The Future Starts Now

Marko Barrera, Co-Managing Editor

 It feels like the annual 8th grade orientation happened just yesterday. SGA helpers held tours around what would soon be home for the next four years. Three years and three pep rallies later, college adds itself to students’ plates of priorities. For the first time since COVID, college tours for juniors have returned with flying colors, each schools’ colors that is. 

   Up until four years ago, Charter offered juniors a 3-day field trip to visit the major universities in the state. This way they can see some of the options they have for where they want to continue their education after being a Jaguar. The school stopped offering it after the pandemic and tried to attempt the closest thing to bringing it back last year with a virtual substitute. Rather than physically going to each campus, students were invited for a virtual tour from the River of Grass theater. 

   This year, the great Florida field trip is back in full swing. All attendees drove up all the way north to Gainesville for their first stop: University of Florida. Arguably known as the most difficult school in Florida to get to, this school has listed itself as the dream school of many juniors at Charter. “I know that it’s super difficult to get into UF,”said Junior Miley Camilo during the trip,”It makes me wanna apply even more.” Due to the dream of becoming a gator, this first stop was the one that most kids were looking forward to. 

   The next destination for them was Orlando, where they visited the university also referred to as “Charter 2.0”: University of Central Florida. In the past, the majority of each graduating class contained commits to UCF. As kids raised in South Florida, we all enjoyed childhood trips to Disney World or Universal Studios. It was from these experiences that the appreciation for Orlando’s vibrant environment. “UCF impressed me the most because it’s both social and it has a good education system,” Eduardo Gonzalez said after the trip,”The location was amazing and the campus was really relaxing.” The juniors agreed that this was a destination they were also looking forward to, mostly for nostalgia. 

   From there, the juniors continued driving generally south, visiting University of South Florida, Florida Polytechnic University, and Florida Gulf Coast University. With the Class of 2024 being the first class to participate in this event, the junior college trip has truly given each student an opportunity to take a peek at what their future has in store for them. 

   Thanks to this opportunity, kids who might’ve been known as Jaguars for most of their educational careers could become Gators, Knights or Bulls for the rest of them.