Early Graduation: Bittersweet

Brooke Sprasky

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Senior year: for some, it is an exciting time. For others, however, it is dreaded. Either way, the D.C. Everest Senior High School allows for students to graduate early by the first semester of their senior year. A total of sixteen students will graduate from D.C. Everest Senior High School in January, 2018.

Kyle Martell, Senior, explains his decision to graduate early.

“The reason why I made the decision [to graduate early] is because I had all of the needed credits done to graduate, so I would rather get out in the working world instead of taking more classes that I don’t need,” Martell said.

Emily Turner, Senior, said that she wanted a “jumpstart” to a new stage in her life.
“I just wanted to start a new stage in my life and early graduation will allow me to jumpstart that,” Turner said.

Martell believes that there were no setbacks from graduating early.

“I don’t think there were any setbacks from graduating early,” Martell said. “If anything, it allows me to save more money for tuition.”

Turner notes that she personally does not have any setbacks when it comes through early graduation. However, she does have pros and cons.
“One pro is that you no longer have to wake up really early,” Turner said. “One con, however, is that you lose out on spending time with friends at school.”
Martell notes the pros and cons of graduating early, stating that the social aspect of high school will also be missed.
“The pros are that I have more time to work in order to save for college. I also get more time to spend with family and friends,” Martell said. “Some cons are that I won’t see as many friends as I did in school.”

Turner notes that she will use her time out of school to work on academics and to spend time with her family.
“I am using my time for CLEP college courses and spending time with my dog,” Turner said.
Martell explains that his free time will be used to engage in a variety of activities.
“I will spend lots of time working, fishing, and spending more time with family and friends,” Martell said. “I will be going to NTC for Criminal Justice, so saving up for tuition is very important right now.”

Turner wants juniors to consider graduating early, but only if they will be productive with their time out of high school.
“If they want to graduate early, they should do it. They just have to consider what they are going to do with their extra time,” Turner said. “If they are going to be productive with their extra time, they should be encouraged to graduate early.”

Martell explains the bittersweet sentiment of graduating early.

“I would say that early graduation is a great thing. It can help in many ways by showing responsibility and persistence in a person,” Martell said. “All in all, I am very happy that I graduated early, but there will always be that feeling in me of missing high school and all the people I will walk with [during graduation] in the spring.”

Many people do not graduate early because they are not eligible to, but rather because there is a lack of knowledge about the process.

“The process isn’t hard, it’s just not talked about a lot, so people don’t know about it,” Turner said.   

The process of graduating early is simple, but students must be academically eligible for it.

“The process of graduating early is fairly simple. The only way that will make you eligible, though, is if you have 3.5 credits left starting your senior year. You have to make sure to pick certain classes, but your counselor will be able to help you out with that,” Martell said. “The counselor would give you a packet that would need to be signed by your parents. They would also have to write/type a small letter. The final step of the process is having the letter signed by the principal.”

According to Student Services, privileges for those that graduate in January are the following: they are allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony, apply for scholarships in the school’s local scholarship program, attend local athletic events throughout the winter season with use of a student ID card, attend summer exchange trips through the world language department if the application was completed prior to the end of the first semester, and attend school dances only if they are invited as a guest by another high school student.

Student Services also notes that restrictions for those that graduate in January are the following: they are not allowed to participate in school day activities (classes, assemblies, group activities, class meetings) during the second semester, participate in co-curricular activities or contests (drama, solo and ensemble, district and state level competitions, intramural activities, and after school club events) during the second semester, participate in school sponsored athletic teams during the second semester, and attend summer educational trips sponsored by school groups outside of the world language department.

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