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The Spartan Spin

Your story is our story

The Spartan Spin

Your story is our story

The Spartan Spin


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Graduate plans for cross-country travel

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Senior Mariska Henegar poses with bucket list March 30.

In a world where high schoolers are generally given the option of either going to college or working, 2024 graduate Mariska Henegar decided to take a different approach. In true coming-of-age movie fashion, she has decided to quit her job to take a two month long trip to travel the west coast by herself with her bucket list accompanying her. 


This trip will include visiting all of the cities she passes, camping in the mountains, trying new foods, and meeting new people. Before any of that was possible, Henegar had a lot of planning to do. She has spent the past couple of months buying supplies, ensuring her car can handle the journey, making lists, and doing lots of research. 


She has been saving for years to make her dreams of travel possible. She will spend two months driving down to California then up to Washington and Canada, she will then finish off her trip in Missoula, Montana where she will meet with her two sisters. 

Senior Mariska Henegar adds to her bucket list March 30.

Henegar is very excited to experience other cultures and to have time to experience life with no worries or responsibilities. While this trip comes with many new opportunities, she also hopes to gain more independence and to learn to have more faith in herself.


“It’s time to work through some of my relationship issues and find out what it is that I want to do, and find who I am,” Henegar said. 

Senior Mariska Henegar’s map of where her trip will take her.

While taking a big trip after graduating used to be fairly common, it now raises a few eyebrows and causes more worry. As the world continues to change, it becomes more difficult to do something like this. The prices rise and there are fewer programs that offer room and board in exchange for labor. 


“They need people to settle down and buy houses and get jobs that they work at for years, they need people to buy things, if people are providing for themselves then there is no economy,” Heneger says. 


While Henegar’s family has of course had some safety concerns in regards to her journey, they have remained supportive and shifted their focus to making sure she can complete it as safely as possible.


Next year she plans to use her gap year to travel Europe in search of a beautiful country with free tuition. 

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