By Vanessa Gibson, Staff Writer
Spanish writer Rosalia de Castro once said, “I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.”
As is the case for most high school graduates who are unsure of what the future holds for them but are more than excited to find out. While the most common path to take after high school is the one that heads to college, there are some Carroll High School seniors who want to embark on a different path.
For some students, that path involves traveling and a change in scenery. Senior Carmen Sauer will be moving out to Astoria, Oregon before September of 2016. This plan is exhilarating for Sauer, who has personally never been to Oregon before, but has heard good things about the area.
“It’s cool over in that region because the trees are ginormous and they remind you how tiny you are,” Sauer said, “and that’s amazing.”
Sauer is mostly looking forward to the adrenaline of getting out there and settling down. Although, she admits that she will probably cry at first because she will miss her mother and everyone else at home.
Originally, Sauer was committed on going to the University of Saint Francis next fall and exploring their art programs, but she soon began to feel that that was not the right path for her.
“The thought of tying myself down for four more years in Fort Wayne terrified me just as much as being thousands of dollars in debt,” Sauer said.
But college is not out of the picture just yet. Sauer plans on taking some online classes until she finds a university she likes in Oregon. But, for the time being Sauer plans to focus on exploring and working when she gets out West.
Likewise, Senior Jessica Fey plans to move California this August. Making this move was based off of the fact that Fey is simply “tired of Indiana”. But unlike Sauer, Fey has visited California frequently throughout her life to vacation and visit her family that lives there.
“[California] sort of feels like more of a home than Indiana ever has,” Fey said.
Fey will be staying with her aunt who lives in Oakland, California until she can afford to buy her own place. Fey also plans on keeping busy during her year off of school by working and doing humanitarian aid projects. Yet she is mostly excited about not having to be under constant parent supervision.
“I have wanted to live in California for as long as I can remember and I’m really excited that it’s finally happening,” Fey said.
Senior Alexis Hamilton will also be moving out of Fort Wayne this summer to live and work in Orlando, Florida. Hamilton will be working at Walt Disney World’s Best Friends Pet Care, which is a kennel where people who vacation at Disney and bring their pets along with them.
Hamilton explained that she will not only be taking care of common house pets such as dogs and cats but, she will also get to care for more “exotic” animals such as snakes, bunnies, birds, and frogs.
And the job definitely comes with some perks. Hamilton will get free entry to any of the Disney parks since she technically works for Walt Disney.
Hamilton’s love for animals is something that she plans on turning in to a career. One day, she would like to live in Chicago and work with helping to rescue animals.
Senior Matthew Rochkus will be getting his fair share of traveling done during his time in the Marines. Rochkus will be working in the Marine Corps Intelligence Department.
“There can be a lot of things involved [in Intelligence] but the basis is that the Intelligence officers collect and calculate all of the data we can find in order to formulate a plan for soldiers on the ground,” Rochkus said.
This upcoming October, Rochkus will ship out to Parris Island, South Carolina for basic training, which will last about three months. During that time Rochkus will find out where he will be stationed first.
Rochkus will get to travel frequently during his time in the Marines because the longest a recruit is allowed to stay at one station is five years and then they will be transferred. Rochkus said that he will have the option to transfer every two years if he chooses.
Rochkus decided to join the Marines because he wanted to make a living off of a job that he felt good doing and that made him feel a part of something much bigger than himself.
“The reason I chose the Marines over other branches is I felt that the Marines was more of a brotherhood,” Rochkus said. “I loved the idea of always having someone’s back while 30 other people had mine.”
Rochkus plans on making military service a life-long career, partly because of financial security; once he serves his full 20 years he will be paid a pension for the rest of his life. So he will be retired out of the Marines by the time he is 40 and will be getting paid half of his previous salary for the rest of his life. That has always been something really important to Rochkus.
In regards to this next chapter in Rochkus’s life, he said he is much more excited than nervous. He is especially looking forward to the familial aspect of being in the Marines.
“I’m excited to meet new people who will grow to be a second family,” Rochkus said.
Senior Wesley Goodman will not be attending college this upcoming fall either; instead, he will begin a local electrician apprenticeship right after graduation.
Working Monday through Friday for Mid-States Electric, located in Huntertown, Goodman will learn all of the ins-and-outs of becoming an electrician. Goodman will be mainly working on wiring new apartment complexes. This apprenticeship not only gives Goodman experience in the field, but he also gets paid and even has the opportunity to earn raises.
Although working five to six days a week might seem like a lot of work to some students, Goodman is looking forward to this next chapter in his life and is confident that he has chosen the right path.
“I just know college isn’t for me right now and instead of racking up college debt I’ve decided to do an apprenticeship,” Goodman said.
After four years of being in his apprenticeship, Goodman will take a test to earn his journeyman’s card. Once he receives that certification, Goodman plans to start his own electric company.
Whether your plan after high school is to head straight to college, to travel, or to go into the armed forces, it is important to remember that whichever path you choose to take - the future is yours.