Thinking about the future: PNHS’s post graduation plans


Maddie Parise (12) ponders her post high school plans

Kayla Park, Special to the nl

“I am extremely stressed out. I don’t like thinking about the future,” says Isla Wilger (12), when asked about the college application process. Nearly every student who comes through Portage Northern must complete this process, which can be difficult to balance on top of an already full load of schoolwork and extracurriculars. “I don’t know if I should focus on sports and homework, or scholarships,” Wilger says.

What’s the hardest part of applications? Keycia Dusenberry (12), finding it difficult to entrust her future to outside sources, says it’s the teacher recommendations. “I’d just rather do all of it by myself,” she says. Nicole Bobb (11) disagrees: “The most daunting thing is how selective some colleges are,” she says. Haley Jordan (10) looks at the process a different way. “I’ve heard that the applications take really long to fill out, but it’s worth it if you get in,” she says.

Some freshmen have already begun charting a career path. Alexa Kava (9) is thinking about majoring in English at Western Michigan University. She has had some experience with the application process in assisting her cousin, or attempting to: “I tried to help my cousin choose a college and she didn’t really listen to me,” Kava says. Demi Jensen (9) wants to major in music or psychology at Grand Valley State University. “I know people who go to Grand Valley and it seems like a good school,” she says. About her future, Lexi Gavlas (9) says, “Honestly, I have no idea. I’m not sure if I’m excited [for college] because I haven’t really experienced high school.”

I’ve always wanted to do something in service to the world

— Isla Wilger (12)

However, to the seniors—who have experienced a great deal of high school—the prospect of going out into the world to pursue their goals is exhilarating, even if the practicalities of applying to colleges are not. Laura Baudoux (12) has decided to major in secondary education and looks forward to attending a private Christian college. She has an easier time juggling schoolwork with college prep than some of her classmates: “I have Ms. Nott for English and she is not giving us a lot of homework right now because our homework is to work on college apps, so that’s really nice,” she says.

Despite her stress, Wilger is dead-set on a career path: she plans to go into business and focus on marketing, public relations, or fashion merchandising and purchasing, with a major goal to participate in a Navy or Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which basic military and officer training enriches a student’s college education throughout the school year and summer. To her, the application process is a necessary evil, a mere bridge to be crossed on the way to larger goals. Says Wilger, “I’ve always wanted to do something in service to the world.”