Life After High School is an Individual Choice

Jack Ryan, Contributing Writer

With the senior class about to take off and pursue life after high school, it’s always good to know where everyone is going.  At SHS we have students going to college, the military, the workforce, and some undecided.  Students have been working since the end of their junior year with counselors to figure out the best route. For students not going to college, the route can look a little different.

Despite a large majority of students at the high school pursuing further education at college, gap years, the military, and the workforce still have widespread popularity amongst the senior class. Some people may question what that process looks like for those students. Scituate High School guidance counselor James Cooney comments, “This spring we are going to meet with the kids that are not going to college and will investigate what they would like to do and if they need any help with their goals after high school whether it be a gap-year technical college, travel, etc.” Rather than college tours, Cooney adds, “Students that do not use Naviance and Common App have visited tech schools, and have met with military officials, so some of them are still exploring their goals.” 

Deciding what to do after high school can become a lengthy process with some heavy decisions. According to Cooney, “about seven to eight percent” of the senior class will be going through those tough decisions this year.  Some may question whether this is the best route, but Cooney believes that choice belongs to the student.  When asked if he felt this could be a good route for some students, he commented, “Yes, some students are excited about joining the military, some students haven’t decided if they want to continue their education right now, some students work for the family business, and some work to save money in order to pay for college or trade school for the next year or two.  Last year we had more students take a year or two off because of covid, because of online learning and some colleges/universities shut down, so hopefully, now that covid is improving, things will get back to normal.”  

Tyler Ryan, now a college golfer for Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia, took a gap year after his senior year of high school.  Although he finished his schooling with the Junior PGA and not Scituate High School, he feels it helped him in the long run because it gave him more options for college and helped him focus on golf.  Ryan commented that he has no regrets: “I do not regret taking a gap year because it helped me get into a college I wanted to attend.”  The process is obviously very different when you aren’t going to college immediately.  Ryan said he chose a gap year for numerous reasons: “I graduated in 2020, which was during COVID, and I did not find any colleges that I wanted to attend for golf, so my family and I thought it would be best to spend a year focusing on golf and college so every day was working, practicing, playing golf, and communicating with college coaches.”  

SHS senior Garrett Wasserman is not planning to attend college. Wasserman said, “I just thought going on and doing my own thing would be best for me.”  Wasserman plans on getting into the fishing business and working with the people in town as well as possibly pursuing a path in art. “I just want to pursue what I enjoy and not follow the crowd,” he explained.