Oh, the places you’ll go

“You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose,” wrote Dr. Seuss in the book that’s borderline cliché around graduation time:  “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”.  Despite how hackneyed the book might be, it is hard not to love how Seuss innocently represents something so complex through such simple language.  And it seems that right about now everyone’s taking Dr. Seuss’ advice, heading out to college next fall, moving on to life’s inevitable next step.  But hold up a second, Dr. Seuss didn’t say that you could “steer yourself to any college you choose,” but any “direction.”

It seems all-too-apparent that the expectation, or rather the requirement, around here is to go to a four-year university.  And not just any four-year university, but a top echelon school (all those level-fours have to add up to something, right?).  We tease a bit, but the truth is that almost every upcoming New Trier graduate can probably say they expect to continue their education next year and expect most of their peers to as well.  And, of course, that’s perfectly fine.  In a world where a college education means practically everything for most careers, college is the perfectly thought-through option.  But did we name this issue of The New Trier News: The College Issue or The Destinations Issue?

This newspaper is by far the most popular of the year, we know that.  This is the paper everyone takes home with them to pore over themselves or with their family and their friends to get the scoop.    It’s used as a way to rectify gossip, and oftentimes starts the scuttlebutt.  Many would argue (and have argued) that the Destinations Issue we put out is wrong, and promotes a negative, superficial mindset at New Trier revolving around the status associations made with where seniors go to college.  In other words, New Trier students are too worried about college as it is, why fuel the flame by reporting where everybody else is going?  The simple answer is that we of course don’t agree with promoting social discrimination based on where seniors will end up next year. And if a senior doesn’t want to share their future plans, responses to the Destinations Issue will always be optional.  But, we at The New Trier News do agree with informing seniors on what their peers are up to next year, as it is both the beginning of the rest of their independent lives and an important step past being a kid in the Chicago suburbs.

Perhaps it hasn’t quite sunk in yet for those of you who are current seniors, but there is a high possibility that many of you will not see each other for some time, maybe never again. The Destinations Issue is an integral part of rounding out the high school experience at New Trier.  It comes out the same day as the yearbook and, like Trevia, the Destinations Issue helps seniors reflect on the diversity of their peers’ interests and activities.  Plus, graduating from New Trier is an accomplishment in and of itself.  By seeing what students are doing next year, seniors can further understand the wide impact of their fellow Trevians. So let this newspaper issue be a memento informing you what your fellow graduates’ destinations are.

The truth of the matter is that your lives can change in an instant, and this near-1,000- person list is not an end-all-be-all life sentence defining the rest of your time on Earth.  Everyone has a long way to go, and these are not final destinations. Once again in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Kid, you’ll move mountains,” and wherever you go, whatever you want to do, whether it’s college or something totally different, “Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!”  Congratulations, seniors.