New Year begins new life chapter

Josh Andrews, News

You let your pencil fall from your tired hand and exhale just in time as the bell rings. This was your last final of the semester, and you’re ready for your two weeks off. For some seniors, however, that’s it for them– they won’t be coming back. This December, I will be one of those seniors. No, I’m not dropping out. I’m graduating because I will have met all the high school requirements by the end of 2021. This is called early graduation, and it’s possible for you to follow this path.

I’d say it was a ton of planning and hard work that got me to this point, but really it just sort of happened. My counselor said, “You’re on track to graduate early,” and I just went along with it. That’s not to say it was always easy; there were classes that made me want to slam my head into my desk, but I always pulled it together just in time to get a decent grade (lockdowns and that one-time pass/fail policy may have saved me there). It seems that all it takes to graduate early is taking a couple AP classes and never getting a failing grade.

If you want to graduate early, you can look up courses, how many points each one contributes towards graduation. Note that if you’re in early college you have more requirements, so it would be more of an uphill climb to graduate early and get all those credits. If you have to choose between early graduation and early college, take early college. It’s harder, but the reward is probably worth it. I say this as someone who voluntarily dropped out of early college halfway through sophomore year.

What are my plans once I’m out? Probably get a job and save up money before I start college next fall. Yeah, I know that’s not the most exciting plan, but I’ve learned the hard way that having these huge immediate ambitions only sets you up for disappointment. Ambition is good, but you need to be realistic in the short-term. Really though, to anyone thinking of graduating early, there are practically infinite possibilities. You could go to college immediately and get a head start, you could go right into the workforce, you could take up an apprenticeship, or you could take a break from everything.