Does West Ottawa follow through with their motto?


Lyndsay Neitzel

West Ottawa High School’s sign displays their motto, “College, career and life ready.”

Lyndsay Neitzel

Sitting in her room at 11:00 pm on a Monday, Sr. Elaina Dishinger was binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, fascinated by the medical surgeries happening. At the end of sophomore year, talking to her dad, a general surgeon at Holland Hospital, she realized that her interest in the medical field was serious. She enrolled in a spot for Medical Interventions to continue her learning. Since she enlisted in this class, Dishinger is now very confident in her academics and ready for her life after graduating. 

   Usually, when schools prepare their students for their life after graduation, the teachers tend to think about the classes the students attend and the grades they receive. At West Ottawa High School, the staff maintains focus on our school motto: “Preparing students to be College, Career, and Life Ready!” Including classes, everyday life skills, and a loving community with a variety of support along the way. 

   Becoming ready to make decisions after school takes plenty of time and commitment. While WO does a great job of preparing students for their post-high school plans, they come short of making us college, career, and life ready. 


    To be prepared for college, it’s being organized, it’s being prepared for post-high school life. 

   For instance, Sr. Claire Johnson, who is involved in sports and many extracurricular activities, developed an interest in the medical field, specifically as a traveling nurse. She has taken Anatomy and Physiology and Medical Interventions. Johnson has given her undivided attention in her years here at the high school in return to successfully be a helping hand in her near future. “I AM NOT PREPARED TO HOLD A BABY!” Johnson said. 

   Johnson exclaimed to me various times that she was overwhelmed with all the classes taken in her high school experience. She, along with many other students at WO, can agree that the classes getting them ready for college are confusing and have not been beneficial. Barely scratching the surface of what to know and to be ready for in college.  

   While being ready for college is a major task to accomplish, being prepared and committed to your future career is just as important. 


   To be prepared for your career, it’s knowing the material, it’s being equipped for the upcoming challenges. 

   Another student includes Sr. Jack O’Brien, who is heavily involved throughout West Ottawa High School. So far, he is unsure about his plans after high school. 

   O’Brien mentions that WO has lots of resources, such as our college advisors, and lessons that all students study during our seminar time. Though unsure about his plans, O’Brien wouldn’t say he is prepared for his career after high school. “I wish that the school did more job/career day type things to give students a good idea of all their options post-high school …. Oddly enough, we only did career days during our middle school years…….I guess I wish we had more information about directions to go after high school.” 

   WO should be focusing on what our future is going to look like with their plans throughout our high school years rather than their center of attention be pointless conflicts happening. 

   While trying to maintain focus on your career and job opportunities after high school, having a clear mind and knowing what your life will  be like is essential for students as well. 

Life Ready: 

 Thirdly, when I think of being life ready, it’s knowing your limits with certain decisions. It’s having grit and perseverance to achieve your goals. 

   The majority of students at the high school can say that they have obtained several details about what life will be like after graduation. From living in a dorm at college to doing everything on your own time by yourself to embracing new experiences and interactions with new people. 

   You become way more independent. You tend to lean on yourself rather than other people. It is time to focus on yourself. It is known to be a difficult adjustment for most, the transition from high school to college, yet with the right help and guidance from family and friends, it will make the experience more comforting. 

   Make sure to enjoy the little things in life, especially your senior year of high school, when it is all ending. It will be beneficial if you take it all in and savor every moment. School might be tough, sports might be tough, life in general might be tough, but it is how you respond to that challenge that will determine the outcome of those conflicts.

   One quote that has stood out in my life, “ You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’  See the positive in negative events.” Joel Olsteen. 

WO makes sure that we have the best experience in high school, and that our journeys take us far after. They want nothing more than us to succeed at what we all love to do. They would never wish for us to fail on anything. 

   All they want is for us to be college, career, and life ready.