Out with the old, in with the new

Hannah Cole, Staff Writer

When I stepped onto the University of Texas at Austin’s campus for my first ever college tour, I was immediately bombarded with what I could only properly refer to as the future. All of a sudden, I was informed about a myriad of opportunities, all designed to prepare me for quite literally the rest of my life. The wealth of opportunity college offers me is why I am ready to leave high school behind and embrace my future.

College offers me extensive research opportunities, whether conducting my own or participating in another’s. While I was an AP Research student this year, I’m able to involve myself in research from freshman year onward, unlike in high school where I could only conduct formal research my senior year. For a student like myself who wants to go into the medical field, this is an invaluable advantage of college

Another unique opportunity college offers is internship opportunities specific to the field you’re looking to eventually enter. While high school students can definitely obtain jobs and internships, most of them will be more general, entry-level positions, rather than a stepping stone into the higher workforce. Internships serve as a first step into your chosen field, and can result in guaranteed employment after graduation or great connections within your industry. In addition, many opportunities are sponsored and encouraged by the university through job fairs. Since your knowledge becomes more specialized after choosing a major, it makes college students the perfect candidates for these first peeks into more specialized industries, and represents another wonderful opportunity beyond high school.

Socially, college offers quite a few advantages as well. Some of us in the district have lived in the same place, talking to the same people, for the entirety of our lives at this point. While that’s all well and good, college offers the chance to befriend lots of new people, from all different places, from all different backgrounds. Whether with a roommate, in a quad, or pledging to some lifelong best friends through Greek life, college offers the opportunity to experience life outside the “Lovejoy Bubble.” Plus, haven’t we all wondered what it would be like to live with one of our best friends?

Finally, college, community college, the military, trade school or entering the workforce is our big transition into adulthood. Most of us at this point are 18 years old – able to drive, to vote, now considered adults in our greater society. Whatever happens after May 29 represents the bud of our youth finally blossoming into the flower of adulthood; we’ll learn skills necessary to become the doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians and architects of the future, just to name a few. Our time is now, class of 2021. It’s time for us to move past high school and take hold of our futures. Embrace your dreams.