features - graduation
WHS Alums Give Advice About Transitions

features - graduationby Jared Eyler

Many students accomplish big things after they graduate high school. I sat down with a few of my friends who have already graduated and asked them about their experience transitioning from high school to the real world.

“I was hyperactively aware of the time I had left in school. I kept it in the back of my mind consistently, the concept of ‘this is your last year, make it count!’ simultaneously, I was ecstatic to discover the prospects that [lied] ahead,” said Casey Walta, graduating class of 2010. When asked about graduation she said, “I didn’t necessarily see graduation as this monumental endeavor; I wasn’t nervous or excited so much as content to finally experience this major landmark in life.”

Walta said that sometime after graduating she worked for the first time in her life, and currently attends the University of Maryland. “My life has consisted mostly of college and work. I have about three semesters left. I’m not a college person,” she laughs. She says she knows she’s headed in the right direction and taking the necessary steps to lead the life she desires, which is what college is all about.

Kelly Olthof, graduating class of 2011had a similar experience to Walta, working and going to school at the same time. “My life since high school has been interesting; I moved to Philadelphia to go to photo school. I think I found my passion and I’m in a good place,” she reflects. The world is much larger after you leave high school, and a good education can really take you far.

Former member of the Walkersville track team, and graduate of the class of 2010, Jeremy Delatorre talked to me about his life post high school. “It’s a good feeling to reap the rewards of all your hard work, but it also means you’re one step closer to true adulthood.” He said college is a good way to branch out and meet new people that you wouldn’t have normally hung out with in a high school setting. He said, “It feels like the world is up for your taking.”

Jeremy just recently got a job working as a management and program analyst for one of the country’s largest defense contractors. When asked about his new job he said he likes it a lot and that with a career comes its shortcomings. “I definitely don’t have as much free time as I did before, and being in a professional setting, you have to be cognizant of the stuff you do outside of your job. Be careful what you do and who you hang with,” all good advice.

Transitioning from high school to college or the work force can be a stressful but exciting time in everyone’s life, and we all have to go through it at some point. After talking with my friends, I personally think graduation is a right of passage and a new chapter in your life to further mold the person you want to become. And no matter what you end up doing in life, you should always make sure that you enjoy and can benefit from the road you choose to follow.