The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

Taking the paths less traveled

    As the school year comes to an end, the class of 2024 students are finalizing their plans for the future. While plenty of students are headed in the direction of college or work post-graduation, what about the more uncommon paths? 


    College Abroad


    Senior Greta Van Brunt decided to study English, Drama, and Film in Dublin, Ireland at University College Dublin. 

    “I love film so much,” Van Brunt said. “I can watch a good movie, but I can’t watch it without immediately going home and Googling who the cinematographers were [and] what projects they’ve worked on before. I’m so much more interested in the logistics and the behind the scenes, and I love seeing how things happen.”

    She decided to go to college abroad because her parents inspired her. 

    “My mom was a college professor and she told me that she wished she had studied abroad when she did spend time in college,” Van Brunt said. “My dad went to [study abroad in] Sweden and he was like ‘It was the best experience of my life. I wish I could have kept going to school there.’” For her birthday during her sophomore year of high school, her parents got her a book about studying abroad. 

    When going to college abroad, Van Brunt decided to choose between Ireland, Scotland and Germany.

    “I chose not to go to Germany because while I do speak German, I do have this sort of fear that I’m not good enough at it,” she said. “So I feel like I would not do well in school there. And then Dublin is a really amazing place. It’s gorgeous. There’s so much to do there. And so when I went to do my campus visits, I just fell in love with Dublin and I was like, this is it.” 

    She is looking forward to learning how to direct and operate a camera, but also having the experience of being abroad. 

    “I’m gonna miss my friends a lot,” she said. “But I’m also so excited because Europe is such an accessible place. I can take a train down to Germany and spend a day there and be back in the same day at the school. So that’s just something that I cannot fathom and [an experience] I cannot wait to have.” 

     While going to college abroad in Dublin has many great aspects, Van Brunt feels that being an American in Dublin and having to get used to new cultural aspects will be daunting. However, she is going to know someone from Barrington High School who will be studying her same major. 

    Van Brunt says that if you are thinking about going to college abroad – in particular in Europe – just do it. 

    “School in Europe is a lot cheaper, still expensive, but a lot cheaper than the US,” she said. “You’re gonna get so many more experiences and meet so many really interesting people. If you’re worried about the language barrier, go to Ireland, go to an English speaking country, but there’s going to be just a lot more benefits, too. You’re going to see so much more than you would if you stayed in the US.”

    Senior Yvie Gaiden, studying abroad in Madrid, Spain in the first semester at St. Louis University’s Madrid campus through Northeastern University. (Jordan Lui)


    Senior Yvie Gaiden is going to be studying abroad in Madrid, Spain for her first semester of college at St. Louis University’s Madrid campus through Northeastern University. 

    “To attend the school in Boston, I’d have to spend my first semester abroad, but I wanted to study abroad anyway during my college experience,” Gaiden said. “It’s really interesting because I get to go with about 150 other Northeastern freshmen and Northeastern staff and we all spend this semester there together. So I thought it was a really unique way to bond with my peers. And then I also get to attend the school that I’ve dreamed of going to for the last few years.”

    Gaiden is majoring in Public Health and Health Humanities. 

    “I’ve always really loved science,” she said. “And for the longest time, I thought I wanted to go into healthcare. But I kind of realized that my interests are more aligned with public policy and health policy. So I really want to work with health equity. This was a really interesting major and [it] led me down that path.”

    While in Madrid, Gaiden is looking forward to exploring other countries and creating bonds with her peers. 


    Military Academy

    Senior Jack Barry, attending the United States Military Academy West Point. (Jordan Lui)

    Senior Jack Barry is attending the United States Military Academy West Point and is studying Defense and Strategic Studies. He grew up with military history in his family and his grandpa, who pursued a career in the military, inspired Barry to do the same. 

    “[Westpoint] is the military 24/7,” Barry said. “So it is still a college. I will still be majoring and they have plenty of majors. I’m not sure what I’ll major in yet but it will still be more or less a college setting, just with a military vibe on top of it. And then afterwards, because the college is paid for, I will be serving four to five years in the Army.” 

    Barry is looking forward to being around other students who are passionate about the military. 

    “One thing that really is special about West Point that I’m looking forward to is that everyone that goes there wants to be there,” he said. “They all decided to try to get into this place. It wasn’t super easy to get into, but there’s no one there where it’s their second option.”

    While he’s looking forward to going into the military, he faces the challenges of leaving home for a long time for the first time and making new friends in a new environment. However, he has met students from nearby schools who are also attending West Point – Plainfield South and Mundelein – through the different leadership opportunities that he has done. 

    For anyone going into the military – especially at West Point – he recommends getting involved in the community through different leadership opportunities, joining a sport and meeting new people.


    Senior Lauren Hilts, attending St. Louis University and joining the ROTC program. (Jordan Lui)

    For people who want both a traditional college experience as well as being involved in the military, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a program that blends both. 

    ROTC is a program offered in some colleges that gives college students training for service opportunities such as being in the Marine Corps, Navy, etc. 

    In exchange for the training, students are required to serve for four years in the military any time after graduation, and the ROTC will pay for three or four years of college tuition. 

    Senior Lauren Hilts, who will be attending St. Louis University in the fall and majoring in nursing, has joined their Army ROTC program. One part of the program that enticed Hilts is the strong community. 

    “They are very centered around culture and community. I’m going to have a good friend group right off the bat,” she said. “So I think it would be nice for meeting new people.”

    ROTC is a great option for financial aid, but it also requires many physical demands.

    “[I will have to] wake up at 6 am every morning to meet and then they do training afterwards,” she said.

    Hilts’ advice to incoming seniors would be to “(just) apply. “

    It doesn’t commit you into doing anything. Keeping your options and your doors open is the best thing, especially applying to colleges. You might regret not applying when you could have”.

    Community College

    Senior Hayden Anderson, is attending College of Lake County and aiming to transfer to University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. When talking about deciding to go to College of Lake County, Anderson says, “Definitely decide what you want. Like beforehand if you go to a university and you hate [it] and want to come back, then you’re not gonna get the whole experience of college”. (Jordan Lui)
    The path to higher education doesn’t always have to be a four year university. Community colleges are a cheaper way to combine quality education and low costs and offers you the opportunity to transfer to another school.

    Senior Hayden Anderson will be going to College of Lake County (CLC) in the fall, with a goal to transfer to University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign (UIUC) in two years. “I’m going to go to CLC to study business to get those courses out of the way. Then I’m going to transfer to UIUC for teaching.”

    Applying to CLC is a less extensive process, and applicants get an instant reply for their decision. 

    At CLC, Anderson can get college credit while still being able to be near her family.

     “CLC is close to home so I can stay with my family. It’s better than going to a university because I’m not ready to leave my family.” 

    Anderson will have a short 15 minute commute. 

    Another advantage of going to a community college is that Anderson will still be able to keep doing the things she loves to do near home. 

    “I’m able to keep my job so I can just work. I want to keep earning money. I can [also] do theater there and not have to worry about anything else.” 

    Anderson currently works at Sugarville in downtown Libertyville and is involved in theater. Her decision about CLC came from the experience of her older brother who took a gap year and stayed home.

    “I want to follow in his footsteps because he had a good time staying here.”

    Paramedic Firefighter

    Senior Max Glusic, planning on attending Paramedic School at Advocate Condell Hospital or Lake Forest Hospital. When asked about why he decided to apply to become a paramedic, Glusic said, “Honestly, just being able to help people out, that’s the big thing that drives me to be a first responder”. (Jordan Lui)

    Following graduation, senior Max Glusic will go into Paramedic school at Advocate Condell Hospital or Lake Forest Hospital, where he will be placed into a two year program that will help him get his paramedic license and eventually become an EMT. “[School] is about a full school year. It starts in August and goes through June. [The classes] are twice a week and eight hours in length.” Glusic said. 

    In addition to the school, Glusic will have to gain 300 hours of ride a long time in an ambulance and 200 hours in a hospital. After that, Glusic will take a national exam in order to get his EMT license. 

    Glusic was a part of tech campus this year, a program where he is able to go to CLC for half the school day and take classes that will help him prepare for his paramedic career.

    As for the application process, “It’s not very long”. Applicants are required to submit a resume that a selection board will look at and determine if the applicant is eligible. 

    Glusic’s favorite part of his EMT route is that he gets to help people, 

    “That’s the big thing that drives me to be a first responder. And also the cool technology that [I will] work with everyday.”

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