Seniors decide on alternative routes

Making money in your new job, or staying up late studying and cramming for a test. Which one sounds better to you?

Seniors Joe Dotterweich and Steven Jernigan have decided to bypass their college years and take the real world head-on after senior year.

“I am not scared for the future, and I am looking forward to the days when I am doing something I actually enjoy and living under my own conditions,” Dotterweich said.

Dotterweich is planning to enlist in the United States Coast Guard after his senior year.

“I plan on giving myself the summer for working and relaxing,” Dotterweich said.

Dotterweich said his parents are “semi-supportive” of this decision.

“I think they wish I wasn’t joining the military, but they know I’ll do well wherever I’m happy,” Dotterweich said.

According to the New York Times, 65.9 percent of students who graduate high school attend college, whether it’s a private or community college, as of 2013. This leaves 34.1 percent of students who don’t, like Dotterweich and Jernigan.

At JC, 85 percent of students who graduated attend a 4 year college, according to College Counselor and Senior Class co-advisor Carrie Siemsen.

“In today’s society, in order to secure a job and have the ability to progress in any career, a college education is absolutely essential.  You can do very little and be successful without a college career,” Siemsen said.

Jernigan also went on to talk about his beliefs in not going to college.

“I have no interest in going to college. Many people who go to college never make anything out of it. They just go to college and waste four years of their lives, when they could be making money and starting a real life,” Jernigan said.

According to Jernigan, certain occupations demand a college education more than others. “If you do not have the intention of becoming a doctor, nurse, lawyer, or something that society needs, then in my opinion, it’s a waste of time,” he said.

“I plan to work for my dad. He is a co-owner of a tree company called Nationwide Tree Service. The bulk of what the business does is tree stump removal.,” Jernigan said.

Jernigan’s parents are supportive of his decision. “But [they] want me to work my butt off and not be lazy after high school,” he said.

Mike Moxley is a Multimedia Editor for The Patriot and