“I did not want to stay in California. I feel like going to college has to be an experience that should be changing you, and has to expose you to other environments different [from] the one you’ve been living in your whole life,” said Eduardo Hernandez, who is going to Richmond, The American International University in London as an Economics major.
Eduardo Villegas is an incoming freshman for University of Colorado Boulder, and faces the stress of going out of state:
“Sometimes, you don’t really see yourself going somewhere, [but] next thing you know, you’re going there, and...it’s scary...I’m not sure how I’m gonna do it...but I just have to go for it.”
Both Hernandez and Villegas are two of the many people going out of state, including Yasmine El-Assadi (Baylor University, Texas), Eric Harman (Purdue University, Indiana), and Michelle Luna and Rachel Witter (Mercy College, New York). Yet there are several seniors who are content with staying in California, such as OCC-bound Tin Truong :
“I don’t want to be that far from home because my parents are getting really old and they don’t have that much time left and I wanted to spend time with them. And it’s also nice because...it’s, you know, cheaper. And it also gives me more time to find out what I really want to do.”
Some students are taking a path much different from the norm. Hayley Smith is one of the few taking the gap-year path. A “gap-year kid” is a student who chooses to take a year off of school.
“In that year I’m probably gonna work; hopefully at Disneyland, get a good job in a show, or at Universal Studios. There are professional theaters around, or a good job somewhere. [I might] go traveling with my parents...in Europe: Italy, Rome, Germany, Scotland.”
Aside from gap-year kids, there are also seniors planning go into the military service. Alicia Rederscheid, after attending OCC for two years, plans on joining the Navy. Her choice was influenced by the fact that her much of her family did the same, and she feels that it would lead to “better opportunities and better experiences.” Although Rederscheid admits to some fear, her outlook is positive nonetheless:
“...I think about all the good and everything I’ll be standing for. [Then] I’m not as scared. I’ll have a new family standing behind me and watching my back...I’m proud to be getting this opportunity.”
It is always strange to think that, after spending at least four years with the same people, everyone begins to go their separate ways. Whether it’s a local college, an out-of-state one, or neither, it is clear that most seniors have decided upon what path to take.
Additional Plans Not Shown on Map:
Orange Coast College
United States Military
Written by Maria Diaz