story by Maddie Mason and Jamie Gilbert

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, the class of 2015 begins to prepare themselves for what lies ahead of them after high school.

Although most students are ready for graduation, others are still reminiscing on their experiences through high school.

“I’m so excited for graduation but also kind of scared at the same time because of how quickly high school went by but I’m ready to start new things,” senior Cicely Major said.

College is not the only option after high school, but for some, it is essential for the career path that they want to take.

“I want to go to college so that I can continue my education and pursue my dream of being a doctor,” senior Tyler Wilson said.  “College is the conduit to this career path.”

In certain households, college is mandatory.

“I actually have no choice of going to college in my household.  Both of my parents went to college.  My dad didn’t finish and instead went straight into his engineering career.  My mom on the other hand graduated number one in her class and has a math degree,” senior Briana Barney said. “So being that I’m the first child, there’s a lot of pressure on me to graduate high school and college and be successful like my parents.”

College is also a way to meet new people and experience new horizons.

“I look forward to making new friends in a new environment and finding myself grow into the person that I would be like to be,” Tyler said.

After graduation, senior Darell Harris is leaving South Carolina, bound for the University of Maryland.

“I look forward to the diversity in people and Baltimore as a city,” Darell said. “There’s always something new there.

Choosing the right college that feels like home is important for rising college freshman.

“Picking a college isn’t easy.  You have to consider what’s comfortable for you.  How big of a campus you want to go to, if you want to be at home or away, what scholarships are you pursuing, and what college will give you the most money.  I’m going to a historically black college and I think I would feel comfortable there,” Briana said.

Even though Cicely’s senior year isn’t over yet, she hopes to gain certain skills from college that she did not have in high school.

“From college I hope to take away skills that help me to be a better person and better in my career, have a true understanding of people and living and being around them.  I hope to have the chance to just really grow up and see the world for myself,” Cicely said.

Hard work and dedication has paid off throughout high school for students, leaving them fully prepared for graduation and life beyond high school.

“I’m excited for graduation.  Having to be at Dutch Fork for all four years for this one moment.  All that I’ve been through and all the hard work I put in for this moment is very emotional for me,” Briana said. “I’ve come a long way and to be rewarded with a certificate at the end is well deserved.”