Seniors choosing college alternatives

Published: Granite Bay Gazette Vol. 18, Issue 8. Friday, May 22, 2015.

Category: Writing

Reason for publication: For the senior section (a section devoted to only seniors in the last issue of the Gazette), I thought it would be a good idea to include a story detailing the various routes other than college seniors would be taking after graduation.


  Granite Bay High School places a heavy importance on grades and test scores. As a senior, it is expected – if not assumed – one will attend a four year academic college, and most graduates do end up continuing their education.

  But out of Granite Bay’s relatively middle-sized community, the options for life after high school are rather infinite. Joining the military, enrolling in culinary or arts schools or even taking a year to travel abroad are just a few of these opportunities.

  Senior Emma Costigan chose to graduate early this year because of her readiness to leave high school and travel before attending college. Costigan will be attending Boise State in the fall but used her extra time after graduating early to her advantage.

  “I went on a lot of college visits and other trips,” Costigan said. “I also worked and volunteered a lot.”

  While graduating early wasn’t a college alternative for Costigan, it did give her extra time to relax and embark on adventures she might not have had if she hadn’t graduated early and instead gone straight into college.

  Costigan also said she had limited regrets from graduating early because she didn’t miss too many significant events and said she recommends graduating early to those who are ready to leave high school.

  A few GBHS students from  the class of 2015 have chosen such alternative paths as art school, but many others have chosen to either enroll in a section of the US defense forces or help serve and protect the US in other ways.

  Seniors Jude Battaglia and Logan Hartridge are graduating with their fellow classmates in May, but have found an interest in the US defense force. Both were drawn to the option after having witnessed the experiences of family members.

  “I had one of my cousins go into the Marines and after I saw him come out he had changed so much for the better,” Hartridge said. “I wanted to be part of something more and try to challenge myself as much as I could possibly go.  I pretty much had the Marines in mind, (however) I also looked into the Navy and the Air Force – but I knew from the get-go I wanted to be a Marine.”

  Senior Jude Battaglia has also planned to join the US defense force, but, unlike Hartridge, he plans to go into the Air Force. Battaglia was heavily influenced by his family’s experiences in the military to join.

  “ I think the reason that I chose to go the military as opposed to go to college … was mainly because I’m following the traditions of my family,” Battaglia said. “ Because my stepfather, my brother and several other people in my family have pursued careers in the military and that’s always been a … solid option for (both) a stable future and financial future.”

  Battaglia has already chosen his job – a fusion analyst – and said after basic training (or boot camp) he hopes to go to a tech school in either Hawaii, Japan, Australia or anywhere in Europe.

  An avid member of the GBHS theater program, Battaglia said he plans on continuing to pursue his passion.

  “ I actually do plan on continuing my theater career,” Battaglia said. “There are community theaters and I can do that on the side. It will be a little difficult, but I love theater so I’m willing to make sacrifices.”

  Another GBHS student, senior Jarred Caines, plans to attend the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island and, from there, to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

  “I am not enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces,” Caines said. “I will be graduating in 2020 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science and I will be commissioned as a Naval Officer, specifically an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. The reason I am attending this (preparatory) school is because I wasn’t accepted into the United States Naval Academy, but was given the opportunity to go here for a year.”

  Caines also said he aspires to be a Naval Aviator and pursue a career in Aviation. Because he has developed an enthusiastic passion for aviation, Caines said he wants to use it to help serve his nation.

  Although the majority of Granite Bay High School seniors will, at one point or another, further their education post-high school, it is not the only route available after graduation. Furthermore, the opportunities to educate oneself is not limited to a traditional, four year, academic college, but whatever path one chooses must be one’s own decision.

  “ I would say that even though (going against the ‘norm’) is difficult, it is your life,” Battaglia said. “It’s not your parents’ or your godparents’ or whomever it may be who’s pressuring you – it’s your life and you can do with it as you please.”


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