College isn’t the only option for seniors

Helen Fagan

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A common stereotype associated with the New Trier “bubble” is that the school is full of teens with the expectation that after high school, seniors continue on to college.

Many assume that because New Trier boasts a 99% graduation rate, that most of these seniors are going to college.

But every year approximately 98% of New Trier seniors enroll in post secondary education institutions within 16 months of graduation, according to the Post High-School Counseling department.

The current Class of 2017 has 1,021 seniors, meaning, approximately 20 students out of this class will not attend college next year.

If this is the case, there’s a group of kids large enough to be their own advisery that don’t attend college. Why don’t we hear about them? Most seniors can point out the kids who are heading to the Ivy Leagues, attending service academies, or even name one or two individuals taking a gap year. But even though over 20 Trevians do not attend a college or university after graduation, this post high-school option is rarely discussed.

Senior Chris Hegevall-Clarke has unique plans for after graduation. He intends to move to Vail, Colorado with a friend to work on a resort in the area during ski season.

He said he does not know exactly what job he will take, but intends to land “any entry level position like lift operator, fry cook, cashier or ski patrol.”

Clarke’s reasoning for his post-high school plans stem from wanting a different experience than what academics bring and gain real-world experience.

He said, “I wanted to have some experience living and working away from home to hopefully help me once I do go to school.”

Clarke deferred his enrollment to University of Colorado at Boulder until the fall of 2018.

New Trier alumnus Augie Marsh, who graduated with the NT Class of 2015, attended one year of college at the University of Iowa before returning home last fall. He now works as a technician at a local Subaru dealership.

Similar to Clarke, Marsh feels that college simply didn’t align with his future plans. He said, “I wasn’t productive at all, and I think that really sapped any interest I might’ve had.”

Marsh said he left college in order to pursue his dream of a career in the auto industry. He said, “Doing something I enjoy (working on cars) has been much more rewarding.”

He feels that he does not need a college degree to have a fulfilling future. Marsh currently has no plans to go back to school, but hopes to open his own auto detailing shop someday.

NT Class of 2016 alum Alyssa Faber is also leaving the University of Iowa. She chose to leave after her freshman year because she didn’t feel that Iowa was a good fit and is unsure about what she wants to do.

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