By Ethan Robinson
The 2016-2017 school year is already more than a month through. For all seniors, this means the time for graduation is edging closer and closer every day, no matter how distant it seems after 12 years of public school. There is surely a mixture of excitement and uncertainty in everyone, as it was for all preceding classes.
The Bengal Cry has interviewed three of last year’s seniors about their time outside of high school so far, whether that be collegiate experiences or banal adulting. Big thanks to Danny Sonnenberg, Kelly McDonald, and Kaitlyn Anderson for this look into their lives, and for offering our current seniors reassurance for the horizon ahead.
- What have you been up this past summer and now?
Danny Sonnenberg: This summer I had been working for my aunt on a landscaping project and working with my friends to start the Libertarian Party here in Logan County.
Kelly McDonald: This past summer I took a paid internship position at SCR Performance in Loveland. It was very fun. I made some great friends, and I learned a lot about the automotive performance industry and what goals I need to set to get there. As of now I am attending NJC as an automotive technology student.
Kaitlyn Anderson: I’ve mostly just been working, although once school started I was more focused on that. I tried to enjoy my free time while I could.
- Do you miss anything about High School?
Danny Sonnenberg: Yes, a few things. I miss homecoming season and the fall football games. It was also fun to be a senior and walk on graduation.
Kelly McDonald: No, not particularly.
Kaitlyn Anderson: I really miss my choir, French and English classes, and my friends. And sometimes I honestly miss the structure of high school classes (I miss just having one building).
- Do you have any current goals in mind?
Danny Sonnenberg: I would like to spend a year here at NJC where I’m hopefully getting my associates, then transfer to CSU to get my bachelors in Economics.
Kelly McDonald: I have several current goals, such as maintaining good grades in all of my classes, and making as many connections I can with people in the automotive performance industry.
Kaitlyn Anderson: Well, right now my goal is to get my core credits–math, science, English, etc– at my current school and then I’m hoping to transfer to a more specialized university in Cleveland.
- What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in the past four months?
Danny Sonnenberg: Finding how to balance my time right in college. There’s more homework in college, various clubs and activities and friends to have fun with.
Kelly McDonald: The biggest challenge I’ve had in the past four months was getting motivation to finish the 10 hour online OSHA course for my ASE 101 class. All of the modules were basic safety and common sense.
Kaitlyn Anderson: I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty hard to leave home. I really miss my dog, and classes are really stressful for the first couple of days before you’ve figured it all out.
- What difficulties or aspects of adult life did you not expect?
Danny Sonnenberg: The importance of staying organized and remembering obligations. Mom’s not there anymore to remind you of your appointments.
Kelly McDonald: Surprisingly, it isn’t super difficult if you schedule yourself.
Kaitlyn Anderson: I don’t know about difficulties yet (besides money) but it’s more different than I anticipated. I mean, talking about moving away and going to college is one thing, but it’s much different in reality, whether you’re living all on your own or not. I’m also really close with my mom now. Nobody ever mentions the fact that you get closer to your parents once you’re out of the house.
- What parts of adult life are you really enjoying?
Danny Sonnenberg: The independence. I chose to live on campus because of that reason. You have the freedom to be successful or fail all of your classes.
Kelly McDonald: I’m enjoying the fact that I’m learning about subjects I’m really interested in. Between learning automotive technology during class, and reading up on audio production and putting it into practice in my free time as a hobby, I am always pretty busy.
Kaitlyn Anderson: Oh man, you really do get a lot more freedom. I can do just about anything I want, whenever I want– if I have the time and money, that is. It’s pretty great to not really have to answer to anyone.
- Are you currently trying to achieve goals you had in high school? Or have you taken a different path entirely?
Danny Sonnenberg: I have similar goals. I want to get good grades like I did in high school but it’s different in the sense that I have to think about my career more and what I’m going to do after college.
Kelly McDonald: Toward the end of my high school career, I was not entirely sure on what I wanted to do, therefore my goals didn’t really reflect my interests. I have decided now, and it has been a different path than what I was expecting in high school, but I wouldn’t change it; I thoroughly enjoy going to class.
Kaitlyn Anderson: I’m still dedicated to being a music major, so those goals still stand, but I’m not aiming for all the same things either. It’s a big change of perspective and it’s actually done a lot to help me decide what I want out of life after college. So some of my goals are different, some are the same.
- Going beyond high school and growing up is a big transition. What do you think the next biggest transition in your life will be?
Danny Sonnenberg: Graduating college and deciding whether or not to go to school longer or get a job.
Kelly McDonald: My next big transition will be deciding whether to go straight into the workforce up in the foothills at a performance shop, or to study electrical engineering with a focus on the automotive industry.
Kaitlyn Anderson: However long I decide to go to college, I think the biggest transition is going to be actually finishing school. College is much more career-oriented than high school, but it’s still learning in a classroom, and once I’m done learning, I’ll be out of the classroom for the first time in my life. That’ll be a big change to just be working and pursuing my career.
- What is your favorite college study food so far?
Danny Sonnenberg: Trolli sour gummy worms.
Kelly McDonald: Pistachios.
Kaitlyn Anderson: I eat so much Qdoba! And Chick-fil-A has really addicting fries; I eat those probably way too much.
- Any last advice for this year’s seniors at Sterling High?
Danny Sonnenberg: Have fun but do NOT procrastinate on applying for scholarships and applying for colleges because it comes way sooner than you’d ever think. Also, think about what major you want to do so the college classes you take in high school can count toward your degree.
Kelly McDonald: Don’t be so caught up in making friendships and relationships last. I get it, you are going to miss them. After graduation, you most likely won’t talk or see each other for a long time, aside from your closest friends. Don’t make it a priority. Prioritize your education and interests at this point in your life, and you will be surrounded with people that have similar interests eventually.
Kaitlyn Anderson: SCHOLARSHIPS!!! Seriously, as many scholarships as you can, doesn’t matter how small. Also, keep in mind that just because you’re going to college doesn’t mean you’ve set your life in stone. One thing no one ever really talks about is that college is a massive transition and literally no one knows what they’re doing or where they’re going. It’s completely okay to decide you want something else, whether it’s a different class, or a different major, or a different school. Just follow your instincts a little and do what makes you happy!