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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Orem High senior Jaime Lyons, 17, talks about an organization that she's starting with her friend Caitlyn Thomas.

OREM — The price of rice.

And what to do for a career.

The cost of a gallon of gas.

And how to pay for college.

Higher rent.

And whether the demand will still exist for today's job.

That's what is worrying local college seniors — more than global warming, overpopulation, immigration and war.

"Global warming is an issue, but for high school seniors, our focus in on things closer to the future like financial issues." said Paymon Sanati, one of the Orem High School students interviewed by the Deseret News. "I think we're looking at a recession."

"I think the middle and lower class will be hit really hard," said Nathan Hamilton.

"I think students will be hit hard," said Colton Jackson. "I have a scholarship for college, but I'm worried that I'll mess up and lose it, then what will I do?"

"With gas prices now and everything, I'm kinda scared for the economy. What state will it be in by the time I need a job?" said Kika Latu.

"What if I choose the right major and the right job and that changes?" said Ryan Mullen.

Hamilton is planning to go into a medical profession. "I think health care will always be in demand," he said.

"Will it be in demand if we move more toward socialized medicine?" asked Sanati. "With the average medical student carrying $250,000 in debt at the end of medical school, will it pay enough to make it worth it?"

"For me, the biggest issue is the financial. I have college coming up, a mission, then more college. How to pay for it," said Shawn Crawley. "I worry about building credit."

"I'm worrying about paying the price," said Jaimie Lyons.

"I worry about becoming independent," said Kara Hill.

Some are looking for ways both to cut costs and help the environment.

Natalie Johnston will be working in Oregon this summer, where the minimum wage is higher and she can live with relatives so she can save more for college. Even though she has a partial scholarship, she's still worried about money.

Amy Gonzales has a full-ride scholarship, but she's worried about she'll pay for gas, food and incidentals.

Kelsea Park intends to ride her bike to school in the fall. So does Jacob Swain.

"Gardens, I think we need to focus more on gardens and growing food," said Kristen Erickson.

Lyons said she and a friend are starting a service organization to encourage recycling and conservation.

"I'm concerned more about the energy crisis," said Hamilton.

"I'm concerned about Americans and obesity," said Lyons.

None of the seniors interviewed were worried too much about the war in Iraq. None of them were planning on joining any of the military services either.

"It's honorable, but there's no promise of anything there," said Johnston.

"The ones who are serving just keep having to go back," said Hamilton.

All agreed that the best way they could change the future is to vote intelligently.

"Find out what's really going on," said Sanati.

"It's scary to watch the news, but you need to anyway," said Lyons.


E-mail: haddoc@desnews.com