Self discovery or student debt?

By Talitha Maxwell

College means different things to different people.

Some see it as an opportunity to find themselves and want the freedom and to be independent. But others see the expectation that all students attend college as a waste of money and time to major in something they don’t want to do.

Senior Zeke Leavell believes all students should attend college for both the social and academic opportunities.

“College is a good opportunity for everybody,” said Leavell. “Although you can have fun, you need to keep in mind that when you go to college you need to stay on top of your stuff.” Leavell plans to attend North Carolina A&T University and study business.

Senior Calia Cross sees college as an opportunity for self discovery.

“I feel college is a great experience for people to learn about themselves and their culture,” said Cross, who will attend Durham Tech next year and hopes to later attend Fayetteville State University.

Other students see possibility in the friendships they can make in college.

“I feel like college is cool. You get to meet new friends and old friends,” said senior Jaishaun McLaurin, who plans to attend college next fall but has not decided where.

Not all students follow this path, however. Jac Chapman, who graduated from Riverside in 2016 and elected not to go to college, thinks students should think twice before investing their time and money on more school.

“I didn’t wanna go to college after I graduated because I watched my sister throw 120,000 bucks at some private university pursuing a major she had no passion or interest in,” said Chapman.

After high school Chapman spent a few weeks between Portland and Seattle. While there, he explored coffee shops, food, and art.

Teachers’ own college experiences also vary.

“It was different, I went to a two-year community college and got my associate’s [degree],” said English teacher Victoria Watson. “Then I transferred to a four year college and I never lived on campus because I was a single parent.”

Watson isn’t the only teacher who started at a community college and transferred to a four-year institution.

“I went to a community college for a year,” said Math teacher Jordan Nguyen. “Then I transferred to a four year college. It was difficult being a math major.”.

“I actually got my bachelor’s degree in three years,” said Civics teacher Janet Heape.

People take different routes when deciding whether to go to college or pursue in something else. After high school, some people realize college isn’t for everybody. Regardless of the path you take after high school, success is possible in all aspects of your life.

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