Choose the Path that Works for You

Break away from what everyone else is doing, focus on making decisions that will guide you towards a successful future.


Courtney Cayer

As high school students we’ve all had to consider a path we want to take after we graduate. For most of us that path is college.  About 90 percent of Ipswich High School students enroll after they graduate. If you have lived in Ipswich for most of your life you can understand why students are so eager to pack their bags. It’s a time to grow up and discover who you want to be, what you want to do in life. For some, that process has taken longer than others based solely on the fact that they weren’t ready. In fact, 70 percent of Americans enroll in a four year college and less than two-thirds end up graduating. This could be avoided by taking some time to consider some alternative options that are best for you.

For upperclassmen who are not ready to live away or simply cannot afford it at this time, consider enrolling in a community college. Classes are cheaper and admission is a lot easier; students work at least part-time to pay their way. You can either take a few classes, follow a diploma or certification track, or advance toward your associate’s degree. Many community colleges have agreements with four-year colleges, so that if you decide college is right for you, you can then transfer those credits. Alexandra Cayer graduated from Ipswich in 2012; she said, “After High School I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go to school. Going to North shore gave me some time to narrow down my options. With the help of my adviser I chose my major and graduated with my associates degree in business. The major benefit I got out of those two years is that I can transfer and finish my Bachelor’s without worrying about debt.”  Alex will be continuing to work towards her bachelor’s degree at Southern Connecticut University next year.

If you have an interest in a particular trade such as engineering or hairstylist, seek out jobs in the trade that will not only give you valuable experience but guide you toward advancement by helping you with the certifications or licenses you need to succeed. For example, Stephanie DeAngelis graduated last year with the class of 2014,  and chose to go to Cosmetology school to pursue being a hairstylist. She says, “It was hard seeing all my friends go away, but I’ve made so many connections here. It’s so fun to be surrounded by people who love what you love, and I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time”. Steph said she will have her certification by next year and is planning on working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Business so she can open her own salon in the future.

If you’re eager to discover different cultures outside of Ipswich, consider a year of travel. Underclassman have the option of studying abroad with Rotary, which cost sufficiently less compared to traveling out of high school. Traveling to one or more foreign countries is a great way to experience other cultures, learn more about yourself, and equip yourself with cultural knowledge to apply in your life. Our very own seniors, Hannah Klapprodt and Maggie Marsh both agree that their year abroad in France has put them mentally a step ahead of everyone else. Maggie explained how her time away helped her open her eyes and realize where she wanted to be, which was close to her family. “I don’t know what path I’d have chosen out of High School but I think I’d eventually find my way; my year abroad really pushed me to discover where I’m comfortable.” She’s planning on studying human science at Colorado State University next year. Hannah talks about how her year has made her a more confident person and taught her how she wants to live her life, “Overall I just saw how beautiful the world is; I’ve gained such an appreciation of life. My experience made me excited about the places I can go and the things I can achieve, because its opened my eyes beyond Ipswich.” Hannah will be attending Macalester College and is planning on to continue studying French and French literature along with learning Arabic.

Are you convinced yet? All of these alternative options are guaranteed to lead you toward a successful future. There are countless benefits to going away to college, but the process can take a lot longer when you’re going in blind-sighted. Choosing to set aside some time to yourself can help you better the chances of choosing the college that’s right for you and a major you are likely to stick with.