Your senior year in high school is a very pivotal time in your life. You have many different decisions you must make. You could move out and get a full time job, or you could go to college and try to get a degree. These decisions are probably some of the most important decisions you will make in your life. You are deciding your future. This is a very hard decision to make, especially as a teenager. You have been told you need to figure out what you want to do for the last four years, but if you're like most students, you just blow it off and say you will figure it out later. 

I decided to try to find out what my fellow classmates had decided to do with their lives. I sent out a survey and was surprised to find out that most of my classmates weren’t sure what they were going to do next year. The survey said that 47% of the senior class knew they wanted to go to college but were unsure of what degree they wanted to pursue. This seemed to be more than the normal amount. At this point in the year, seniors are expected to have applied to colleges and decided what they want to go for. I was curious to see what some of the students who said they were unsure of their degree wanted to do next year. Joe Vogelsberg said, “I’m planning on attending UW Platteville and staying undecided to get my gen eds done.  I have been looking into construction management, but still am not sure.” When I asked other students about their plans next year, their answers were very similar. They had a slight idea of what they wanted to do, but were still unsure.

Normally students would have done a lot of career exploration during their junior year which would help them figure out what college they want to go to and what degree they want to get. Unfortunately, the class of 2022 did not get those opportunities. College visits were only virtual. There weren’t any in-person career days and you weren’t able to do job shadows at most places. “Not being able to visit colleges and do career research during the pandemic definitely made it harder for me to make a decision,” said Vogelsberg. This made things a lot more difficult for the seniors this year. Job shadows help most people figure out what they want to do by showing them what exactly they would be doing once they enter the workforce. Not being able to get hands-on experience and visiting colleges slowed down the decision making process for most of the seniors. 

To help the seniors make a decision about where they want to go to college and what career they want to go into, they were allowed to go to the college fair at UW Platteville,  something that is usually reserved for juniors. At this fair there were many different colleges who the seniors were able to talk to. “It really helped me to learn more about the colleges that I had already been looking at,” said senior Logan Uppena. There were over 50 colleges at this fair, most from around this area, but some as far away is Alabama. Whether students want to stay around here or travel far away, there were many choices. This helped the seniors to narrow down their decision on what college they wanted to go to based on their interests. 

There was also a construction career day that the tech ed teacher, Mr. Bockenhauer, took some students to. This was for students who were looking to go into the construction job field, where you could either be an actual construction worker building the projects, or a civil engineer or project manager who creates the plans and supervises the construction site. Brad Perry said, “I was unsure of what I wanted to do in the construction field, but after going to this I decided that I want to try to be a welder.” There were many different demonstrations during this day and they showed the students what they would be doing if they went into a certain job field. 

The seniors this year were definitely put at a disadvantage because of the pandemic. They didn’t get as much time or as many opportunities to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives, but it is great that the school recognized this need and has been trying to schedule college visits and career days for these seniors. Hopefully before the end of this year most of them have a better idea of what they want to do with their lives.