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Graduating early: a good idea?

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Sometimes, people opt to essentially skip junior year.

Sometimes, people opt to essentially skip junior year.

Sometimes, people opt to essentially skip junior year.

Steven Shin, Reporter

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Many students have probably considered this question at least once before during their high school career: “Should I graduate early?” When I was a freshman, I also considered the possibility of graduating early to get a head start on life. It turns out – this question is a bit more complex than just “it’ll look good on college applications.” While it can definitely benefit many people, early graduation is not for everyone. Personally, I am glad that I decided to stick it through senior year and enjoy my last year with my friends. While graduating early may seem like a great idea at first, there are a few reasons why I decided not to graduate early.

Every time I talked with others about graduating early, I always hear one response no matter the person: “It’ll look good on college applications.” It makes sense because only the most academically dedicated kids will strive for early graduation, thus giving them an edge in the college admissions process, right? Actually, that might not always be the case, especially when applying to top colleges.

According to Sally Rubenstone, a former admissions counselor, “Admission officials tend to scrutinize the applications of early grads even more closely than those of more typical candidates.”

Additionally, Johns Hopkins graduate Laura Berlinsky-Schine states, “some colleges may not admit students who graduate from high school early; be sure to review the rules at the colleges to which you plan on applying and discuss them with a representative from the colleges.”

Graduating early may also give less time to establish a competitive college admissions profile, as there won’t be as much time to dedicate to extracurricular activities and gain leadership roles in various clubs and organizations. Grades may also suffer from having to juggle taking more classes and contributing to after-school activities.

On a more superficial note, graduating early also comes at the cost of enjoying senior year. No discussing college plans with others in class, making memories on senior day with friends, or experiencing everyone’s last year together.

This is not to say that graduating early is a bad thing. I’ve known people who graduated early for many different reasons. Yet they all shared one thing in common: a clear plan for the future. For those who are considering an early graduation, speak with a counselor, discuss questions and concerns, and establish plans. You’ll need to know exactly where you’re going.

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Graduating early: a good idea?