Graduating seniors confront choices for education, career

After 13 years of education, seniors are faced with the important decision of what to do next. They must decide between a myriad of options, including continuing their education or going directly into the workforce.

Those who want to continue learning in higher education institutions have several choices before them: where they should go, what kind of school they should attend or if they should just take a year off to pursue other interests or simply consider their future plans.

For those pursuing a college degree, it is important to find the a school fitted to each individual?s personal needs ? academically, socially and economically.

Senior Elizabeth Grey, an only child who describes herself as being close to her family, has decided to take two years of classes at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), and then transfer to George Mason University or another Virginia state college.

?At this point I?m really not ready to leave home yet, and being [geographically] close to my family is really important,? Grey said.

Additionally, NOVA?s transfer program will allow Grey to pursue a bachelor?s degree at whatever four year institution she may choose to attend.

?Some of the classes I [will] take at NOVA will also give me equivalent credits at the next school I want to go to,? she said.

On the other hand, senior Daniela Gonzalez has chosen another way of receiving higher education.

 Gonzalez said that taking a gap year directly after her graduation is the best fit for her because it will give her a chance to figure out what she wants to do before she moving on to a university.

 ?The main reason I chose a gap year was because I didn?t know exactly what I wanted to study yet and where I wanted to go,? Gonzalez said.

Although she knows she would like to go into a career field concerning children, Gonzalez also wants to do things such as community service and other activities that she did not have time to do over the past few years of high school.

?Although a lot of people go into college undecided, I didn?t think that was the right thing for me, to go in without knowing just what I wanted to study,? she said.

Regardless of where the graduating seniors choose to do and where to go, junior Evelyn Quiroz-Perez believes that there is one thing that truly matters about choosing a college.

?It?s really important that people pick what?s right for them and don?t worry about others,? she said.

Quiroz-Perez, who faces the college admissions process in the coming year, emphasizes the highly personal component of the process.

?In the end, it doesn?t matter how prestigious a school is if it?s not for you,? she said.