Elizabeth "Izzie" Olson

Elizabeth “Izzie” Olson is a student, poet, singer, writer, future nurse practitioner and a monthly contributor to the Student Success blog.

In her latest post, Izzie Olson reminds us that while it might be difficult, it’s never too late to make the changes that lead to success.

As a senior, I have experienced the stress of knowing that graduation is just around the corner, and of preparing for college. At this stage of high school, the class of 2013 realizes that they have major responsibilities ahead of them – taking the ACT, filing for scholarships, and applying to colleges – so they can eventually feel success as adults.

Whitney Willard

Whitney Willard has always struggled with school, but she knows now how important it is for a successful future.

While visiting with Whitney Willard, a fellow senior at ALP, we could relate on the challenges of becoming an adult. Success in the past meant having the courage to ask someone to go to a dance, singing a solo in front of a judge, or even learning your locker combination. As seniors, we shared our concerns in regards to taking on more responsibilities. Our success now will be defined on how well we score on an entrance exam or what colleges we have been accepted to.

Whitney, who also attends Nashwauk-Keewatin High School, was gracious enough to elaborate on her views of her experiences. Growing up, Whitney has always struggled with school, but she knows now how important it is for a successful future. I asked Whitney if she had the chance to start over with high school, what would she do differently. Whitney responded, “I would make sure I was sober, and put forth more effort into my education. I would have found different ways to deal with the stress of unhealthy relationships.” Whitney discovered that these were not healthy choices and turned her life around.

When asked how it felt to be a senior, she responded, “It feels a lot better and I just want to be done.” She also stated that it feels good to know that she made the right choices concerning her education and life. After graduation, Whitney plans to move to Duluth, MN, and potentially attend college for Child Protection/Social work.

Next we discussed what she envisioned for herself in the next 10 years. “I see myself married, possibly some children, and employed in the Social Work Program, working with kids who have troubles at home, or family issues that need to be dealt with.” She sees herself living either in the cities, or Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Whitney has made a commitment to graduate and is working on following through with these goals. Every day is a challenge for her, but she has stood strong.

High school is difficult, but if you are willing to go the distance, you will find success. Don’t just sit back and watch your education dwindle; make the changes you want now. It’s NEVER too late!