Senior spotlight: post high school plans


Photo provided by Malak Hassouna

COLLEGE PRIDE: Senior Malak Hassouna shows off her American University gear and plans to pursue Women Studies and Pre-Law.

Ryan Wu, Staff Writer

When it comes to academically driven high school students, there often exists an underlying expectation that attending a four-year college after graduation is a must. Conversely, students should be open to all options by thinking about how they can map their future to create their own individual success. Here are a couple of seniors who demonstrate that as long as you have a plan for your future, a four-year college is not the only viable option.

Senior Grant Walker plans to take a unique route: He is joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), a labor union that offers a wide range of degree programs in partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College of the University System of Ohio.

“Through IBEW, I get the opportunity to be an apprentice electrician, where I can get work experience while also having class hours,” Walker said.

Through the Free College program provided through IBEW, members can obtain associate degrees in subjects ranging from cybersecurity to criminal justice. This allows people of all ages to get a head start in the workforce and transfer class credits to universities and other institutions across the country. Walker believes that Northwood has helped guide him in his journey to make the right decision.

“What I like about Northwood is its wide variety of classes for students to try out,” Walker said. “You can really find your passion through one of them, so my advice is to take advantage of the opportunities you’re given.”

Senior Lexi Cole took this same advice to heart through her years at Northwood, finding a passion in the STEM field like many other Northwood students. Similar to Walker, Cole will be receiving her higher education with an alternative method: attending community college.

“Next year, I will be attending Golden West College to pursue a major in nursing and a minor in psychology,” Cole said. “I hope to become a pediatric nurse as well as a labor and delivery nurse in the future since I love working with children.”

Attending a community college before transferring to a four-year has its own advantages. Students can save tens of thousands of dollars by finishing their general education at a community college. Additionally, academic flexibility and an important school-life balance are both benefits of going to a community college.

“I got so caught up in making other people happy that I lost sight of my own dreams for a while, but being able to openly communicate with my family and friends really helped,” Cole said. “Because I was most worried about the money aspect of college, I am thankful that the College and Career Center gave me other options to pursue my interests.”

Through these encouraging anecdotes of seniors exploring their passions through alternative means, current high-school juniors and underclassmen are advised to use the resources provided through Northwood to formulate a post-graduation plan that suits their individual needs and aspiration, not one that is only in accordance to societal expectations.