NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

June 18, 2013

Why not me, why not now

Have you ever tried cornmeal coconut pancakes? It’s one of those things you can’t wrap your brain around until your taste buds get involved, and then you’re completely blown away by the flavor combo.

Trying a new food may not present a life-altering experience, but what it does represent is having a new experience, and isn’t that what life is all about, going out on a limb and saying, “Why not me, why not now”?

Currently, high school and college graduates are looking for that new experience, deemed ready to pursue the “next step” by society. But what do we personally know about them and more specifically, what do we know about our female graduates? After interviewing four recent high school and college female graduates, the answers are clear.

“I am strong, stubborn, positive, inspired, determined, creative, persistent, independent and committed.” This is the collective voice of the four graduate participants who will enter our colleges and workforce this year. Both Haverhill High School grads will attend four-year colleges this fall; the University of New Hampshire and Boston College, majoring in pre-veterinary science and biology. Both UMass Dartmouth grads will enter the workforce, one in textile design, the other in nursing.

All four grads feel their public education has prepared them well for the future. The high school grads, or the 18s, feel that beyond academics they have learned that obstacles are not impossible to overcome; they try not to sweat the small stuff. The college grads, or the 21s, see a world vastly bigger than the small towns they came from. They are confident advocates for themselves, finding strength in their opinions.

The 18s credit friends with aiding in their development, while the 21s view friends as a “family away from family.” One 21 recognizes that dealing with “friend” relationships has taught her to know herself better, adhering unwaveringly to her moral code.

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