The Honors English 10 college visits are allowing students to learn about possible options for their futures

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The three logos of the schools the Honors English 10 students will be visiting.

Counselor Kyle Perkins is looking forward to the Honors English 10 field trip planned by teacher Ken George for a variety of reasons—the main one being that Hope College has an awesome cafeteria.

On top of getting to eat lunch on a college campus, Perkins sees the additional benefits of the trip, like getting students to think about their futures, gifting the opportunity to see three vastly different colleges, and being on college campuses as early as possible.

“It’s fun to be with the students,” Perkins said. “It’s fun to interact with the college representatives that we know and to be on their territory. Hope has a great cafeteria; it’s a great time.”

This year, the students are visiting Davenport University, Hope College, and Grand Valley State University on this upcoming trip. 

“At any point in high school,” Perkins said, “[it’s important] to start thinking about what’s next [and what’s] most appropriate for you, whether that’s college, whether that’s [a] career, whether that’s something else. What is most appropriate and how do we take steps to work towards that? What I really like about this event is it’s an intro to college searching.”

While this trip is meant to serve as a gateway to getting students to think about their future, some students, like sophomore Molly O’Meara, have already begun touring colleges and thinking of potential careers.

“I’m really excited to be able to tour some colleges,” Molly said. “I’ve toured a few, but I don’t think I’ve found the one.”

This unit in Honors English 10 doesn’t just contain a field trip. The students are tasked with researching colleges they have an interest in or may help them with a future career they have in mind. After they’ve completed their research, the students write and send letters out to different admissions offices to learn more about the schools they have an interest in.

Molly has sent letters to Michigan State University, Colorado Mesa University, and National Louis University. She decided to send letters to these colleges because they all had one thing in common: the tools to support her in her future career.

“I want to be a teacher,” Molly said. “Currently, I want to be an American Sign Language teacher.”

Unlike Molly, sophomore Mia Bateson doesn’t know what career she hopes to go into, but she knows she wants to go into either physical therapy or nutrition at a college that has an urban campus and a large student body. 

“I always thought, ‘If I were to become a doctor, I would just want to be a physical therapist,’” Mia said. “My mom was talking about jobs, and she originally wanted to go into food [and] chemistry; I thought that was interesting.”

I think it’s important to know what you want earlier. It could be four years of your life. I like [this unit] because I thought it was more [like] real life—I could relate to it.”

— Mia Bateson

Mia wrote her letters to MSU, Northern Michigan, New York University, Hofstra University, and Hunter College. She’s excited to use this unit as a way to better explore the different options for what she hopes to major in. 

“I haven’t really thought that much about [college],” Mia said. “I think [this has] made me think about reaching out to other colleges that I want to visit and also planning visits and just thinking more about that kind of stuff.” 

Mia is hoping this college unit will help her narrow down her college options and make her junior and senior years a little less hectic.

“I think it’s important to know what you want earlier,” Mia said. “It could be four years of your life. I like [this unit] because I thought it was more [like] real-life—I could relate to it.”

Like Mia, Molly thinks it’s important to have a small idea of what you want in a college before your senior year. She appreciates that this unit is giving her time to get to know herself and what she’ll want in her four years after high school.

“It gave me an idea of what I wanted to do,” Molly said, “and it just dove in and made me think that maybe I should just start looking at [colleges. It] doesn’t mean I have to seriously think, but I should at least figure stuff out.”

From the perspective of the Counseling Office, this college unit helps a lot of kids kickstart their college search and gives them some parameters of what they want in their future. 

“What it will help them with is more [their] junior year when they start to evaluate what schools they want to apply to,” Perkins said. “They already have a good idea as to what a small school is like and what a big school is like. The difference we see [in] students [is that they] are more aware of what they’re looking for.”

This trip is an amazing opportunity for students. The school takes care of scheduling the visits, and students get to see three different schools in a short amount of time so they can get a grasp on what they’re looking for. They get to walk the halls and the grounds of the schools and see the difference between campuses like Hope, which is a bit smaller, but also larger campuses like GVSU. 

“I think it’s great, and it’s very relevant,” Perkins said. “I like that we have any teacher, whether it’s English or another subject, that is helping students look at what’s next and providing them with very helpful resources—like taking them to tour colleges.”