By Megan Hardin and Peter Hyle
Every year students come to school prepared for a full year of hard work and classes. For some it can seem like a never ending school year, but for a select few their school year is shorter than most. This is the case for the students that graduate early.
“In the past there have been one or two [students that graduate early] but we are starting to see more students that want to,” said principal Janie Whaley.
A student cannot just want to graduate early and then do so, though. There is a process that students must go through in order to even be considered for early graduation.
“They have to fill out a form a semester before they wish to graduate and say why they want to. Then we have to look at all their credits and classes and see if they are even eligible. After we do that we meet with that student and their parents and tell them if they can or cannot graduate and if they can; then, they have to write out a plan of what they are going to do and we need to see an acceptance letter from a college,” said Whaley.
With those requirements every student that has been approved to graduate early and those wishing to must work twice as hard to get everything they need to do done on time.
“It is kind of hectic and stressful. I have to take all seven of my classes here at FC then I have to go home and take the other classes that I need online. I have to work really hard and much longer to get good grades and get everything done,” said junior Samantha Knies, who is trying to graduate early this year.
Even though it takes a lot of hard work and time, graduating early can be a big pay off.
FC graduate Emma Slentz, who graduated a semester early last year, agreed that graduating early is completely worth it.
“It does take a lot of work but it is worth it and it is what is necessary to graduate early and head towards your future even more. It was the best thing for me to do and I am so happy that I did it. Graduating early allowed me to get an earlier start on my life and let me discover what it is I really want to do,” said Slentz.
Graduating early can help get a start on the future but it can also take away from the high school experiences that everyone wishes to have.
“If a student chooses to graduate early they need to understand that they aren’t eligible to get scholarships, participate in all of the senior activities that we have or the activities that they would have attended if they were staying their entire four years of high school, and they most likely will not get to go to prom or graduation,” said Whaley.
The decision is all up to the student if they chose to miss out on those activities and they feel that graduating early is worth it the choice is out there for them. It all depends upon the student.
Graduating early can greatly help a student that chooses to do so by letting them get a head start in college and move on to that step of their life. For the students that feel like they are ready for that then graduating early can be the right choice for them.
“I think that it depends on the person if they will choose to stay all four years or move on with their lives earlier than others, but graduating early is definitely a good option out there for students,” said Whaley.