Prepping For The Next Step


Sioux Falls students are almost done with classes. For seniors, that means they are on to the something new, and that can be scary for some. 

Results from a multi-year college and readiness survey conducted by YouthTruth found that only 45-percent of students feel ready for college or a career. 

We are in the home stretch of school for Sioux Falls students. That means there’s some excitement in these halls, but there’s also some uncertainty about the future. 

“Mostly excited, but I’m also really nervous. I think everyone is, just because it’s just a whole new step and a whole new process for everyone and we’re all going to different areas,” Lincoln High SchoolSenior Sarah Flanagan said. 

School Counselor David Myers spends the school year trying to put students’ minds at ease by giving them a blueprint for success. 

“Preparing for school is taking some really good courses here in our building. We offer just a whole bunch of AP courses, accelerated courses, and also classes out at our CTE academy which prepares students for the future,” Myers said. 

Lincoln High School Senior Benjamin Engebretson, who is heading to Chicago to attend Northwestern in the fall, says he prepared by taking classes out of his comfort zone. 

“I’m mainly a math and science person, but I take hard English classes. I’m in AP Spanish and those aren’t my focus areas in college,” Engebretson said.

The change for students isn’t just in the classroom. Going to college presents some new challenges, and maybe not ones you would normally think of. 

“I toured a bunch of colleges this spring and I didn’t know you needed like shower shoes,” Engebretson said. 

Engebretson is moving hours away from home, so socially he will have to make even more changes. 

“I’m going to learn as I go like through the orientation week and then like the first weeks of classes. I’m going to learn and figure out how to manage all my time and have everything I think, have the social network I need. All that stuff,” Engebretson said. 

Myers says in order to get a step ahead on what to expect, it’s important for students to visit a campus before deciding to go there.

“We just believe it’s good that students make campus visits to get a feel of that campus and see what it’s going to be like. They can talk to admissions people, they can talk to professors, they get a feel for the cafeteria  

There are many options out there for a higher education, Myers says for many students, a tech school is a great option. 

“They offer just short amount of time, two years, and they can get a great career, great paying job in that amount of time,” Myers said. 

Myers works with students, letting them know when is the best time to start filling out applications and touring colleges. For senior Sarah Flanagan, Myers has been a vital resource. 

“Really use all the resources that Lincoln has to offer. I came to talk with Mr. Myers, my counselor, and that was really helpful. It helped relieve a lot of the stress because he walked me through a lot of the application process and the research process and where to get things and when,” Myers said. 

Myers has been working at Lincoln High School for 17 years. He says for the most part, the process to get into college has stayed the same, but there is one trend he is noticing more now. 

“Students broaden where they want to go nowadays. It’s more further away from South Dakota. So I see that a little bit more,” Myers said. 

No matter what you do, or where you go after high school, Myers says it’s important to find out what you like and apply it to your future. 

“We give them opportunities, so hopefully they’re prepared when they leave our building here,” Myers said. 

If you plan on going to a university, Flanagan says have fun in high school, but don’t waste too much time.  

“I would say start looking early and start your application process early. It takes a lot longer than you think it would to write all of those essays and get everything all organized,” Flanagan said. 

These two seniors say they believe they’re ready for the next level. 

“I feel like I’m prepared to be independent,” Engebretson said. 

“I really like high school. I had a fun time here, but I think I am ready for the next step and I feel prepared to do that,” Flanagan.

They also say you’ll never know for sure until you leave home. 

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