Seniors Say Their Goodbyes

Phoebe Fuller

The ‘21-’22 school year has almost come to an end. For seniors, this means finalizing decisions about the next steps, and beginning to create their future. For students continuing onto college, choosing which one is right for them is no easy quest. There are many determining factors that differ in level of importance from student to student, but seniors Taylor Pannell and Olivia Sholl have their decisions made, and are ready for the next step of their lives.

The first decision one must make for their life post-high school is whether they want to go to college, trade school, or enter the workforce. Sholl knew college was right for her, stating, “I chose to go to college because I always wanted to swim in college, and my future career choices require a degree.” Pannell had a similar reason, as it was always her dream to play softball in college. The next big decision is to choose which college is the perfect fit. 

Location, tuition, commute, and scholarships are just a few important things to consider when choosing a college. “For me, choosing a college was very difficult. I wanted to find the perfect one for me, and it had to meet certain requirements… location, how far away from home it was, the coaches I was going to be playing for,” Pannell says. Sholl had slightly different criteria, stating, “Important factors for me were the environment, opportunities, scholarships, and the swim team.” For Sholl, a tour of the school helped her find the information she needed. “I got a good feel of the school and the people there,” she states. Pannell had a different experience, explaining, “Because of COVID… I never went on a visit. I had been to a camp, and that is how I got to know the coaches and campus… If I had visited before I committed, that would have made me want to go there even more,” Pannell explains. Both Olivia Sholl and Taylor Pannell researched their schools and collected the information they felt was necessary.

Ultimately, they each came to a decision. “I was very focused on the softball aspect of it. Tennessee has a great softball program, and is very successful. That made me want to go there even more, and it is a big plus that they have great schooling,” Pannell says. Sholl decided to attend Southwest Minnesota State University, because of “the swim team and the scholarships. The school felt very home-y.” Each senior has a goal for college. “I would like to go into pre-law. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do,  but something in criminal justice. Maybe even a lawyer,” Pannell says. Sholl plans include majoring in biology, then going to graduate school for a forensic science degree. She hopes to be a forensic scientist.

A lot of thought and consideration goes into choosing a college, and the decision isn’t easy for any senior hoping to continue their education with college. Luckily, seniors Olivia Sholl and Taylor Pannell have their next steps planned out, and are excited to attend college. Good luck to both students on their journeys after graduation!