With graduation approaching this weekend, it’s a fun and exciting time for everyone, especially the seniors because that’s when life truly begins. No longer do they have to stay up working on an English paper that they procrastinated on too long (surely I can’t be the only one that did that on more than one occasion) or working on pre-cal homework that you thought you understood in class, but then came home and realized you didn’t understand anything. Graduating from high school in 2011, I was most excited that I didn’t have to wake up at 7:15 a.m. anymore to get to school by 8 a.m. 

Everyone talks about the responsibility that comes with graduating high school and while that is partially true, there’s still plenty of excitement that isn’t based on responsibilities. 

I remember for me, finding out that I could pick my own class schedule and only have to go to class two or three days a week was like finding out that Christmas came early. 

I remember when I was in high school feeling pressured to attend a major four year university, because many of my friends were either attending college out of state, or going to some of the big division one schools such as the University of Texas and Texas A&M.  I went the community college route because it was loads cheaper, I was paying my own way for college and I was receiving the same education. 

Perhaps one of the biggest things is to ensure you’re doing the proper research for whatever degree program you choose. 

Thanks to my Make-A-Wish with the Minnesota Twins, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life very soon after graduating from high school. Having already chosen the community college route to start, I had no idea that I could’ve actually gotten a jump start on taking journalism classes, this would’ve saved me a ton of money and made a difference in how much I took out in student loans. 

Speaking of loans, don’t let that deter you from whether or not to attend college. I didn’t have to take out any loans until my senior year, because I fortunately had scholarships and grants cover most of my school. Any remaining balance I had, I paid out of pocket because I had started working at age 15. If you have to take out loans, stick with government loans because you don’t have to pay those back until six months after graduation. Private loans start repayment virtually immediately. 

While I was unable to cover the Soroptimist senior girls luncheon, I did cover the senior boys luncheon and I was very impressed with each of the senior boys in attendance because they all had a plan of what they wanted to do after receiving their diploma on Saturday, June 1.

There’s no pressure to finishing college in four years. I thought that ‘s what I wanted. But to finish in four years, that takes some serious dedication and a lot of studying. Money is always an issue most of the time when it comes to paying for college. I’ve seen the amount of scholarships available in Lake County students. and wish I had that many scholarship opportunities. 

When everything is said and done, I wish the best of luck to the class of 2019, I know you’ll make Lake County proud. 

 

— Michael Acosta

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