Courtesy of Sloane Williams
As the first semester comes to an end, students are preparing to go on winter break. However, there is a small group of seniors that are preparing to wrap up their high school career a semester early. For those students, the last few weeks of being a high school student are bittersweet, but many acknowledge the value of pursuing the next chapter of their lives on similar and different paths than their fellow students. Some will go off into their careers early and some will simply reflect on their time in high school before they take their next steps.
Early graduation is a path many choose to take for different reasons, some to pursue things that they’ve never had the chance to or by completing their high school credits early. These students have been able to excel in their classes and are prepared to use their skills once they graduate. Senior, Pamela Tamo, is deciding to take this semester to take a moment to relax and recuperate.
“I chose to accelerate in my classes and graduate early because I wanted to have a semester off to have time to work on myself and my passions so I can be the best version of myself. My plan was to start college at TCC, but I’ve decided to take a semester off, to take care of myself mentally and physically, and so I can start doing things I’m passionate about since I’ll have more time to myself,” said Tamo.
Many students have excelled throughout their high school career, and are looking to apply these skills to the real world with new and open opportunities. This will help them navigate their college lives early and will be more confident once they have their own successful careers. Jordan Drumgoole, senior, will capitalize on this time off by learning skills that he can apply outside of high school.
“Having a great class ranking, and seeing that I’ve reached my optimum learning in this high school environment, it would be more appropriate for me to learn from real-life experiences. Graduating 5 months early will give me a head start to apply my education from high school to the real world, and to pick up vocational skills to make me more well-rounded,” said Drumgoole.
Graduating early isn’t a simple task, causing many of these students to take additional accelerated courses, while also taking their current courses for the school year. Even though keeping up with a variety of studies can be difficult, many students have the support of their families who encourage them and are proud of their children being able to take a chance on the opportunity of graduating early. Senior, Lauren Garcia, recalls the reaction of others when she shared this exciting news.
“I talked to my counselor and was able to complete my 2nd semester online. Everyone is pretty proud and surprised that I was able to complete school so early,” said Garcia.
Many are taking this time to get ahead on their basic college classes before going to their dream school and taking the time to save money as well. Senior, Kyah Branch, plans to get those courses taken care of before she attends a university.
“I had enough credits to graduate early. I’ll work some more to save up and do some basics at TCC. In ten years, hopefully established with a good career. I just have to work hard in school to get there,” says Branch.
As this chapter comes to an end for these early graduates, a new chapter awaits them as they venture off into the next chapter of their lives away from high school. Many students will get the chance to broaden their horizons, and explore the many beauties of the world that they have yet to discover.