Nineteen seniors this year made the decision to graduate early. This is a tough choice for most considering many senior events take place in the spring semester.
“It’s a very personal decision that every student needs to think deeply about before they decide to graduate early from high school,” Melanie Pando, a GBHS assistant principal, said. “Most of our traditional high school senior year events happen in the spring, and for some, missing out on those events is a sacrifice they are willing to make in order to jump start their post-high school journeys.”
Early grads weigh the pros and cons of missing part of senior year
Students have many different reasons for choosing this path of leaving high school early including starting college, going straight into the workforce, going into armed services or going to college early for a sport.
The early graduates are allowed to participate in Senior Ball, graduation practice, Sober Grad night, senior breakfast and the parent and child dance in the dance show. They are not permitted to attend the Quad Dance, Neon Dance, Senior 5th Quarter, Senior Picnic or Senior Sunset.
“For the events we’re not allowed to attend, I think (the school) makes it that way because they think if we’re going to graduate early and have the privilege of not going to school, then we shouldn’t have all the privileges that full-time GBHS students have,” Emily Schofield, a GBHS early graduate, said.
Emily Schofield leaves GBHS early for Hollywood
Schofield said she wishes that she was allowed to attend all the events but understands the school’s reasoning for not allowing this.
“I personally think early graduates should be able to go to all the senior events because it’s still nice to have that experience, but if they still banned us from Neon and Quad dance, I guess that would make sense since they’re school events for everyone not just seniors,” Schofield said.
If early-graduates try to sneak into events they are not allowed to go to, the school will take action, and they are very serious about this issue.
“(For breaking the rules, early graduates) potentially lose walking in the graduation ceremony,” Pando said, “(and) since they are no longer considered students of GBHS, law enforcement would be called immediately to deal with the matter.”
Some early graduates do not find the restrictions an issue and have moved on to new experiences outside of high school.
“I don’t actually mind not being able to attend all events, but I’m sure there are people who wish they could and are a little (mad) about it,” Isaiah Lewis, a GBHS early graduate currently attending University of Colorado Boulder, said.
Early grads keep busy working
Many of these seniors do plan on coming back and walking at graduation with the rest of their class. Lewis and Schofield both plan on attending graduation and are glad the school allows them to participate.
“I’m planning on going to Senior Ball, Sober Grad Night, graduation breakfast, practice and walking at graduation itself,” Schofield said. “It should be fun.”