Class of 2018: Where are they now?

It's been 2 years and a lot has changed

Yunona Shkolnikov, Contributor

The class of 2017-2018 marks the last graduating class of the 90s babies generation. These kids grew up with GameBoys, beanie babies, tv shows like Hey Arnold!PowerPuff Girls, and other old Nickelodeon shows. So where are these alumni now? Did life after high school change them? Is the adult world as scary as we think it is? The results may shock you. 

First, we interviewed Hannah Gulley who graduated from Bob Jones in 2018 and is now a sophomore studying Elementary Education at the University of Alabama. She is a part of the Million Dollar Band color guard and Alta Marea as well. To further her career for teaching, Hannah works at the St. Johns catholic school with pre-k children during the summer. Gulley shares, “Life after high school is interesting in multiple ways. Whether you’re going to college or not, don’t lose sight of who you want to become as a person. Last year, I experienced a lot of smart students turn into C students because they let loose, went to parties a lot, and they forgot what they went to college for. I think it’s what forms us as individuals, and to never give up on what you want to become, no matter how hard it gets.” She explains that through hard work, life gets a lot easier later on. Gulley had no hesitation to share that she was extremely happy with the college she chose and explains that “the campus is beautiful and there are so many things to do with your friends outside of the classroom setting.” She admits that she was frightened at the idea of leaving home for long periods of time and that she will have to learn how to “adult” but says that “over time, things get easier once you’re in the swing of things.” After her freshman year, Hannah shares that she is way more prepared for the real world than when she first started college. She now lives in her own apartment, buys her own groceries, and pays bills just as an adult would. “What I miss most about high school is probably the workload. You never realize how much easier high school is until you get to college and get pounded with course work and very limited time to do it. I wouldn’t change it for the world though,” Hannah adds, “But I’d say that college truly is the best time of my life and it’s both a privilege and a blessing that I get to spend it at the University of Alabama.” Hannah’s plan after college is to move back to Madison and start looking for a job. Although she is only a sophomore, she explains that she is eager to begin learning more about her future career. Gulley also wants to start teaching color guard at a local high school, and perhaps even march in a world guard. 

Another alumni from the class of 2018 is Jada Washington. Instead of going straight to college, Jada went straight to basic training in San Antonio, TX for the U.S. Air Force during the summer of 2018. “My journey of joining the air force was a little difficult. Picking your job in the military is hard because it is something you have to stick with. And I also didn’t think I had it in me to complete basic training. But it was by far the best decision I’ve made, ” Jada states. She is now in her second year in the force and lives in Great Falls, Montana. She, later on, met Hunter Savas and the two got married in October of 2019. Jada also adds, “I am very happy with my career! I’m a cop in the airforce so I’m busy a lot. But I’m glad I chose this. I see myself working in the medical field. I’m currently in school getting my bachelor’s in health science so I hope to apply that to a bigger field.” 

While these alumni don’t get many chances to visit their hometown, Price Howard visits Bob Jones often to help out his fellow indoor drumline. Price is a sophomore at the University of North Alabama studying Computer Science and is in the Association for Computer Machinery. He continues his passion for drumming in the UNA drumline with the Pride of North Alabama Marching Band. Since he is only an hour away, Price visits Bob Jones during his free time and was able to become a staff member of the BJHS Indoor Drumline, working alongside Kevin Smart, the school’s band director. Price shares, “To be honest when I first arrived at UNA I was upset because I wanted to attend a larger school. I now love UNA because of its size. I can walk anywhere on campus and see someone I know. I have professors that know me by name and will always stop to say hello and ask me about my day. My largest class is 30 people. It’s the little things like this that make me love this school. Plus we have two live lion mascots. ROAR LIONS!” He explains that it’s unbelievable to think of himself as an adult, but doesn’t think he’s completely ready for the “real world” yet, “I have a strong feeling that I will be better suited to take on the world after college. My advice, for now, is to get out and be active in your college/community. Try your best to keep in touch with people you went to school with but also make new friends throughout your college years.” Price agrees that he does miss Bob Jones and the people that he spent memories with there.