The life of Isabella Doles

Delaney Cairns, Staff writer

16 years old, the age you get your driver’s license. You are just beginning to look at life through the eyes of an adult, and you are not yet done growing, but for some, this is the year they graduate high school and take on the world by storm. This is the case for Isabella Doles, a junior at Huntley High School, graduating this May.

“I am currently 16, turning 17 in May, but I am graduating this year,” Doles said.

Doles has been planning for this since seventh grade when she came across some YouTube videos showcasing young people studying abroad, and she decided she wanted to do that as soon as possible.

Taking 4 years of Chinese in high school, Doles was planning on studying in countries where the language is prevalent immediately after graduation, however, COVID-19 impacted this plan a great deal and has not allowed this to happen.

“I was planning on studying abroad in Asia, I thought that would be a really cool way to get more of an in-depth understanding of the language and culture,” Doles said.

Instead, she will begin attending her first year of college at a community college and after,  move on to a university. She likes Purdue and hopes to attend thereafter the pandemic settles.

“I am hoping to be a pilot, which will be interesting because that is more of a male-dominated area of work,” Doles said. “After graduation, hopefully, I can find an airline that will be willing to take me.”

She hopes to acquire this dream job after college, since it has been a goal for a long time due to the travel opportunities and lack of women in the field. 

As she went through this process, Doles was thinking about how she can help make it an easier and better experience for all the people who follow behind her. She will continue to keep this mindset in the future throughout all of her endeavors.

Keeping this in mind, she would love to start a program for girls and women traveling alone, after her life has more stability.

“I have never really heard any sources say ‘oh this is what you should do when traveling alone as a woman,’ [so] I would really like to start a program to teach younger girls how to travel alone safely,” Doles said.

She also explains that graduating early is not only for the academically advanced. Many people are very capable of accomplishing the task if willing to make a few sacrifices. 

“I was one of those kids who would get taken out for reading, writing, and speech help in elementary school and middle school,” Doles said.

Doles has never been in what some consider a “gifted” class and has only taken one AP class while at the high school. She also is enrolled in the Vanguard program which has helped her a lot on her journey.

However, she has made many sacrifices to make this dream possible. She has missed out on some social experiences due to the intensity of her academic workload during the school year, summer classes, and having no lunch period.

“I gave up time meeting with friends… but I don’t necessarily regret it… I still have two amazing best friends,” Doles said.

Doles is very involved in and out of school, she is a small group leader in NHS, a member of Silver Cord, a competitive figure skater for 5 years, a board member on Raider Nation News, film manager for the football team, and balances a job at Culver’s.

In addition to all of these things, she has a very encouraging base of family and good friends.

“I love my parents, my parents have been extremely supportive about this,” Doles said.

The only worry she has for her future currently is graduating without the rest of her class, but instead with a class of mostly strangers. However, excluding those worries, Doles is very excited for her future and is confident in what comes next.

“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous for the future, I’m excited. I’m excited to get out of the U.S,” Doles said. “I’ve always wanted to explore other cultures, whether that be in Asia, Europe, or wherever life takes me, as long as I am doing what I love.”