Weighing the Options


Photo by Clay Campbell

Alexis Burch, Writer

It is simple: college is not for everybody. Before students make the decision to go or not, they must be aware of all options available.  

In some cases, with students like sophomore Clay Campbell, real life experiences outweigh traditional textbook learning.

“I am ready to start my life,” Campbell said. “I will save up a bunch of money and move to New York. I will take pictures around town and hopefully be discovered by someone important.”

With two full years of high school left for Campbell,  he is in no rush to make a final decision.

“I’m not really stressed out about it yet,” Campbell said. “If I go I go, if not, I’ll figure it out.”

For some students such as junior John Mark Junkins, college is a necessity to get ahead in the work force.

“I want to attend because I want to get a higher education,” Junkins said. “It can get you the qualifications [you need] and help you get a better job.”

Junkins has his eyes on Vanderbilt University. The Tennessee college is private, and has a 13.1% acceptance rate.

“[My parents] always push me to do better than they did,” Junkins said. “[Vanderbilt] has the best music program in the country, so it would look really good for me to go there.”

There are other possible routes than the traditional four year college. There are several in-state community colleges. Trade schools offer courses for those looking to get into work a little sooner. Pursuing art or opening a business are two other options for more creative-minded people.

Alternatively, college may not be the immediate next step after high school, but that does not mean it is ruled out completely.

Junior Sereniti Brown plans on going into the Navy, and while she is deployed, plans to work on getting either a Mathematics or Political Science degree through online classes.

“College is a big deal,” Brown said. “That’s why in the military they let you have a GI Bill, which pays for some of your college.”

A GI Bill is more formally known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. It states that veterans or active duty soldiers will have paid tuition to attend college or any other educational courses.

The decision is up to the student, and Brown believes every individual must follow their own path.

“If you are motivated and you stay motivated, you have what you need in order to have the job you want,” Brown said. “But if you feel like you need to pursue more education, then I’d go for college.”