“It’s gone by really fast,” emphasized Sebatian Brooks, a Wyoming County East High School senior.
Wyoming County’s Class of 2019 plans to become teachers, doctors, welders, engineers, nurses, physical therapists, among numerous other career and life choices.
Other soon-to-be graduates agree how fast their four years of high school have unfolded.
“I can remember being in the auditorium thinking these four years are going to take forever,” recalled Colton Smith of his freshman orientation.
Smith is a Westside High senior who will move on to Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Smith is one of only 10 students statewide to be accepted into the university’s accelerated B.S./M.D. Program, putting him on the fast track to become a doctor in seven years.
“But it goes fast. And this school year has felt like nothing,” Smith said.
“Don’t be scared,” Gage Gibson, Westside High and Wyoming County Career and Technical Center senior, advises incoming freshmen.
“The important thing is to come in with a plan,” Gibson emphasized.
Gibson will attend the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Ohio. He has already joined the workforce, working as a welder and in other trades, after school and on weekends.
Smith explained that other students are not as judgmental as incoming freshmen might fear.
“High school is a time to figure out who you are,” Smith added.
Gibson said his one regret is not studying harder.
“I should have buckled down more,” he said.
Some of the classes are challenging, Smith noted, but easily handled with hard work.
Both Gibson and Smith agree they are fortunate to be able to do what they love in their future careers.
“I work with my hands – welding, mixing concrete,” Gibson said. “Not everyone is meant to be a doctor or lawyer. You can make a lot of money working with your hands.”
“Get involved,” emphasized Holly Brehm, a standout Wyoming East athlete who has a four-year scholarship to play softball for Ohio University. She will study exercise physiology, then physical therapy.
“There are lots of things going on here,” Brehm emphasized. “High school is a lot of fun.”
“There are countless opportunities to become involved,” said Kara Kissel, a Wyoming County East senior. Kissel will attend West Virginia University in Morgantown to pursue a career in nursing.
“My biggest regret is not going to more ball games and being more involved,” added Noah Quesenberry, a Wyoming East senior. Quesenberry will attend WVU Tech and study mechanical engineering.
“It makes high school so much better if you’re involved,” Brooks said.
Brooks plan to attend Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, then transfer to Marshall where he plans to study psychology.
“I’ve always been interested in helping people. A lot of people here are struggling... It’s really needed here.”
Will any of the students return to their home county to work?
Only one plans to return; the others are leaving their options open.
“I like to travel,” said Gibson, who will attend the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Ohio.
“I want to be where it’s warm and I can make a lot of money,” Quesenberry said jokingly.
Kissel said when her parents retire (both are optometrists in the county), they plan to move closer to their families out of state. She will likely follow.
“But I’m really glad I grew up here,” she emphasized.
Wyoming County East High School will host graduation ceremonies May 31 at 7 p.m.
Westside High will conduct annual ceremonies June 1 at noon.