It’s that time of year again: the leaves are out, the birds are chirping in the early morning hours and high school seniors everywhere are taking the first step out into the real world.
Leading the way is Nashoba’s valedictorian, Cristina Shea, 18, class president and representative to the Nashoba School Committee. She’ll be attending Stanford University in the fall.
For Shea, choosing where to attend college required a lot of thinking and soul-searching. She was accepted to Harvard but wasn’t sure it was the place for her. After all, she and her friends often hang out in Harvard Square and it wouldn’t really feel like “going away” to college.
It came down to location, in a way — moving to California rather than Cambridge meant it would be more of an adventure.
“I was torn, because they are both good schools,” she said.
But Stanford ultimately offered more of the opportunities she wants to pursue.
Shea said she’s thinking about biology for her major but hasn’t really decided yet.
Even though she’s looking forward to the adventure, Shea said she will miss her friends. In her graduating class at Nashoba, only two other students will be traveling to California; most have enrolled in schools on the East Coast, made plain as day with pins on a map in the guidance department.
“It’ll be hard to keep in touch,” she said.
She also thinks college will definitely be a challenge. Classes and assignments will be more difficult and she’ll have to learn to manage her time better, said Shea.
But there are still some benefits in moving away to college, even if it is across the entire country. Shea said she’s looking forward to everything being new and meeting people from all over. And, Shea said, the weather’s definitely something to anticipate.
Shea will keep busy this summer working at Camp Sewataro in Sudbury. Freshmen orientation at Stanford doesn’t start until Sept. 16, giving her an extra-long summer.
Nashoba’s graduation will be held on Sunday, June 8, at 12:30 p.m.
Reporter Meghan B. Kelly can be reached at 978-371-5758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.