As the 2017 school year comes to an end, the senior students at Revelstoke Secondary prepare themselves to step into adulthood. With the many possibilities and opportunities the world gives, choosing the right path can be a very intimidating process.
As one student says, “It’s extremely intimidating because everyone asks you what you want to do or get in to. But it’s hard to have a concrete plan for your future, especially comparing yourself to other students who have their entire life planned out. It makes you really worry about leaving.”
Going on to university is the most popular option for teens graduating, although there are some students who choose not to. Most students who take this path say that they want to take some time to figure out what they’d like to get into, rather than rushing into university and student debt and risk spending time on something they’re not going to use in the future.
Living in a small town with fewer job opportunities means there are also risks in taking a break from school. When I asked if there’s enough employment here in Revelstoke to meet their ambitions, the most common answer is “no.”
“All the jobs for younger generations are very labour intensive, such as the mill,” says Kasia Humphreys, a graduating student hoping to get into forestry. “To get into a job like a forestry apprentice, I’d have to go to university, learn the basics then come back and apply for an apprenticeship.”
Kasia has decided to take a year off to travel before making her next decision.
For graduating students looking to stay in Revelstoke, Jeff Colvin, the career counsellor at RSS, said fields to pursue, based on anticipated growth in positions, would be food & beverage, forestry, tourism, and construction.
Erin Behncke has already made her decision. She’ll be heading to UBC in the fall where she’s registered in International Economics. She says she’s a little anxious but it’s exciting, too. Leaving a great home town like Revelstoke isn’t easy.
“You definitely can’t stay in this safe bubble forever,” says Erin. “For what I’m interested in I don’t think I could have a career in Revelstoke. I really hope to come back here at some point though, it’s amazing here.”
The writer Aleks Klassen is an RSS student who’s still a few years away from graduating.