What Early Graduation is Like

Isabella Schlerman, Reporter

Early graduation is something that many people can’t even imagine happening. It seems like this is a concept that only the smartest kids can ever achieve, but I feel like schools don’t really tell students how easy early graduation is. Granted, I don’t know what other classes are required by other schools to graduate, but it was actually pretty easy for me. 

I decided to graduate early because I really wanted to study abroad. Before Covid, I was going to study abroad in Mexico during my junior year of high school. Because my school in Pella wouldn’t accept any credit from the school in Mexico, I would have still needed to graduate in three years. It would have just seemed like I took my junior year off of school. But due to Coivd, I was unable to study abroad, and it just made sense to graduate early because I had already planned to graduate in three years. 

For me, all I really needed to worry about in order to graduate early was getting all the required credits. In order to graduate early, it is important that the graduation is planned from freshman year of high school. I needed to get all of my credits and this did involve asking to enroll in classes that usually wouldn’t be offered to freshmen or sophomores. You also need to have a pretty full schedule every semester.  Taking too many study halls can make it hard to graduate with all your credits. Even with a full schedule, I did have to take a couple of classes online.  I took an online PE class and a World History class.  Although, they were just to lighten the class load during my final year and weren’t completely necessary. 

It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. The extra classes each year made me feel extremely burnt out. I had to carry more stress than many of my classmates because of extra and more difficult classes. I also had to choose which classes or activities were the most important to me. Language classes were more important than band, something I enjoyed doing. I also couldn’t experiment with elective classes, so I missed many classes that I probably would have enjoyed taking. 

Early graduation is just a matter of what is important to you. In my case, I cared more about studying abroad than a normal high school experience. For some people, it might be because they don’t want to be in high school anymore, and for others, it might be just because they have the ability to graduate earlier than others.