The Future of the Class of 2020: Universities, Careers, and the Future

As the year begins to wind down, seniors across the country are preparing to leave high school.  This year is much different than past years, with the overwhelming events of 2020. Social distancing as a result of the novel COVID-19 and protests across the nation are just some of this year’s wild circumstances. And with all of this going on at once, many students, more specifically, seniors with the Class of 2020, find themselves having to transition differently with no warning at all. However, they have the support of their peers and mentors, and there are many well-wishes surrounding seniors, encouraging hope during this time.

As virtual learning is still being developed at schools across the nation, seniors now face an uncertain future. With the unprecedented turns of 2020, many students have offered their words of encouragement to seniors.

“Congratulations on finally graduating even through everything that’s been going on. Have fun in college!” Nimisha Pant ’21 shares. Similar to Pant’s encouragement, many others have offered words of hope to get seniors through these difficult times. In addition, many of their peers offered their take on the situation. As a result of social distancing, seniors have been forced to give up their physical graduation and prom, among many other events.

“Their ability to still succeed in the school, despite some of their best high school memories, such as prom, graduation, and trips being cancelled are just a demonstration that they can get through any obstacle life throws at them. I will keep in mind that when something doesn’t go my way in the future, so many other people had experiences completely taken away from them, and they still came out on the other side smiling, so I should too,” Hannah Steinlauf ‘22 explains. Despite the various cancellations seniors have faced, many remain optimistic during these times—a lesson many of their peers could follow. To replace these events, many seniors have turned to virtual graduation and prom, which, although it cannot replace its predecessor, it serves its purpose in providing some means of reunion.

One of the most interesting aspects of graduation is the many different directions students are taking after graduation. Some students have decided to enter straight into the workforce, while others will be pursuing higher education. In addition, some of the alumni will be leaving the state for college, while others will be staying in the local area to pursue higher education. Courtesy of Mrs. Siemienski, one of the college counselors at Edison High School, the Eagles Eye was able to gather data on almost 400 of our 515 students graduating in the Class of 2020. After reviewing the data, some interesting trends emerged. Out of those attending college, a majority of the graduating class will be attending a college in the State of New Jersey, with 59 students attending an out-of-state college. According to the data received from Mrs. Siemienski, a majority of these out-of-state students will be attending a college in New York State, Pennsylvania, or Florida. A vast majority of students will be attending a college in the New York-Newark Metropolitan Area as well. Out of the students enrolling in schools in New Jersey, a majority will also be attending a college in Middlesex County, home to Edison. After Middlesex County, Essex and Union County have 44 and 20 students attending college respectively. Within Middlesex County, a majority of students are also attending one of two colleges: the state school, Rutgers University, and the county college, Middlesex County College. Each has 107 and 122 students attending respectively. The following video, created by Ali Ahmed ‘22, displays the basics of the data as follows:

As our Eagles leave the nest, the community here at Edison High School congratulates our new seniors for their success in school and their promise for the future. As the school’s students diverge into many different directions, they shall go on to shape the future. Through hard work, skill, and determination, EHS’ newest alumni will change the world for the better. Despite the unprecedented challenges our society faces in these dire times, Michelle Obama put it best in her 2020 commencement speech

“But if you hold strong with the same faith that carried all those giants before you toward real, measurable progress, you will change the course of history,” the former first lady encourages.

On behalf of The Eagle’s Eye, congratulations on graduating high school, and good luck on the long journey that lies ahead of you!

More information on the graduation data of the Class of 2020 at EHS can be found here.