by Rory Van Gorp

Senior year is an incredibly important year. You are finishing up school and still trying to keep good grades. You have to start planning your future when you may not have any idea of what you really want to do with your life. Maybe you want to go to DMACC for two years and then finish at another school. You can go to an apprenticeship and learn a craft. You can even join the workforce right after high school. It puts a lot of stress on life, and it’s a really big decision. These decisions can change your life forever.

College is a gigantic, nerve-wracking, scary step. But does it have to be? If you educate yourself and think realistically what you want, it can’t be that bad, right? Well, I’m not so sure about that. As a senior this year I am having to make a lot of big decisions about the rest of my life, and it’s super stressful. Going on a lot of college visits and trying to find where you truly belong is such a hard choice.

People always say when you visit the right place, you’ll know it. But I’ve visited Drake twice, Grand View twice, and my second University of Iowa visit is coming up this week. I still haven’t had that moment of clarity. Drake has great programs and a beautiful campus, but since it’s a private school the price goes way up. University of Iowa has tons of opportunities and a huge campus, but the class size is huge and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Grand View is a really nice option as well. It has smaller class sizes and a good option of majors, but it is also a more expensive private school.

Joining the workforce right out of high school scares me. The struggle of getting a good paying job and something you care about doing is difficult. It almost seems impossible to find somewhere you would love to work and not need a college degree. However, maybe DMACC is a possible route. More and more PCM students are going to DMACC to get their general education credits with the intention of going to another school to finish your degree. Nonetheless, I’ve heard countless stories of students with that plan and don’t finish. DMACC is easier to leave halfway through, and that scares me as well.

Even though I don’t have a definite plan right now, I still have a little time left. Hopefully after I apply to a couple of colleges and find out the real price of each place, I can make a better plan for myself. Lucky for me, I have a lot of options available. Not so lucky for me, I only have a couple of months left.