Seniors: Alternatives to College

Giuseppe, Stephen, Andrew, Dominic


Students of Morgan holding the flags

Teens may be brainwashed into believing that the only path after high school is college. The truth is that there are many other options to start their next journey into their future. In 2014, nearly 25% of high school students did not attend college after graduation. Trade school enrollments have increased to about 16 million in 2014. There are many options besides college that teens do not always consider. This is partly due to students being told their whole lives that college is the only way to achieve success. A few high school seniors at Morgan have turned away from college and picked a different direction after High school.

Giuseppe Carpenter is a current senior at Morgan who is currently planning to take his future in a different direction. Giuseppe is planning to do a gap year instead of attending college. He plans to use the connections he has with his father’s work to start a career he might be interested in doing. Giuseppe’s dad is a sales manager, and Giuseppe plans to apply for an internship for the company. During his gap year, he will be installing solar panels in Rhode Island for $20 an hour. Before his internship starts, he will be working at Shanks and The Little Pub the whole summer to start saving money for his future. After his gap year has ended, he will be deciding whether to go into trade school to continue a career in installing solar panels or to attend Middlesex Community College for his general academics. He felt that rushing into college right away wasn’t the best option since high school “wasn’t for him” as he stated. He wants to take his time deciding what he wants to do for his future, so he won’t regret wasting money on a major that he ends up not pursuing. When asked if his family affected his decisions on college, he explained that his parents took a different route as well. His father went into the military after high school and then found out that he was good at sales, so he went into sales management. His mother did attend college but ended up dropping out to go into social services which she has been doing for almost 40 years. Giuseppe has a plan for his future that works best for him even though it does not involve attending college right after high school.

Stephen Johnson is another senior who has different plans for his future instead of attending college. Stephen has chosen to go into HVAC because he believes it is a constant need and is a more hands-on environment. He believes that the education system teaches people how to become employees and follow orders, and he wants to be given the choice to make his own decisions and have control over his education. He chose to go into HVAC because the field offers good benefits and pay. Stephen will be saving money he said “I will have roughly 20% of the debt of an average college student as well as having an opportunity for my education to give me a 4 year paid apprenticeship.” This means that he will be getting paid to learn. Lastly, Stephen thinks that this alternative is something a lot of other people should take. It saves a lot of money, and the HVAC field guarantees constant work for those who match the field requirements. Stephen will not be attending college, but he will still have a career in a field he finds motivating and will help get his future together.

Andrew Beauchamp has decided to spend his life after high school in the Army. He chose to join the Army because it would be the most beneficial option for his future. “It’s not that I don’t want to go to college, but I personally feel that this is a better option for me and that I can always go after if I want to, and it’ll be free.” Andrew hasn’t said no to college completely, but it isn’t his next step after he graduates. Joining the army comes with a bunch of benefits. For example, health care and free tuition to college. Andrew believes that he will gain more skills in the Army that can help him get a good job afterward than college would. To join the Army, Andrew has to follow the normal recruitment process, such as taking multiple exams, doing a physical examination, taking an oath, and enlisting. Andrew will be going through this same process; however, due to a surgery he had during freshman year, he has to get a medical clearance. He has relatives to look up to that have also taken this life choice. He has two cousins that are in the military. One of them joined the Marines, and the other joined the Navy. Andrew is proud to be the first in his family to enlist in the Army.

Dominic Carpenter has chosen to enlist in the Army Reserves instead of attending college. Both he and his brother have chosen a different path instead of college and two opposite journeys. Dominic has chosen to enter the Army Reserves because “It offers the option to travel the world and serve a purpose bigger than yourself.” Dominic feels that spending all that money for college is not the best idea for a child who would be paying for it himself. Money is his biggest benefit as to why he will not be attending college. To be in the Army Reserve, Dominic will have to pass the ASVAB and then go through a military entrance program called MEPS to ensure he passes the physical and mental requirements. Education isn’t eliminated from Dominic’s future. He does plan on going to college after his basic training and tech school. Dominic plans to follow in the footsteps of older relatives who have also chosen this journey. His grandfather served in the Army and his father was also enlisted in the Air Force. Dominic, his brother, and some of his other close friends have also chosen to take these other courses in life.

There is always another choice besides college after high school. Whether teens do not attend college due to financial needs or another passion that college cannot support, there is always an option. Students who do not choose college will still find success in life. These fellow seniors at Morgan have chosen to go their own way, and we wish them the best of luck for what adventures await them in their futures.