Ready for a change

Many seniors are itching to move out on their own for new experiences

Many seniors are itching to move out on their own for new experiences

May 18, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

There's no place like home. Or is there?

Sure, the Tri-State area is beautiful with its mountains and waterways. It doesn't cost too much to live here. And family and friends are close by for fun and guidance. But, with few exceptions, graduating seniors interviewed recently at Washington County Technical High School in Hagerstown said the area's pluses just aren't reason enough to stick around the home front after high school.

"I just want to get far away from here," said Jennifer Parisian, 17, of Hagers-town. She said she plans to move after graduation to Michigan, where she has family and friends, to work as a cosmetologist.

Natacha Tran will move to Houston this summer to begin school at North Harris College. She's looking at a career as a pediatrician, she said.


"I'll miss my family and friends and church, but I won't miss the area," said Natacha, 17.

"It's too quiet up here," said Blake Steel, 18, of Hagerstown, who misses the big city where he once lived. He'll head back down to St. Louis after he graduates to hang with some family members there and find work as an electrician, he said.

Boredom's a big part of the reason that Kendra Moore plans to make a break for North Carolina after graduation to attend a police academy, she said.

"What is there to do here?" asked Kendra, 18, of Brunswick, Md.

"It's very boring around here and there's nothing to do for young people like us," agreed Luy Doan, 18, of Hagerstown. He's moving to Vancouver, Canada, this summer to begin work at one of his sister's nail salons, he said.

Elyse Eddy will be heading to Florida after graduation, she said. She plans to attend a community college in the Sunshine State while working toward her dream of making it as a musician.

"There's just not much opportunity around here," said Elyse, 18, of Clear Spring.

Maybe she'll run into classmate Nathan Stephenson, who's also Florida-bound. He's registered for classes at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and hopes to work as a video game designer.

"I'm ready," said Nathan, 18, of Hagerstown, who'll miss his family and a few friends.

Family is too important to Eric Willett to move too far away from them, he said.

"I'm sticking around here and living at home," said Eric, 18, of Williamsport. "All my family's here."

Aaron Gruber will hone his mechanical skills at a college in Blairsville, Pa., before coming back to Washington County to build street rods - and live with his folks, he said.

"I'm going to have a lot of bills to pay off after school," said Aaron, 18, of Hagerstown. "I'll be able to live with my parents again to get back on my feet."

Tim Bossler also will live with his parents "until I can afford to get out," he said. Tim, 17, of Hagers-town, plans to start attending Hagerstown Community College this fall to get some classes under his belt before transferring to a bigger school to study psychology, he said.

Anna Nisewarner, 17, of Hagers-town, is registered for the fall semester at HCC in hopes of pursuing a career in business and marketing - but her upcoming stint at her hometown school doesn't mean Anna plans to keep living with her parents, she said. She wants to get her own place this summer, stick around Washington County for awhile, and eventually move to California for the mild weather and the beach, she said.

Danielle Wohlgemuth also will attend HCC in the fall, primarily to save cash, she said.

"I don't really like the idea of staying around here that much, but it's a lot cheaper," said Danielle, 18, of Hagerstown, who wants to work as a graphic designer.

Katraya Spencer, 17, of Smithsburg, agreed. She's going to save some dough by living at home while she takes classes at either HCC or Hagerstown Business College, she said. Eventually, Katraya might like to work as a nurse, she said.

Some students are comfortable here, though.

Ryan Hebb, 18, of Big Pool, already has landed a good masonry job in Washington County, so he's got no reason to leave, he said. And Amanda Lynn has no desire to live anywhere but her hometown. She said she plans to take some business-related classes at HCC and get her own place after she turns 18 in December.

"I like it here," said Amanda, 17, of Hagerstown. "I don't like to go to places where I don't know anybody or where anything is."

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