Independently traveling across Mexico, reconnecting with family in Canada, studying law in Switzerland and exploring biomedical science in Ireland are a few unconventional post-high school plans seniors at South seek to accomplish. Wanting a break from the school routine and structured living, senior Tiffany Dominguez hopes to experience more fulfillment in life by taking a gap year, she explained.
Since freshman year, Dominguez planned to go straight to college after graduating high school. However, after having a change of heart when Covid-19 hit, she hopes to experience more satisfaction within her life through traveling.
“I was like, ‘you know what I like?’ I like to travel,” Dominguez said. “That is what I want to do. I already have a couple of vacations planned out, so it is already set in place and everything. I just don’t really think college is on my radar any time soon.”
After graduation day, she plans to travel to Mexico alone, she explained. Dominguez has previously been to Mexico three times to connect with her Hispanic roots. Seeking more independence and happiness, she believes that traveling helps her feel more content with her life.
“When I see how I am living here and how I am living in Mexico there is always a big difference,” Dominguez said. “Here is so structural you have to do this and that. It is always like school, work, home and sleep. Over [in Mexico] you are just happy. Over here I feel so trapped and suffocated, [but] over there I feel so free.”
Senior Justin Hamelin also has plans to leave the country; however, he will be studying at Western University in London, Ontario, following his sibling’s footsteps. Hamelin has been to various countries in the past and has always known he wanted to leave the United States to study abroad, according to Hamelin.
“The future depends on how much I like where I live in Canada versus America,” Hamelin said. “I mainly just wanted to go because of my siblings. It would also be an excuse to see most of my family again.”
Likewise, senior Dominik Wcislo plans to study at Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland, to seek a more independent learning environment. Wcislo explained how he seeks a college that will support his studies in law and provide a flexible schedule.
“I knew that I wanted a college that will let me be a lot more individualistic, so going to college in Europe allows me to figure out more of what I want to do in my personal life and be more independent in my living situation,” Wcislo said. “Also, it allows me to travel a lot more and do more things that make me happy as a person.”
Seeking independence, senior Morgan Trauscht is attending Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland, hoping to find new opportunities in Europe. Since childhood, Trauscht knew she wanted to apply to universities in Europe, she explained.
“Ever since I was younger and it was an option for me to study outside of the country, I immediately knew I wanted to try that later in the future,” Trauscht said. “And so when I was applying for college I was like ‘okay, let’s test it out this way.’ So I looked at the Trinity Science program which is amazing [and] seems like a great school for me. I applied as a shot in the dark and got in.”
Trauscht plans to study biological and biomedical science but does not have any solid plans for the future, she explained. Having been to Europe before, Trauscht explained how she is excited to discover new cultures within Ireland.
“I think it is just going to open up more opportunities for me,” Trauscht said. “Just to look around and experience life in a different way, it kind of makes you more prepared for anything that is going to happen next. The way this past year has gone, I feel like it is pretty reasonable.”