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Counselors offer guidance to seniors planning future

Senior Jaydah Montgomery, confident in her future college, shows off her Seattle Film Institute sweatshirt. Photo by Angelina Williams

The class of 2023 has been facing a lot of pressure and big changes as they have continued to get closer to graduation day. They have been asked the same question countless times: What are your plans after high school? Such an innocent question has a million different answers. 

The class of 2023 consists both of those  waiting for the day they are able to say goodbye and are confident with their plans, and others are trying their hardest to avoid the thought of moving on to their next chapter in life. A handful of Bear River’s seniors have already received confirmation of their next steps in life. 

While there are multiple unique stories, senior Jaydah Montgomery explained hers. 

“I was accepted at Seattle Film Institute in November of 2022 and I plan on studying film and acting,” she said. “I was very excited and grateful to be accepted. I am more than ready for the changes to come and I wish they would come faster.”

The counselors at Bear River are very involved in the Senior class as they help with college applications, acceptances, and guidance. They have seen many classes go through the same thing each year and have a lot of insight into the process. Michele Berberena is one of the Bear River counselors and she has been a huge help to this year’s senior class.

Berberena believes that many of the seniors are unsure amidst all of the choices presented. 

“I think a majority are undecided while many of them haven’t received their financial aid packages,” said Berberena. “I think figuring out how much college is going to cost their family is a big part of making their choice. A lot of students haven’t heard back from the four-year colleges yet, they are still waiting and hoping. Last year we had 27% of our graduating class go to a four-year college, 48 % went to a community college, 14% were going straight to work, 5% went straight into the military, 4% went to a trade school and 2% took a gap year.”

Berberena expressed that many seniors have conflicting emotions involving the next steps in their lives.

“A lot are feeling unknown, stressed, excited, but a lot of ‘what do I do next?’next.’” Berberna said. “I think it is really just a waiting game so that is hard because you are anxious to find out what happens so you can make your decisions. I think a lot of them are stressed and are having to do things they’ve never done before.”

Despite the worries that students hold for the future, Berbererna conveyed that the schools and trades that students choose tend to work out for them.

“Although it seems like a really big decision and process, I always in all my years of counseling have realized that what is meant to be usually is,” she said. “Students normally end up at the school they are meant to be and while it might not be their first or second choice, but when they come back and talk to me they usually say how mad or disappointed they was that they didn’t get into ‘XYZ’ college but now that they are at this other college so many doors have opened for them. I think trusting the process which is hard but also knowing everyone’s path is different.”

If any senior is struggling or needs help with after high school plans, the counselors encourage students to visit them; they give as much guidance as possible. During this time, not every senior has a plan and many are unsure of what their future may hold, but as graduation comes closer, little by little, seniors will have to start making big decisions for their future. 

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Counselors offer guidance to seniors planning future