Should I graduate early?
I am a 10th grader in an American high school and I want to graduate early and start to get my nursing degree at a small liberal arts school. I have a 4.0 gpa and am in multiple AP and honors classes. The plan would be to graduate after my junior year. The downside is that I am involved in many musical groups and do theater so I would be missing out on that. I am sick of high school, the kids are mean and I am ready to start college... but there is some hesitation because I am involved in so much...HELP!
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I'm currently a junior and will be graduating in May, so I say go for it! But, obviously a decision like this demands more consideration than that. Weigh your pros and cons, talk to your parents, teachers, counselors, and friends, etc. Make sure you're either on track to graduate or ahead (it really helps if you're ahead). My best advice: Take advantage of your school/district's online classes, especially if they offer them over the summer. I actually had to drop most of my school day to take the majority of my classes online (I can get it done faster this way). Most importantly: It's your decision to make, not anyone else's. Don't let your counselors try to talk you out of it, especially if your heart is set on it (can't count the number of times administration/counselors have tried talking me out of it). Based on what you said in your post, you seem like a good student who has the grades and is mature enough to take it on. Let me know if you have any questions! I hope this helps, and good luck!
One thing to consider is whether you can take college classes for free / mostly for free during high school. Some high schools allow you to take actual college or community college classes nearby once you've "maxed out" the offering at the high school. Not saying this is necessarily the most useful thing for you right now, but if you could arrange a few college classes (and this is available in your area) – you could essentially go to college and get college credit while still in HS. I'd recommend researching all your options and then confirming when you want to graduate.
Either way, sounds like you're making great progress towards your goals right now. Best of luck, whatever you decide to do!
@rgbcolor makes a great point about taking classes for free, or mostly free, during high school. If this is something your school offers you should consider looking into it. Not only will it look good on your application but if there is a community college close by you could probably attend the classes in person which would get you out of your high school a bit!
While you can definitely apply to college after you graduate as a junior you should understand that it is typically harder to get accepted. Graduating early is not necessarily worth it for many students unless you have plans in place or the resources to make the most of the year. The students who benefit the most from graduating early are the ones who have a job/internship lined up, ones who are in a situation where they need to graduate early to support themselves, or ones who can't wait for college (which sounds like you). Since you fall in the last category I do think it makes sense to try to take college or community college classes (if that's an option for you) while you can do it for free/cheap. That way when the time comes to actually apply for college your application will look great and it should be easier to get in since you won't be applying as a junior.
This is all just my opinion though! It seems like you've thought about this and are working towards your goals. Maybe speak to your guidance counselor or your parents and get their opinion too? In the end though it's your decision and you should pick whatever you think is best for you and will make you happy.
I personally know two high school students who have done this and their college plans did not pan out leaving them scrambling for something to do as they wait around to apply to college for the next school year.
I love the community college idea! Another idea is to stay is high school but see if you can take half days and look for a job or internship in your area of interest.
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