The Question No One Asks

Photo Source: Emma Breen

Photo Source: Emma Breen

Emma Breen, Writer

High school has always been discussed as something that is preparing us for the future; but what happens when you ask students how they truly feel about how well their primary education prepared them for their lives after they are handed their diploma? 

Most students, when asked, would say that school is something that is a burden on their lives, and is pointless past the end of middle school. Many students believe school is a lot of busywork, and a lot of the work assigned serves no benefits to them. 

When asked if they felt the workload they have is appropriate, Olivia Nardone responded as follows, “As a senior taking rigorous classes, I would say the workload is appropriate; however, I do not believe I will need half of the substance being taught in classes in my future.” 

Senior Jillian Sheehy responded similarly, “I think it’s appropriate for the classes I am taking. I think the work is relevant, but there should be updated classes with real-world situations going on right now.” 


Future Plans 

To get a more well-rounded answer to the question at hand, I asked these people what their plans were after high school hoping to get a little more clarity on if, and how high school was preparing them for their future plans. 

Some students strive to have a very spontaneous and adventurous post-high school experience. “College, I guess, and traveling-I really hate the idea of working a 9-5 desk job,” says junior Sydney Pichette when asked what her plan is post-graduation. The idea of a desk job is something that our generation seems to be almost fearful of. The thought of being chained to a desk all day, five days a week, for basically our entire lives is terrifying. 

There are also students, like Jillian Sheehy, who know exactly where they want to start their life. Sheehy knows she wants to attend college in NYC or Boston is the goal, “I personally thrive in urban environments,” says Sheehy. With a few exceptions, college is the main goal students work towards throughout their adolescence. 

On the other hand, some students want a very stable life after high school, and are pretty set on what they want to do with their lives. “After high school, I plan on going to a 4-year college somewhere close so I am near family. I hope to study something relating to the medical field, closer to MRI imaging and radiological technology.” Olivia Nardone has a very solid grasp of her future plans. 


Preparedness for the Real World 

When asked what they thought about high school was going to stick the most, all of them gave almost identical answers: 

“I think what will stick is what has impacted me the most: my friends. They have really shown me what it means to be truly happy, and I will forever be grateful for them. I will also always remember what it is like to come to a new school, know absolutely nobody, and attempt to make friends. My teachers who have helped and influenced me greatly will always stick in my mind as well,” replies senior Olivia Nardone.  


“Sports, friends, school events. Maybe good teachers, books that I’ve read,” says junior Sydney Pichette.


Similarly, senior Jillian Sheehy says, “definitely the bonds I’ve made with people and how to handle person to person relationships.” 


The relationships and physical interactions are what everyone predicted were going to stay with them. Curriculum and workload were not mentioned at all, but does that mean the value of what’s being taught is unimportant?

Olivia Nardone thinks she “can apply the lessons I have learned from English because I will be writing a lot of essays and professional emails in the future. For the most part, I will only be taking away life lessons.” 

According to Sydney Pichette, it all depends on what career path she goes into. As stated earlier, she hopes to enter a career with a lot of travel and she has a passion for the environment so that factors in as well. She believes that some of what she is learning in her classes can apply to her future career especially when it comes to art classes. Sydney is extremely passionate about art and has quite a knack for it. The techniques and skills she is absorbing in the classroom will surely apply to a career in art if she so chooses to pursue one. 


Wrapping Up

So at the end of the day, is high school preparing students for their futures? It is a very open-ended and relative question. People have different views and opinions on this question but it all depends on what exactly they plan to do with their lives. High school may be super relevant for a student who plans to become an educator, but completely irrelevant for someone planning on going into a career in the performing arts. It is completely case by case. I ask you to reflect upon your own future plans and ask yourself, are you truly ever ready?