Graduating high school is a huge event for anyone. Graduating from high school signifies the start of adult life, which can be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. While high school usually takes 4 years to complete, there are benefits of graduating high school early.
Students who graduate high school will most likely go on to college or start working full-time. Graduating a year or semester early allows students to move on and start their lives. Students will have different reasons for wanting/needing to graduate early. Check out some of the best benefits of graduating high school early, along with how to graduate high school early, and some cons of graduating high school early.
Benefits of Graduating High School Early
Some students may love high school, with others may dread it. Everyone has a different opinion on high school. Some students may want to graduate early from high school and start their adult lives. There are a couple of major benefits of graduating high school early. Read about those benefits below:
Head Start on College
One of the best benefits of graduating high school early is your ability to get a head start on your college career. Students who graduate early will be a semester or whole year ahead of their peers. Some students may elect to graduate high school early and then take courses at the local community college while living at home still. These credits should transfer if you decide to attend another university or college.
Students who want a head start on their college careers might be considering careers that take a significant amount of time in school to complete. Doctors, dentists, and lawyers would be examples of careers that require additional schooling after an undergraduate degree.
Ability to Work Full-Time
Being in high school takes up a lot of time. Students who are in high school are probably not working full-time jobs – if they are, they are working the night shift and are probably exhausted. One of the benefits of graduating high school early is that students can start working full-time and earning good money.
Some students may elect to start working full-time because they want to start making money while other students may not have a choice. Some students might need to help support their families and cannot wait to graduate high school to start earning money. Graduating high school early is a great option if students need to start earning money as soon as possible.
Early Graduation Makes You Stand Out
High school will normally take 4 years to complete. Students who graduate high school early will complete it in 3 or 3.5 years. Students who graduate from high school early are in the minority and will stand out to their peers, employers, and colleges.
Graduating high school early takes a ton of dedication, hard work, and commitment. Anyone who successfully graduates high school early will stand out against their peers. Students who graduate high school early and have good grades and test scores will be extremely desirable to colleges and universities. Early graduation is the perfect topic for your college essay.
Ability to Take a Gap Year Without Falling Behind
Some students might want to pursue things they are passionate about before starting their college or professional careers. Gap years are becoming more popular. Students may want to go on a service trip for a couple of months or just travel the world.
Regardless of your reason for taking a gap year, if you graduate high school early, you will still be on track with your peers. Starting college a year late is not a big deal, but graduating high school early will ensure you stay on track.
Time to Move On
Everyone has a different high school experience. Some students love high school and don’t want to leave while other students cannot wait to leave. Students have different reasons for not liking high school, all of which are probably valid reasons. Some students may elect to graduate high school early because they can and want to move on.
How To Graduate High School Early
Graduating high school early is no small task. You have considered the benefits of graduating high school early, but how do you make that a reality? Below are some strategies and steps you can take towards graduating high school early.
Talk to Your Counselor
Your counselor should be the first person you approach for help when trying to graduate high school early. They will be able to outline the requirements for graduating. Your counselor can pull up your transcript and see what you have left to complete.
Your school counselor will also be able to point you in the direction and give you options to complete your high school degree early. They may be aware of special programs your school or district offers for students who want to graduate early.
Take Summer Classes
Summer classes are one of the best ways to graduate high school early. Summer classes are perfect because they do not take place during the school year and are often accelerate classes, meaning you can complete them in less time. If you are not working full-time or traveling throughout the summer, consider taking a couple of summer classes to get ahead.
Enroll in Online High School
While online high school is not the most traditional method of learning for high school students, it is a great way to graduate high school early. Online high school will usually be somewhat self-paced so you can work as hard as you want – if you want to graduate early, you better be working hard.
Test Out of Classes
Students who are bright in certain subjects may be able to test out of classes and receive credit. If you are particularly gifted in math, you may be able to test out of certain math classes and get a head start on your high school degree. The same goes for languages, science, and English.
Cons to Graduating High School Early
While there are many benefits of graduating high school early, there are also some cons. Some of the major cons of graduating high school early are listed below:
Miss Out on Senior Year
Senior year is an awesome time. Seniors have all these special events taking place, and it would be a bummer to miss out on some of those events. Seniors have been together with their friends for the last 4 years and if you graduate high school early, you will probably miss out on some of those memories with your best friends.
AP Courses Offered
This is the argument against students who want to get a head start on their college careers. Most high schools will offer AP courses that allow students to complete, and if they pass the AP exam, they will earn college credit. Students who want a head start on college can take AP courses at their high schools and graduate in a normal timeframe. AP courses may not be an option at all high schools.
May Not Be Ready
While graduating high school early sounds great, you may not be ready for the real world. You may not be physically ready to work a full-time job or mentally ready to move on to adult life. There is a reason high school takes 4 years. Educators want to give students enough time to mature both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Most students will know if they are ready to graduate high school.