Life After High School

What will your classmates do now that college is over?


Seniors Kaitlyn Nguyen and Jessica Rocha sitting together at Panera (photo by Ixchel Ramirez)

The expected and most popular path for many high schol graduates  is to go to college. In Massachusetts, around 60 percent of high school seniors do just that, according to the article “Massachusetts education officials sound alarm over college enrollment plunge” written by

Kirk Carapezza on Seniors across the country are all faced with a significant challenge, what are they doing after high school? 

Growing up students were made to believe that college was the only option, but as you grew older you discovered that there were actually many options. There’s the military, traveling, gap year, community college, etc. Although these seniors might’ve shared the same classes in high school, they’re all taking different paths in their new lives.  Paige Andrews, a Triton senior is, one of those students. 

“I want to go to college so I can get a degree…and so I can meet new people and figure myself out.” Andrews wants to major in criminology and possibly have two minors in forensic science and spanish. 

“I feel like there’s a lot I don’t know about myself just yet and I’d like to explore that more in college,” said Andrews. College for Andrews sounds like it’s going to be an impactful experience. For many high school students college is a way to discover new things about themselves and be independent. 

While some seniors decided to go to college, others decided not to. There are many reasons they decide to not go. Some people also just aren’t meant for college too sometimes. It’s not a bad thing but sometimes it would be better for them to pursue another path. 

“I don’t wanna do school,” said Kaitlyn Nguyen, a senior at Triton. She went on to explain she wanted to take a gap year to travel. If she decides to continue her school life she wants to study at Umass Dartmouth for nursing. 

A gap year is when a student would take an academic period and use it as a break. This is typically done the year after high school. Students do this for many reasons, whether it be personal or to take a break.

Data released in August 2022 by the same study from, showed the overall rate of Massachusetts high school graduates immediately enrolling in college is now barely 60 percent. It has dropped 10 percent since 2017. While the article states it to be bad, taking a gap year might be the best thing to do before you go to college. Some people take gap years to get a job; save for college, start a business, or for personal reasons. It’s better to take a gap year instead of going to a college and paying money for it if you’re unsure about it. 

“I didn’t know what I wanted and college just seemed like a lot for me,” said Jessica Rocha, a senior here at Triton. What Rocha felt is what many students who decide college isn’t the right path for them. A study done in September by Gates Foundation done by Edge research and HCM strategists found that 38% of students don’t go because of the cost of college and the debt. 27 percent felt that college was “too stressful” or “too much pressure”. 

Andrews, Ngueyn, and Rocha all have different views on what life after high school should be for them. While some imagine traveling the state and world, others dream of getting a degree in something they’re passionate about. Life after high school has a different meaning for everyone.