Pursuing alternative education methods, experiences after high school

As senior Gabriel Ochoa was thinking about what he wanted to do after graduation, the idea of skipping college all together and following his dream of living and working in Hollywood came to mind, but what would everyone else think? 

There are countless paths after high school such as going to community college, attending a four year institution, taking a gap year or even skipping school altogether and going straight into looking for a career, Ochoa said.

However, no matter the path a senior chooses to take, there will always be criticism following them, senior Joselyn Tinoco said.

“I want to attend community college instead of a four year college because I’m receiving the same education as a 4-year while saving money,” Tinoco said. “Community college has many programs similar if not the same as a 4 year college.”

Students mainly turn to resources provided by staff and teachers to get more information about post graduation plans; but all admin usually lean towards recommending a four year college education, senior Sebastain Segovia said. 

“I think that the school definitely leans a certain way with college, especially 4 years,” Segovia said.  “I think more clarity on the alternative path of going community college would be very useful to people who want to go, giving them more resources can really help.”

Attending a four year college tends to be more focused on by guidance departments because it’s what schools expect students to do after high school, but for some that isn’t the case mainly due to extreme expenses, Segovia said. Going straight into a four-year with no financial aid or a good household income can be very expensive, not keeping in mind apartments, car and living expenses, Ochoa said who’s choosing to pursue a career in Hollywood after graduation.

“I know it really helps to have a college education and everyone says you should have one before getting a job, but it really depends on the person,” Ochoa said. “Obviously money comes into play and not everyone can simply go to college.”

Months before graduation there are hundreds of thoughts and ideas in seniors’ brains ranging  from choosing which college to apply to all the way to picking what they suppose is their best plan post graduation, but there are way more things to consider than just money, Ochoa said. 

Aside from the lack of resources being given to students by the school, there are also negative comments four-year college students give to other students who aren’t attending a four year, Tinoco said.

“I have heard people say I would miss out on having a ‘college experience’ if I didn’t attend a four year college,” Tinoco said. “The college experience they refer to is attending parties and meeting new people, sharing dorms and being more independent.”

There will always be preferred paths given out by schools to seniors regarding graduation, but if a student chooses not  to attend a four year college, it does not mean they did not try in high school or they’re less than their peers, Segovia said. It’s important to keep in mind that students will do what’s best for them without the influence of peer pressure, Ochoa said. 

“As corny as it is, the truth is that knowledge is power,” Segovia said “The more you learn the more knowledge you gain, the more job opportunities you can secure. An education really does help people be successful. However, it’s important to note that just because someone doesn’t have an education, does not necessarily mean they can’t be successful.”