Utah's high school seniors, who are spending their last few days in the public school system, will march out the doors soon, diplomas in hand and confident that they are prepared to cope with life, more education and careers.
A Deseret News/KSL poll by Dan Jones & Associates Inc. sampled attitudes among 603 seniors in high schools along the Wasatch Front and found the great majority - 91 percent - feeling good about what's in store for them in the next few years. Only 5 percent said they were somewhat pessimistic and 1 percent were very pessimistic.These young people are also leaving with definite opinions about the world they are ready to tackle. They indicate a strong sense of moral values.
Ninety-seven percent want those who follow in their footsteps in the public schools to have education regarding AIDS; 86 percent believe moral values should be taught in school; 76 percent say they oppose lowering the legal age for alcohol consumption to 18.
Asked how easy it would be for them to obtain drugs in the next 48 hours, 39 percent said it would be very easy; 22 percent somewhat easy; 14 percent somewhat difficult; and 22 percent very difficult.
The majority say they are going on to bigger and better things educationally.
Forty-seven percent told interviewers they will seek further education at a four-year institution of higher learning; 16 percent are headed for junior colleges; and 10 percent for technical schools.
Two percent will swap school days for the experiences of marriage and 27 percent will work full-time; 13 percent expect part-time jobs; 21 percent are hazy about what the immediate future holds work-wise.
The majority - 66 percent - look back over the past few years and find their high school curriculum was "about right." Six percent found it much too easy.
Their major concerns at the pres-ent time?
The future and what to do with their lives (24 percent); graduating from high school (11 percent); future education (11 percent) and, in much smaller numbers, money for financing college, drugs, world war, peace, nuclear arms, leaving friends or having problems with friends, AIDS, family problems, getting a job, health, poor self-image, self-esteem.