The Future of BFA St. Albans´ Seniors

River Dalley, Writer

High school can be a hectic time in a child’s life, especially for seniors. However, no matter how busy a senior gets, one question still looms in the back of their minds: “What am I going to do after graduation?” The Mercury asked graduating Bellows Free Academy seniors what their plans are after high school, why they chose this plan, whether or not this outcome was expected from the beginning and how satisfied they are with their choice. 

Out of the 23 students that took the survey, 16 of them say they are going to a college or university after high school. Most of these students are planning on going straight from high school to a four-year university in order to pursue higher education.

 “I love school and while I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet, most careers I’m interested in would require a bachelor’s degree,” Quinnlan Steele (‘23), who will be attending Smith College, said. 

Other students, such as Alicia Kleinman (‘23), are attending community college for two years before transferring to a four-year school. “Community college is still college, but I don’t have to spend as much money on a university if I go to a community college for the first two years,” Kleinman said. 

Other students said they are taking a gap year between high school and any future plans. “[A gap year] best fits my future because I don’t know what to do with my life or what I want to do… I want to get to know myself better,” Auguste Kaeding (‘23) said. 

Students, such as Nicole Trahan (‘23), are not pursuing higher education and are entering the workforce immediately after high school. “I will not need a college education for my… career,” Trahan, who plans on becoming a truck driver, said. 

When asked whether or not they were expecting this outcome, students gave a variety of answers. Most students knew of their future going into their senior year. 

“I always planned to go to college,” Luke Holcomb, (‘23) who will be attending the University of Vermont, said.

 Extra pushes were needed for a handful of students, such as David Reardon (‘23), who decided to attend Lakes Regions Community College. “I wasn’t dead-set on the idea [of attending college] until I was offered it after I started working at my current job… especially since the program is specific to the dealership I work at,” Reardon said. 

Issac Sullivan (‘23) said that the offer he received from the University of the Cumberlands was a main factor in finalizing his decision to attend. “The great college offer sealed the deal for me going,” Sullivan said. 

Others, however, were not expecting their after-high school plans to go in the direction they did. “I was planning on going straight to college but this is just the way things have turned out,” Veyda Kenyon (‘23) said. Instead of her original plan, Kenyon said that she will be taking a gap year.

 “It gives me more time to think about what I want to do and I’ll be able to really look into colleges that I’m interested in,” she said. 

Most of the seniors who responded to the survey said they were satisfied with their future plans. Out of 23 responses, 13 people ranked their satisfaction with their future plans a five out of five. 

Samuel Bapp (‘23), one of the 13 students, said his satisfaction came from “loving the college” he is attending, the University of Vermont, and knowing he will “be in a way better [financial position] than others [he] know[s].” 

Out of the other ten respondents, six of them rated their satisfaction as a four out of five, and all of the remaining respondents gave a three out of five. No matter how satisfied these seniors are with their future, one thing is for certain: mixed feelings about leaving high school are certainly present. “I’m a little excited to get the college experience by living on my own and becoming independent, but that also makes me nervous,” Benjamin Birnbaum (‘23), who is attending Temple University, said.