Why I Am Not At All Ready to Graduate

by Kerrin Norton
Class of 2015

I know it’s a lot guys, but everything we do right now is preparing you for college.”
How many times a day do I hear this at school? Too many to count, usually. Since the first day of freshman year, we have been “preparing for the next year”, “preparing for APs”, “preparing
for the SAT”, “preparing for college”. I personally have found all of this preparation to be extremely useful. I was prepared for
the SATs, I was prepared for AP classes, and I feel very well prepared for the next four years at college.

But that’s the thing: I am going to college.

I know that at Braintree High School, I have been lucky enough to receive an education that far exceeds those in surrounding towns, and I am very grateful for that. However, I cannot help but wonder how those who will not be attending college in the fall are feeling.

80.7% of the Braintree High Class of 2013 attended college, an impressive number when stacked against the national average of 66.2% (National Center for Education). 80.7% of students at Braintree High school are preparing for an extremely important time in their academic careers, when they will go on to study their choice of topics for two, four, six, eight years. The skills we
have worked hard at learning; study habits, writing skills, test taking skills will be tested and used vehemently in the next four years for 80.7% of us. However, as graduation quickly approaches and the future looms ominously in the distance, I can’t help but begin to worry about the things I did not learn, the things I am not prepared for.

I turned 18 in February, and I am slightly ashamed to say that I have not registered to vote; I do not know how. I do not entirely understand the basics of each parties, nor do I know how to register for a specific one. I just recently received my financial aid package in the mail. I barely understood it, to be honest. How do you take out or pay back a loan? Is there a deadline?

As I worry about these smaller issues that I struggle with, I slowly become extremely grateful to be a part of the 80.7%. What about the other 19.3? Or even the national 33.8? If I were not going to college, I would not know what to do. I have learned little more beyond study habits, time management, and things such as the fact that that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. If I were to graduate, get a job and leave home, I would be lost. I do not know how to buy a house, I do not know how to file taxes, I do not know how to lease a car or take out a loan or attend a job interview.

Braintree High has done an excellent job preparing their students for the next four years but that’s it. After four years at college, I will still need to buy a house, lease a car and take out loans.
I will have to pay taxes on my own and find a job. College will not prepare me for these things it is a time to focus in on the academia that one will use for the rest of their life. High school is about learning a little bit of everything, preparing for the future. So why, at the end of my four years, do I still feel unprepared?

I appreciate everything my teachers and administrators have done for me over the past four years, and I am looking forward to going off to college confident in September. But a part of me cannot help but worry about that which I did not learn, which I do not understand or know how to do. Life skills are necessary for all of us eventually, and be it in four years or on June 4th we should feel as confident to leave as we do in these halls. I can only hope that somehow I find that confidence somewhere else otherwise
we might someday come to find a mysterious tax shortage, all of which seems to be missing from the BHS Class of 2015.

Kerrin Norton is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition