The Teen Appeal

Giving truth to Memphis youth

Should I stay or should I go?

By Ivy Arnold (Central High School)

Choosing the right college for your future is a hard decision. Photo by Sarah Petschonek.

Choosing the right college for your future is a hard decision. Photo by Sarah Petschonek.

To stay or not to stay? That is the question that lingers in the head of Memphis seniors this fall, as they complete the college admissions process

Some seniors claim that staying in Memphis could limit their growth and keep them dependent on their family. They also believe that there is nothing new in the Bluff City: Everything is the same as it has always been throughout their lifetime living here. Is this really the case though?

University of Memphis sophomore Lillian Davis (Central High School, class of 2013) expressed her opinion that, “The University of Memphis is a great opportunity that a lot of Memphis seniors miss out on.”

By meeting high academic standards for the best scholarships that the college has to offer, Davis earned a full ride (scholarship) to the University of Memphis.

“As a freshman, I stayed on campus, now I live in an apartment off of campus which is paid for by the FAFSA funds that I get back, since my tuition is covered by my U of M scholarship,” said Davis. “When you’re on your own in Memphis, it’s a totally different city than you pictured it when you’re a minor and live with your parents still. I’m glad that I chose to attend the University of Memphis, for when I graduate I won’t be in debt like many college graduates. Everything is inexpensive, so I’m always saving money and Memphis is a territory that I truly know.”

With so many colleges to choose from, it can seem overwhelming. Photo by Elle Perry.

With so many colleges to choose from, it can seem overwhelming. Photo by Elle Perry.

Many Shelby County seniors also claim that they really just want to leave Memphis so they can explore other opportunities in different cities, such as exposing themselves to exciting life experiences, meeting new people and participating in different aspects of cultures.

On the other hand, there are seniors that have no issue with Memphis. It just so happens that the colleges they want to attend are not located in Memphis.

Cyanna Broughton, who graduated from Central in 2014 and is now a freshman at Howard University said, “Since my first visit to this area (Washington, D.C.), I knew I preferred the East Coast. D.C. is a good fit for me because this city has so much to do and infinite opportunities. Living in D.C., I can easily make connections to whomever or whatever I need.”

The main college concentrations are business and law, therefore choosing to attend college in D.C. is reasonable due to its placement in the most political region.

Broughton agreed, “Unlike Memphis, D.C. is also in proximity to other cool cities. Around September, one of my classes took a day trip to New York to visit an African burial ground. One of the most important reasons I chose D.C. is that although it’s a big city, the area is still pretty safe. My favorite part about living in D.C. is that everything is accessible. After I learned the metro and the bus system, I could go anywhere in the city whenever I wanted to.”

Graduating seniors can go far, near, or even stay here, but should be sure not to miss out on the main objective: To accomplish as many goals as possible and establish long lasting connections that could better their futures.


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