The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

College Isn’t Always the Answer

Higher education is all the talk for seniors, but what about those who have alternative intentions after graduation?

As the end of the year is approaching, “Where are you going to college?” and “What are you going to study?” seem to be the questions of the hour for the senior class no matter who you’re with or where you are. However, the dread of having to reveal that you got rejected from your dream school or the annoyance of telling people that you’re not sure where you want to go over and over doesn’t apply to everyone. For some seniors, their answer might be something along the lines of, “I’m actually not going to college at all.” We hear enough about the people attending college upon graduation, so let’s dive into some stories of Summit seniors who have other plans. 

Geneva Grube

Senior Geneva Grube has been planning to take a gap year to travel after graduation for quite a while. Grube has been working for the last couple of years at a restaurant downtown, trying to save up as much money as she can for her trip.

“My brother and mom both took a gap year and they said it was a life-changing experience that directed the rest of their lives,” Grube said.

Since Grube doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do in college and career-wise, she wants to take the time to explore the world. She wants to be sure of her decision before spending a bunch of money on something that she wasn’t set on, like college. Ideally, Grube will pursue something humanitarian after her travels—she thinks by traveling she can see the vastness of humanity’s issues, compared to if she were to stay in Bend. Traveling to other countries would help her see the best way she can impact the world.

Her plan is to visit Europe in the summer, then live in Jackson, Wyoming for a few months. While in Jackson, Grube wants to embrace her country side by working at a Dude Ranch and spending lots of time in the mountains. After that, she’ll head over to New Zealand and Southeast Asia for about seven months, and is most excited to meet new people from around the world. Grube hopes to have some life-changing experiences and figure out what she wants to pursue in her near future. 

Scarlet Knight

Senior Scarlet Knight plans to study abroad through a program called Verto Education, with a focus in law and criminal justice, while also exploring fashion studies on her own. Verto Education offers first year students the ability to spend a semester or two abroad. They are partnered with over 60 colleges, so it provides students an easy way to transfer into a four year university after their first year abroad, which is what Knight is hoping to do.

Although living in a different country can be scary, Knight is very excited and willing to get through the challenges. 

“After high school I wanted to push myself and see how well I would do in a new country,” Knight said.

While living in London, Knight can’t wait to start her life and career across the world. Knight chose London because she wanted experience in a big city environment, and London is very fast paced and populated. This study abroad program is something she has always wanted to do, and added to her interest in fashion and law, London felt like the right place to be after graduation.

“Going straight to higher education after high school is very important wherever you choose to go and whatever you choose to do,” Knight said. 

Matt Hicks

Senior Matt Hicks joined the Navy over the summer and ships out on June 26 to a bootcamp near the Great Lakes, signing an eight year contract. Hicks visited a Navy Recruiting center in Bend, where he was able to walk in and talk in person with some members of the Navy. Hicks said the recruiter told him “everything he wanted to hear” and realized that he portrayed the energy Hicks ultimately wanted to be around.

For Hicks, he would much rather be on a boat for two years than work at a minimum wage job. Specifically, Hicks also wants to work with helicopters while being in the Navy.

In the end, Hicks is not a big fan of school and college doesn’t seem like the right fit for him, but the Navy checks all of his boxes. Hicks is excited to go around the world and explore while he can.

“If you have a degree in mind or kind of job you want to pursue, then college is the way to go,” Hicks said. “The military is just an option for me because I don’t see a future in anything else.”

Jett Cota

Along with many others, Senior Jett Cota has plans to take a gap year to focus on his goals, with some details already figured out. Cota is going to be in Bend for the next year, getting his real estate license and working underneath his mom to start learning the ropes of the industry for about six months.

“I’m going to try to make my first deal by the end of the year,” Cota said.

After achieving these goals, Cota will travel with some of his closest friends to Hawaii, where one friend has a family home. After about a month there, they plan to go island hopping around the French Polynesian islands for a couple weeks. They eventually plan to end up back in the states to visit friends in college and be around for summer.

Cota hopes to eventually end up at Boise State where most of his family is and be with his older brother in his last couple of years in college. Although he plans to eventually go to college, Cota wants to try something different than what all of his friends are doing.

“For me, I think I can really set myself up long-term if I take this year to work on what I want for life and try new things,” Cota said. 

Thomas Keefer

Next year, Senior Thomas Keefer will be enlisted in the Navy, living in Southern California. Keefer is stoked to move to California and be around other people who are eager to be in the same job environment. 

“Serving the military is also something that a ton of people in my family have done, so it feels right to enlist as a first step,” Keefer said. 

Along with his family history, Keefer also chose this route for the military’s amazing incentives—one of which being free college. Although he doesn’t have a college picked out yet, Keefer would love to attend one in Oregon. Joining the military also gives him time to think about what he wants to do long-term, and figure out the potential path of his future.

Additionally, the Navy offers Keefer opportunities to travel the world, meeting new people and getting new experiences. 

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About the Contributor
Paige Parton
Paige Parton, Staff Writer

When Paige isn’t running around getting things checked off her massive to-do list, you will probably see her playing lacrosse or online shopping. Paige loves to have fun and doesn't like putting all her eggs in one basket, pushing her to explore many different activities, even kitesurfing! But aside from all her hobbies, spending time with family and hanging out with friends is her favorite thing to do when she has time, since nowadays, Paige can never stay in the state for more than a couple weeks at a time. 


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