Straying from the path: alternative career and education choices

Hannah Norton, News Editor

If you ask your fellow students what their post-high school plans are, most of them will tell you about the universities they want to attend, and the careers they want to pursue. However, for some seniors, the typical career or four-year university paths are not ones that interest them.
For example, after graduation, senior Anna Woldstad is moving to California. The reason? To pursue her dream career: acting. Woldstad plans to start out by working as a casting agency secretary, to give her a first-hand look at how casting works.
“I was talking to Dr. Butterworth, and I was telling him how I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after high school, so he suggested I become a film actress,” Woldstad said. “I thought it sounded like fun, and really, it just made the most sense to me. It’s the only thing I could truly imagine myself doing in life.”
Woldstad’s biggest acting goal is to work in a film–whether that means acting, producing, or working in the costume department–for every genre before she dies.
“Some people are really against acting for some reason,” Woldstad said. “The world needs just as many actors as it does lawyers, and I have a passion for it, so I think it’s worth pursuing.”
Senior Connor Stanley is planning to join the United States Marine Corps after high school. On June 19, Stanley ships out to the San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot for 13 weeks of Basic Marine Training, which marks the beginning of his enlistment. He returns home for 10 days, and will then go to Camp Pendleton, for the School of Infantry and a Basic Reconnaissance Course.
“I decided to join the Marine Corps primarily because I love the United States of America, and I want to serve our country,” Stanley said. “Out of all the branches, I think the Marine Corps is definitely the most motivated and strongest branch in the military.”
Stanley plans to become a combat diver, and will work on reconnaissance, which is the assessment of a military region in order to locate an enemy or determine the best combatant strategy.
“The biggest challenge in the Marine Corps is the mental side of it,” Stanley said. “You have to learn to push through it, because yeah, it’s going to hurt–but you have to learn that the pain is only temporary.”
Senior Dee Elmore is pursuing the career of a consecutive interpreter. Essentially, this means that Elmore will hear information or conversation in one language, have a moment to process it, and then translate it verbally in a different language.
“Due to polyglotism–which is a different way that my brain is wired–I often can’t remember things I’m supposed to do, or I walk into rooms and forget why I’m there, but I have this innate ability to learn languages,” Elmore said.
In order to prepare to become an interpreter, Elmore plans to study communications, psychology, and a bit of foreign affairs–and, of course, languages.
Elmore already knows English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as some Russian, Arabic, and even Irish Gaelic. She also wants to learn Korean and Basque.
“Everyone graduates high school at the same time, so we’re all on the same playing field, and you can decide how you live your life from there,” Woldstad said. “You don’t have to go to college if you feel like you don’t need to, and in the end, it’s you who you have to live with for the rest of your life, so you have to make the right choices for yourself.”