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Students share plans after early graduation

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Courtney Carroll, senior

Senior Courtney Carroll poses while playing Uno with other Circle of Friends students. Carroll said she will be attending Brigham Young University for the spring semester after graduating.

Graduating: December 2018

Intended college: Brigham Young University

Intended major: Special education

 

Question: Was graduating early something you had in mind when you entered high school? Why?

Answer: “Not at all. It was random. I considered my options at the end of junior year, and me and my mom talked about it. It just felt like something that was perfect for me, so since that one moment everything’s been focused on getting my credits to graduate. I’ve always been super involved in theater. So when I had decided that I didn’t want to continue with it my senior year, I kind of was trying to find purpose in high school. For me, happiness and purpose came in the idea of pursuing something like college and working toward a career path.”

 

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: “I’m going to be attending Brigham Young University in January for my spring term, which is from January to April, so right during winter break is when I’ll be moving up. I’ll just be trying to get some of my general classes so that in the fall I can get more major classes in. Ever since I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to be a special education teacher. [I’ve been] involved in Circle of Friends, a special needs inclusion club at our school, [and being] president this year and an officer all my other years really pushed me to want to continue in special education teaching.”

 

Q: What are you looking forward to most about your future?

A: “I’m really excited and anxious about being away from from home for the first time. Being so far away, because I’m moving to Utah, is going to be kind of a struggle just because it’s going to be right after high school. I am already a pretty independent person at home so I think I’ll be OK, and I’m just excited to start a new level of independence.”

 

Q: Do you plan on graduating early from college as well? Why?

A: “I probably won’t graduate early from college. I’m not 100 percent sure what my major requires as far as credits go. For me, my ultimate goal is just to have a job in a classroom teaching. If I get an offer for a job and it’s a semester before most people are set to graduate, then obviously I’ll take it, but if it takes me a little longer I’ll be fine staying in school for a little longer.”

 

Q: Is this something you would recommend? Why?

A: “It’s tough, because if you had asked me if I wanted to graduate early about a year ago, I would have said ‘absolutely not.’ But circumstances occurred in high school where I didn’t really feel like there is much of a purpose for me being here. So that’s kind of what led me to want to go and explore something else. But if [students] are involved in their school and in extracurriculars or in a club or something, I would say it’s probably worth it to stay and enjoy the time here. If the idea of starting a new chapter in life and putting high school in the past [makes them] excited to do it then I would recommend it.”

 

Q: What else would you like to add about your decision behind graduating early?

A: “I’m an older senior. I turned 18 the very beginning of senior year [and] I’ve always had friends who are in the grade above me. Growing up, all my friends were older than me and so I kind of always was on track with those kids. So when they were getting ready for to graduate I felt like I was getting ready to graduate. I was always kind of in the mindset of being a little older than I was so when I thought about the fact that I have a whole year left at high school it was kind of daunting to me, and I was just ready for college.”

 

 

Kellie Casburn, junior

Junior Kellie Casburn poses at Sonic as she finishes delivering an order to a customer. Casburn said she wants to find a good job to support herself after she graduates.

Graduating: May 2019

Intended college: Undecided

Intended major: Undecided

 

Q: Was graduating early something you had in mind when you entered high school? Why?

A: “I really didn’t like my living situation … ; so being able to work for the year between being 17 and 18 I feel like would be helpful because I’ll be able to save enough without having to worry about doing part-time in high school. I just wanted a full-time job before I could move out, so I could save. I also focus a lot better at home than in a school.”

 

Q: What steps did you/ or still have to take so you can pursue early graduation?

A: “It was really easy. I calculated how many credits I needed [after I finish junior year] and I only needed two more, so I decided I to take one class in the summer and one during school online and I got my job to pay for the class. Whenever we were signing up for our classes for the next year, it was an option where you could say that you were interested in an online class and the counselors called me down and I talked to her from then on.”

 

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: “I plan on getting a full-time job because currently I work at Sonic part-time and it’s not good money. I plan on getting one that definitely pays better, and I want to save to move out, because I might actually be moving out when I graduate. If I do go to college, I want to go to a community college and live off campus just to get my basics done and then go to a four-year university, but if I don’t do that, I really like writing and I hope to publish a book one day.”

 

Q: What are you looking forward to most about your future?

A: “[I want to be] more independent for sure. I feel that in high school you have a routine that you have to follow every day.The administration tries to promote individuality and independence but I think they’re not as successful as they hope to be. I’m really looking forward to being able to do what I want with my time.”

 

Q: Is this something you would recommend? Why?

A: “Yeah for sure. I have two friends that asked about it and they are really interested in it. [It’ll] give you time to be independent before you actually have to start paying your bills and living by yourself. I feel like a lot of people get out of high school and then they’re like ‘what do I do’ because they’ve had a routine all their life, [so] I just think it’s a nice way to gradually get into being on your own.”

 

 

Debra Ngo, senior

Senior Debra Ngo sits on the bleachers at the baseball field. Ngo started as a trainer with the baseball team freshman year and wants to major in nursing. After graduation, Ngo said she planned to take some college courses in the spring semester.

Graduating: December 2018

Intended college: Undecided

Intended major: Nursing

Q: Was graduating early something you had in mind when you entered high school? Why?

A: “When I first entered high school, I had no plans of graduating early whatsoever. I came into high school not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and I assumed that I wouldn’t know for sure until I got to college. My mindset was to prepare for my future decisions by taking as many AP classes as I could in order to earn college credit. Of course, in order to take so many AP classes, graduating early was not an option, because I’d be losing an entire semester of time to take these classes. However, I did end up figuring out the path I wanted to pursue near the end of my sophomore year, and I realized that I’d be wasting my time by taking classes I did not need. At this point, I’d already taken every class I could earn college credit that applied to my major, which is nursing. It just made sense for me to graduate early.”

 

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: “I’m going to take spring semester courses at a community college. The courses I’m most likely going to take are nutrition and human growth and development. I’m still looking to see what other courses I want to take. I’m also thinking about working to save up on money.”

 

Q: What are you looking forward to most about your future?

A: “In the near future, I’m mostly looking forward to taking classes at a community college, and a little bit later on, at the university I decide to attend. I’ve taken a couple of college courses and I definitely prefer them over high school courses. Further in the future, I’m mostly looking forward to being able to do what I love. It’s hard for me to sit still and just study, so I’m excited by the prospect of being on my feet and working with people in a hospital one day.”

 

Q: Is this something you would recommend? Why?

A: “I would recommend graduating early for people who have motivation to. The only time I wouldn’t recommend graduating early is if it will benefit the person to stay in high school all four years. I would especially recommend graduating early to people who want a head start on college, take a gap year, work to save money, get out of the high school social scene if they don’t enjoy it, or simply because they want to graduate early. It’s definitely a decision that can’t always be made easily and should be looked at on a case by case basis, but at the end of the day it should be a decision the person is happy making.”

 

Tiffany Smith, senior

Senior Tiffany Smith holds up a mug she won for taking a creative picture with the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Smith said she plans to travel with her mom after she graduates.

Graduating: December 2018

Intended college: University of Arkansas

Intended major: Nursing

Q: Was graduating early something you had in mind when you entered high school? Why? What was your plan?

A: “I always thought about it because I have three older siblings and that’s one thing that they’ve always regretted – not graduating early and taking the time before college to just kind of hang out before they start school again. So, I’m going to be the first one in my family to graduate early. It has always been on my mind until one day I was like, ‘yeah, let’s do it.’”

 

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: ”When I graduate early, my mom and I are just going to travel the world and that’s the main thing that [motivated me to make the decision]. We don’t have a definite plan of where we are going to go but [maybe] Dubai [and] Thailand. Some people start college early but I’d rather just take the four years in college and take that all in but the time before that [I want to] get into a deeper relationship with my mom before I go off.”

 

Q: What are you looking forward to most about your future?

A: “Mostly just connecting with my family and getting that relationship set with them before I spend the time apart, because family is the most important to me, so it’s being able to just enjoy them before I leave.”

 

Q:  Do you plan on graduating early from college as well? Why?

A: “I know I can graduate half of a semester early if I get into the accelerated program for nursing. I might try to do that because I have a few friends who have done that and absolutely loved it.”

 

Q: Is this something you would recommend? Why?

A: “I would definitely recommend it, but it’s for people who have a set plan and know what they are going to do. If they are just graduating early because they are done with school, I don’t think that’s probably the smartest decision, but [they should] make sure there’s nothing more that they can take at Hebron that will benefit them in the future.”

 

 

 

Grace McFadden, senior

Senior Grace McFadden poses with her Bible and acceptance letter from the Capernwray Bible School in England. McFadden said she plans to work in the time between after she graduates and when the program starts.

Graduating: December 2018

Intended college: University of Arkansas

Intended major: Speech pathology

 

Q: Was graduating early something you had in mind when you entered high school? Why?

A: “No, I actually decided on the last week of school last year. It was kind of impulsive, but I realized that I had only two more credits [left] to do, and I would be making use of my time more if I graduate early.”

 

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?

A: “I’m going to be working from January to April. Then from April to June 21, I’m going to a 10-week Bible College in England which is really exciting. They have different locations like New Zealand, England or Germany; I chose England because they offered the 10-week program.”

 

Q: What are you looking forward to most about your future?

A: “I’m looking forward to the independence that will come with it, because I’ll have a full-time job leading up to the Bible College. [I’ll get] to make my own schedule, and there are not as many rules on [me].”

 

Q: Do you plan on graduating early from college as well? Why?

A: “I definitely would like to speed up the college process just because I do plan on getting my masters. If I finish school in five years instead of six, that would be wonderful.”

 

Q: Is this something you would recommend? Why?

A: “It’s tough to say, because it was such a weird situation that I was in. I just feel like it fit my personality really well. I don’t think it’s for everyone just because I’m not too much of a sentimental person with ‘last senior [year] this or senior [year] that’ but some people really value that. For them, I don’t think it will be a good idea to graduate early but I’m really excited to.”

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