As Graduation Nears, Students Face the Reality of Their College Dreams

Emily Spano

Senior Riley Elliott debated on going to Pepperdine University before deciding to attend KU.

Many students have different plans after high school, whether that’s going to college, taking a gap year, or traveling as far away from LS as possible. 

Some of those plans take them far from home and some keep them closer. For junior Miles Heckadon, his future leads him 1,000 miles from home, at the University of North Carolina. “I’ll probably major in Biochemistry, get my Bachelor’s degree, as well as go to a four-year dental school,” Heckadon said. 

Senior Riley Elliott had dreams to attend Pepperdine University in California but ended up staying within a 45-minute radius of home at the University of Kansas. “I wanted to be a car ride rather than a plane ride away from my family,” Elliott said. The thought of wanting to go to school far away when you’re an underclassman is common, but when the time comes to pick a college, Elliott said, “In the end, that dream starts to become the reality where you’ll only get to come home once, maybe twice a semester.”

Junior Lainey Trollinger has a different outlook on where she wants to go to college; such as places like DePaul University in Chicago, Emerson College in Massachusetts, and more. “All the other options for my degree, filmmaking, are in Los Angeles or New York, and as someone who has to pay for college almost fully on my own, that’s not happening.” 

For some students, a car ride away from home would be ideal as Elliott said, “Teenagers fall in love with the idea of getting out of Missouri and going somewhere completely different. For some that’s fine but, If something happened to me or my family I wouldn’t want to be a plane ride away.”  

Family is a common reason students re-evaluate where to go to school. “I would like to be in a place where I can get home on a short flight or train ride. I don’t want to live somewhere it takes days to get to and from. It would break my heart to not be able to get home if an emergency happened.” Trollinger said.