With the 2020-2021 school year coming to an end, seniors have used everything they’ve learned so far to apply and get accepted to colleges near and far, some to their dream schools and others for simple opportunities. Utica’s 2021 seniors are ready for the next step, regardless of how far away it will be from home.
Seniors like Danna Melendez decided that with dedication comes opportunity, and no opportunity should be neglected.
“I made the decision to move away from Michigan to San Pedro, Belize because I was born in Belize and I lived there for most of my life until I made the decision to move to America for high school,” Melendez said. “I always knew I wanted to come back to my home country and saw that coming to Belize for college would be the perfect chance. It was hard moving away but I knew that bigger opportunities would come my way and I couldn’t miss that chance.”
Thinking for the future also involves considering career options, and Melendez is excited for any and all career, personal, and academic opportunities that can come with going back to her home country for college. With the decision strongly motivated by missing family, she knew what she had to do to better her life.
“I am studying business here and real estate and since San Pedro is an island, I would fall in love with doing my school and eventual job here, especially with real estate in selling beach houses,” Melendez said. “I am going to Galen University and it is full of cultural people from all around the world, I’m going to get to meet so many people with different backgrounds and learn more about their cultures as well.”
For senior Emma Wilson, exploring new options was a simple decision to make. Being able to explore new areas besides Michigan and getting out of her hometown was something she had no doubt about wanting to do.
“I knew I wanted to explore new areas besides Michigan,” Williams said. “I don’t want to stay in one area, I want to see new places.”
Many face restrictions with finding their match when it comes to different campuses, as only some states have universities with certain majors, and this was the case with Wilson.
“I am excited to start somewhat of a new life at college,” Wilson said. “I am being offered 5 year architecture program at Ball State instead of the 4 year plus 2 year Master’s.”
With students facing the uncertain risk of being alone in their new college experience, many choose to not go far or live on campus for this exact reason.
“One of my close friends I’ve known since elementary school is going to Ball State as well so that is making the move more comfortable,” Wilson said.
For others, like Serenity Littrell, going out of state brings positivity and unity with friends. Littrell, who will be attending University of Alabama describes the psychology program as attractive as well as the opportunities one can find in a sorority.
“I applied all over to keep my options open,” Littrell said, “I stayed with some friends at Alabama and fell in love with all the people there and the campus.”
With the extenuating circumstances COVID has caused, Utica’s seniors are proud of all they have been able to accomplish, especially in being accepted to and attending the universities they admire.