By: Shantall Teran
Seniors in most schools including Wethersfield High School have the opportunity to graduate early. This is only allowed if the said senior has enough credits and will be able to meet their required credit by the first semester.
What we don't see when our seniors graduate early is if they enjoy it or find it meaningful. Is it beneficial to them and do they regret their decision. Same goes with our seniors who had the opportunity but didn't take it.
When a senior decides to graduate early, they are not allowed to participates in any sports of the next semester but they are allowed to participate In senior activities like prom and senior picnic. To be able to graduate, you have to be meeting the credit requirements by the end of the first semester to be able to graduate at the end of the semester.
This year, it has not seem that there were many students that had graduated early. I spoke with school counselor Mathew DeGuire. He told me that typically there are at least five kids every year who graduate early, “We typically have 5-8 seniors graduate early per year, but that could change by the year.” He had also told me that kids graduate for many reasons. “This depends on the student. There is a wide range of reasons for a student to graduate early including work, start college early, travel, etc.”
I spoke with two seniors of 2019 who have decided to graduate early. Arelis Herrera said she initially decided to graduate because she had enough credit but also because she had a plan for herself. ”Everyone’s different but for me personally I already know what I want to do with my life and never really cared for the high school experience so I knew it’d be a waste of time when I can instead be spending time doing what I love and working”.
Senior Rachel Hall had a different reasons for graduating, “School always stressed me out, there was a period of time when I would throw up everyday before school because I was so anxious and couldn’t control it. I figured instead of being in class all day I could work and learn communication skills and e-commerce and other things while getting paid and saving for my future.”
I asked both the seniors on how they felt while in school knowing that they had to graduate earlier than most of their peers. Herrera said, “I didn’t feel like I had more on my plate than students not graduating early, if anything I had less academically. It was stressful knowing that adulting was coming sooner for me so decisions had to be made quicker but other than that it was a relief”.
Hall also expressed the same feelings, “I didn’t feel like I had more to worry about becasue I feel like everyone worries just about the same when it comes to passing but I did worry a lot just to make sure I got all the credits I need in time”.
Now that they are graduated, I wanted to see how their life is now and it’s generally all good. “My life’s been so much more enjoyable since I graduated. My whole life changed due to personal life issues but it was perfect timing because I got to take a break and gather myself before working. Now I’m really focused and ready to start college in the fall.” Herrera says.
She also talks about how shes able to persue her carrer now, “I definitely have more time and freedom to do what I want. I love having more time to focus on modeling and music”.
Hall says “It’s been good since I graduated early, I’ve been working full time, saving money and since I have no test or projects or exams I can have fun and enjoy myself after work and what not”.
Both of these graduated seniors don’t regret their decision they are happy that they chose this but Hall did express missing her friends “I don’t regret it one bit, however I do miss my friends and I miss being around people my age and all the goofy fun moments high school had with it”.
Herrera wants to tell upcoming seniors “If you know what you want your future to look like already and are able to work on it now then graduate early if you can and stay focused! Don’t slack off just because you’re almost at the end but have fun.”
Hall also had some advise for upcoming seniors “High school is like your last chance to have fun before u go out and become an adult so enjoy it!”
Senior Auna Foster and Danielle Colbath are seniors who decided to not graduate. Foster decided to stay to have the “senior” experience, “I didn’t want to miss out on other school activities/ experiences that happen later in the year”. Foster does not regret her decision.
Colbath wants students to figure out what’s best for them, “Do what feels right for them, if they have a plan in place after or school isn't their best strong suit, then graduating early then that might be the best option”.
Foster needs you to know that the last semester isn’t even the hard part. “It’s not as hard as you think, just don’t slack. Keep working/keep yourself busy , so you don’t have room for procrastination or laziness”.
These seniors are just some examples of what you could experience if you decide to stay or graduate early. It is important to realize that were all different with different circumstances.
If your someone who would rather work or start you college education earlier than it could be a decision for you to consider. If you want to take more classes, be around friends and have the senior experience than you might want to stay. Make sure to stay focussed in what ever you decide to do its okay to not have a plan but it can be very detrimental if you decide to procrastinate your life.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.