. Truesdale wants to become a nurse and is already enrolled in programs that will teach her how to perform efficiently in the career when she graduates.

“Being in ROTC, I learn about the medical field, and next year I’m going to LR [Lower Richland High School] to transfer into their med program,” she said.

She is a well prepared freshman and already has her career choice set up.

Preparation depends on the individual. Are you willing to take the initiative to be prepared for your future, or are you just going to flow through school? School isn’t going to be easy and diplomas aren’t handed over unless you put forth effort and make it so. Education and preparation are key to success in going to college; why not do what you have to early and be prepared? Many counselors, teachers and websites are on standby, willing to help get high school students the dreams they want to achieve; anxiety must be overcome and questions must be asked to get them.