As high school students, we are told to hold on to high school and the experiences that it comes with because it flies by before we know it. Many seniors would tell you how their high school experience has flown by as they have grown up, shared memories, and learned alongside their classmates. Although it flies by for most, we rarely consider the seniors who choose to leave the high school experience one semester early.
With the help of the school and our guidance counselor, Mrs. Amy Foote, seniors Lexie Whitaker and Dylan Udelhoven have decided to graduate at the end of the first semester, which concludes on January 22nd.
There are many different reasons why a student decides to graduate early, and for Lexie, she claims that her mom encouraged her to do so. On top of her mom’s encouragement, Lexie knows that getting a degree in engineering is going to be a long journey, so she figured she would get “a head start” on her education after high school. One advantage of graduating early for Lexie is that she will not have to wait until May to be done with high school, and she gets to start college early. She also found that she is able to attend the graduation ceremony with the rest of the class on May 30th.
To prepare for early graduation, Lexie had to take any class that is required to graduate in the first semester; for her, this was Consumer Education class. She also had to take an extra English class, so she took an online speech class through Southwest Technical College. Upon graduation, Lexie will immediately further her education this spring semester at UW-Platteville.
Behind the scenes of early graduation is the help of Mrs. Foote. Before considering early graduation, Mrs. Foote sits down with the student to review their transcript, making sure that graduating early is a possibility for them. Mrs. Foote’s role is to make sure that the student has received all of the required credits needed to graduate. Classes like English needed to be doubled up on, because English is one of the classes that require to be taken all four credits in high school.
There are many advantages and disadvantages to graduating early, but it really depends on the student. According to Mrs. Foote, “One student may graduate early in order to start college in the spring. One student may graduate early to join the military. One student may want to just work a full-time job for a while before moving on to college. One student may really dislike school altogether and it’s just time to go.” Luckily, the process of graduating early has not been impacted by the ongoing pandemic. The students who chose to graduate early have been planning since before their senior year. Although they graduate early, they are still included in any scholarship opportunities, and still are able to attend the class of 2021 graduation ceremony on May 30th.
The option is open to any student who would like to graduate at semester, and is willing to work hard to do so. Leaving high school early can give students the opportunity to begin their future one semester earlier than others. Fortunately, Potosi High School has given the opportunity for students like Lexie and Dylan to get a kickstart on their education outside of high school. Now that the semester has come to an end, they will have the opportunity to begin their lives outside of high school.