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Life After High School: Mr. Greenwood's Story

Updated: Mar 18


“I had no idea [what I was doing after graduation]. I knew I was going to college but that was it." — Kent Greenwood

All throughout my time at North Scott, I believed that you took classes in high school to prepare you for a major in college. Then, after college, you worked in one field for the rest of your life. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I really learned how wrong I was. 


Careers are almost never a clear, linear path. Most people don’t have a solid idea of what they want to do until they’re actually doing it. People change fields and majors all the time or decide to pursue different training like trades school, or they get a nice job and decide to stick with that instead of what they planned. Plans change all the time. 


The thing that’s helped me to learn this and feel better about my transition out of high school has been talking with people about their journey and careers. I want to give you all a similar experience, so I decided to interview a member of the North Scott staff. I knew that this teacher would have some interesting career stories that would be perfect to drive home the point that careers are not a straight shot, so, without further ado, this is my interview with Kent Greenwood.  


Do you have any clue what you’re doing after high school? Greenwood didn’t. In high school, Greenwood described that he had a similar experience to students here at North Scott—except he didn’t have the option to take college classes. When I asked him what he thought he was going to be after graduation, he laughed a bit and admitted, “I had no idea. [. . .] I knew I was going to college but that was it.” He told me that his parents never wanted him to pursue a specific career and he didn’t know what he wanted to do yet, so he left high school hoping to figure things out in college. 


Greenwood, as he put it, had an “awesome” time at college. Throughout our talk Greenwood told me countless stories from his college days, all with a reminiscent smile on his face. He told me stories about a history professor that he followed around like an awed child, an ethics professor that once proclaimed that killing a rat to protect your infant was unethical, and how he “took an Intro to the Bible course to find meaning in religion, a philosophy course to get answers to the biggest questions, science courses to seek out meaning in the natural world, and history” because he had a professor he loved. Overall, Greenwood stated that “I never took classes to get the right job, instead I took classes to find out what was really going on in the world and to figure out who I was and where I fit in.”


Greenwood has a pretty storied career. In college, Greenwood worked at the desk of the weight room and as a janitor, an RA, and a hall director. After college, he worked at a temp agency for 6 months to save up to travel the world because as he expressed to me later on, he “always loved travel above all.” He eventually ended up working as an English teacher in Taiwan. He told me, “After teaching for about three months, I realized that I wanted to be a teacher.” He got to work with students from three years olds all the way up to college aged which taught him that he wanted to work with high schoolers. Eventually, Greenwood returned to the US where he got a graduate degree in teaching social studies and ended up teaching here at North Scott.


Greenwood’s story proves that you don’t need to know exactly what you’re doing with your life—you’ll figure it out eventually. Greenwood simply just lived his life and focused on finding himself. You can do the same. Besides, even if you do know what you want to do, your priorities can always change. 


I’ll leave you all with some advice that Greenwood gave to students navigating the transition out of high school. He recommends that you “advocate for yourself” and “surround yourself by people that are successful or aspire for greatness. When I was around people who did great things it always motivated me to do the same.” Finally, “don't let all the chatter around you impact you from becoming who you want to be.” “Some of the most meaningful things that I have done in my life are things that other people told me I shouldn't or couldn't do.”

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A lot of seniors could definitely benefit from this article! I loved the advice he gave.

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As a confused senior, this is a relatable and comforting story!

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