THERE are many reasons to graduate early, but the most common reason among students usually has to do with college. A lot of students either want to start college early or take some extra time off to work for money to put towards college.
Christy Nguyen (11) is currently taking college courses and plans to graduate early. “I’m born on the deadline, so I am held back a whole year because of that,” Nguyen said. She feels her current grade is too easy and wants something more challenging. Taking college courses in high school is helping her get done with general education classes so that she can spend her time in college focusing on her career goals of becoming a pediatrician.
Other students like Analy Sandoval (12) want to take the extra time after graduating early to work and save money for college. A lot of students in our school depend on the money they earn to continue their education. Graduating early allows those students to work full time and be able to pay for school.
Mr. Babcock thinks that students who are graduating early to work should stay in school and take advantage of the college classes for cheaper. “As soon as you graduate, you’re no longer eligible for concurrent enrollment costs, so by graduating early you have to pay full price for everything,” Babcock said. However, some students don’t want to attend college, so staying in school for concurrent enrollment classes may not be a motivator for them.
“I feel like college is not for me. I don’t want to waste money on college; I’d rather enter beauty school,” Yoselin Rosales (11) said. Rosales wants to graduate early because she wants to be more experienced in her field at a young age. “I’m already ahead on all my credits, so I might as well be done with school,” Rosales said.
Most kids that are planning to graduate early recommend others to do the same if they have a plan. However, if a student is still unsure about their future, Ms. Fortune recommends that they stay the extra semester or year to take CE or GTI classes to explore different options and be more prepared for college.
Mr. Babcock doesn’t encourage early graduation and prefers for students to stay in school. “Every single student that is attending here, in my opinion, has the right to be a kid,” Mr. Babcock said. Mr. Babcock believes that teenage lives should be fun and that the high school experience is more important than trying to get out of school faster.
From a student’s point of view, Rosales said that the high school experience is important but, COVID has made things different. Early graduation seems to have caught the eyes of many students who currently feel that COVID has “taken away” their high school years.
Whether it be graduating early to get a head start on their future or taking it slow and enjoying the high school years, students should be aware that they have options. If students are ahead on credits or want to start preparing for early graduation, they can talk to their counselors about options.