Decision Day: Seniors Take the Final Steps to Prepare for What’s Next

From navigating financial aid to abandoning the college dream, the last months of high school paint a complicated picture of college acceptance

With graduation on the horizon, Buffalo High School’s Class of 2024 faces a crossroads: pursue costly higher education or diverge onto less trodden, financially gentler paths?

The seniors of Buffalo High School trudge through the hallways awaiting the next big event. With nothing to do, they are faced with the reality of the important decisions that they face in their upcoming future.
When presented with the lengthy process and price tag that comes with college, seniors are now choosing to disregard that completely. Carter Johnson ‘24 decided that college is not his path due to the outrageous price tag. Johnson has decided to go straight to Arizona to start his own online business.

“The thought of college debt sways me completely away from the idea of going,” Johnson said. “The business I am planning to pursue is going to be a clothing brand. I am hoping to put together a brand that will bring your everyday gym goers a new type of apparel that will be comfortable and stylish for not only the gym but also your day-to-day streetwear. I am going to have to push the marketing and advertising to get the brand out there and the storage of all the orders will take place at my house to start. Once I start bringing in profits we will move to a warehouse.”

Johnson has escaped some of the stress of senior year by saving his senior study blocks until the third trimester. Others haven’t been that lucky. Cadence Lindquist ‘24 has definitely felt the pressure this year, especially when trying to apply to schools and balancing five classes each day. Lindquist wishes she had more time in her day to navigate the college application and acceptance process.

Lindquist has felt alone while navigating the college processes, relying on the experience of past graduates as she attempts to make important decisions for her future. “I feel like the things I know are only because my friend’s older siblings tell me things, ” Lindquist said. With attending The University of St. Thomas in the upcoming fall semester, she is left wishing she knew how fast senior year was going to go.

Both Lindquist and Johnson have chosen two different paths, but they have been alike in their frustrations. Confusion and stress can be an easy recipe for disaster. It can become a whirlwind of information when presented with all the tasks required for senior year: scholarships, college application, career decisions, commitments, and the biggest question: “So what are you doing after high school?”

Halle Nichols ‘24 was certain she wanted to go to college and that she wanted to major in business.
“I wish I knew how to budget and save money better to prepare me for the large price tag of higher education,” Nichols said. “I feel like there is representation of all options with more emphasis on furthering your education.”
Nichols doesn’t doubt her choice, but is ready and enthusiastic to move forward toward her next steps in life.
“The hardest part of my senior year for me has been knowing that I’ve been accepted into college and planning for the future while still having to attend everyday school.”

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