For any number of reasons, you may be thinking about graduating early. Maybe you want to start taking college classes. Or maybe you have a job lined up to save money for college. Or maybe you’re just suffering a good old-fashioned case of senioritis, in which case we highly recommend this Senior Year Survival Guide! There are lots of pros and cons to graduating early, so if you’re asking yourself, “Should I graduate early?” take this quiz to gain greater insight. And once you’ve taken it, read on to learn more about graduating early to decide if it’s the right choice for you!
First Thing’s First: Get All The Facts About Graduating Early
If you’re debating whether or not to graduate early, the absolute first thing to do is find out exactly what is required to graduate early, and how graduating early will impact your college decisions.
Find out the following information:
Then consider the following:
Assess Your Reasons For Graduating Early
It’s a good idea to really consider why you’re considering graduating early. Any of these reasons can be the right reason to graduate early, but you want to make sure you think through your motivation thoroughly.
Is there something going on in your personal life that it is making it hard for you to properly focus on school? For example, have you been ill, or dealing with a family issue? If so, graduating early might be the right option. Keep in mind, however, that there may be other solutions, such as talking to a school counselor or taking fewer classes. If you’re experience high stress but don’t want to graduate early, talk to a teacher or counselor you trust at school about your options for lightening your load and receiving additional support.
Let’s be real: college is expensive! Plenty of students use their free time after graduating early to get jobs and save money so they can work less (or not at all) once they’re in college. If you have a job lined up already—especially if it’s one you think could add value to your resume down the line—graduating early might be the right route for you
Academic or professional reasons
Are you graduating early to get a jump start on college courses or to take advantage of an internship opportunity? Sometimes high school students decide to take a required course at a community college, for example, or start volunteering somewhere aligned with their academic field of choice. If you’ll be intending a super intensive academic program for college, this might be a good way to get ahead, but make sure your schedule still feels manageable overall.
While graduating early is ultimately a personal decision, it will impact some of your relationships, so it’s a good idea to get some feedback about the decision from a few different sources.
It’s a good idea to bounce your thoughts on the matter off of the following people:
The Pros and Cons of Graduating Early
Obviously the benefits and risks of graduating early will be different for everyone, depending on your lifestyle and plans. But here’s a bit of a “graduating early cheat sheet” if you’re still unsure.
The potential pros:
The potential cons:
A Final Word On Graduating Early
Whether or not you decide to graduate early, here’s a reminder of 5 things to do before graduation (or 10 things to do before graduation if you’re feeling ambitious).
After remember that whatever route you choose, graduation is a big deal and you should be very proud of yourself. So take a moment to pat yourself on the back and celebrate once it’s official!
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About Nadyja Von Ebers
Nadyja von Ebers is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She writes for the Magoosh High School Blog, where she shares helpful resources for students searching for test prep tips and advice. Her content includes advice on college admissions, from how to get into the University of Chicago and how to complete financial aid forms to tips on asking for a letter of recommendation. Nadyja has extensive experience working with students to prepare for standardized tests, from AP exams and the GED to the ACT and SAT. After receiving an MA in English from DePaul University, Nadyja went on to teach English at the high school and college levels for over a decade. She loves helping students reach their maximum potential and thrives in both literal and virtual classrooms. When she's not teaching or contributing to the Magoosh blog, she enjoys reading, writing, and spending time in or near the ocean. LinkedIn
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