Seniors make biggest decision of their lives

Adam Sutcliffe, Read and watch team

As their senior year progresses, many seniors are finding themselves faced with the most important decision of their lives: selecting a college. However, for some, their decision has already been made. Yet, even as some seniors just begin sending out their applications, others have already received their acceptance letters weeks ago.

The fact that students have decided on a school is nothing surprising. Last year, the Washington Post reported that across several top-tier schools, around 20 percent of their accepted students were early-decision, with even more students listed as early-action. (An early-decision student pledges to attend the school they apply to if accepted. An early-action student can still decide not to attend.) So with this data in place, it is no surprise that Stillwater Schools has its fair share of early-action-and-decision students.

“I am going to Winona State University,” senior Mackenzie Moroney said. “It’s very similar to Stillwater because they’re right on the river, and it’s very beautiful. Also they have a really good nursing program. It’s a state college so it’s less expensive than going to a private college.”

Moroney is one of the seniors already accepted and committed to a college for next year, making her one of the early-deciders for the college experience. Along with Moroney in knowing where they are attending is senior Annie Pooler.

“I want to go to Century College to get my generals out of the way,” Pooler said. “After, I believe I want to attend an art college, I’m not sure which one.”

I believe I want to attend an art college, I’m not sure which one”

— Annie Pooler

Pooler plans to eventually become a concept artist for video games in her future. She is also one of the 12 million, or 44 percent, of all students who will attend a community college during their tenure as a post-secondary student.

While some students have committed to a traditional 4-year college, and others plan completing their college requirements at various schools, some seniors have decided to continue their education while providing an essential service to the nation. For example, senior Alan Larson made a choice that will shape his future in a far different way.

“I am enlisted in the United States Navy as a nuclear technician,” Larson said. “I ship off to my basic training in August.”

Larson has opted for a choice that furthers both education of career, by enlisting in our nations military forces.  However, this choice does not prevent him from attending college.

“I can attend college while I’m serving,” Larson said. “I can do it while I’m in or after I get out or anywhere in between.”

The seniors have made one thing clear, these few who have decided; they plan on going places, doing things, going far, and not settling for anything less than their dreams. It leaves the question to be asked: why do they make these choices?

For some, the choice came naturally, after examining all the options available to them. ” I looked at Saint Cloud and Bethel. I also looked at Gustavus and Saint Olaf. But I just looked at Winona and it felt right,” Moroney said.

For others, like Larson, the choice comes as a result of a lifetime of planning and dedication towards their goals. “Serving my country and the people around me has been a lifelong dream of mine,” Larson said.