Graduating Early

Emma Plank, Senior Staff Writer

Every student understands the agonizing last seconds of the school year. Finishing up the last sentences and questions of their finals, counting down to the second until the final bell rings. For seniors, this is the last high school bell they’ll hear. This summer is the last chance they get to be with their friends before college starts, and then, even the most popular cliques are divided by hours and miles apart. However, for students that graduate early, things become a bit more complicated. The required classes for graduation include four full years of English, and a semester of Government senior year. But, if a student wishes to graduate a year early or at the end of first semester, how do they finish those classes? Although, the work is grueling, students have graduation on their mind. And as they always say; “Eyes on the prize”.

“All your credits have to be completed and you have to take an extra English class to complete four years of English. You can take them at JCCC anytime your senior year or over the summer. But, you can’t take them junior year,” said senior Mariah Irish. Irish, like quite a few students, is graduating early to get a headstart on credits. She also plans to continue classes through JCCC to save money.

“I had decided to graduate early because I didn’t want to go through my entire senior year having all my credits but English,” said Bryce Townsend. Townsend, an active participant in Swim and Dive since sophomore year, plans to attend the University of Kansas in the spring of 2019 after he graduates.

For these students, the quickly advancing decisions about their future, appears seamless and thoroughly researched. Some students who graduate know exactly where they’re going to go, and what they want to accomplish in the process. Zoey Schneeberg is the epitome of this description. Zoey has been a member of the Young Democrats club for the two years it has operated, and is currently the President of the club. She plans to take classes at JCCC for a semester, and will then transfer to Emporia State University to major in Political Science in the fall.

“Around junior year, I realized I was just ready to be out of high school. I was so excited at the thought of finally pursuing something I’m really passionate about and getting out of high school a semester early,” said Schneeberg.

At the end of this semester, these students will walk the halls as high school seniors for the last time. Waiting for the seventh hour bell to ring to escape the halls won’t be heard by them again. They will be college students starting out on a new path, waiting for whatever may come next, whatever that may be, as it is different for each of them. The end of cramming for high school finals has ended, no more chatting with their friends while walking to their classes. They have worked hard for four years to reach this one moment. They now move on to the next step, and continue to work diligently on those things instead.