Early graduates exploring after high school options

Completing the required courses, getting all the credits and exploring the fields/classes one wants to may seem hard to do in four years, but some set out to graduate high school in three to three and a half years.

Eighteen seniors will be graduating early at the end of first semester of the 2018-2019 school year, and ___ juniors will be graduating at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. 

Some early graduates chose to graduate early because they want to start working and earning money earlier or to travel or to get a head start on college or the armed services.

Senior Nicholas Wessels is graduating at the end of first semester and will be heading off to Marine Corps boot camp on Feb. 4. 

Wessels initiated this graduation because he wanted to leave school and “go to bootcamp ASAP.” Wessels’ future will bring him challenges by way of thousands of push ups and crunches, but his current challenge is his heavy class load and the thought of leaving his friends and girlfriend. “It was very stressful with a full schedule and no study halls,” Wessels said. 

Junior Olivia Hansen’s decision to graduate early wasn’t as planned out as Wessels. Prior to the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, Hansen planned on taking online courses. With all the courses she was taking she realized she could actually graduate early. It also worked out that Hansen doubled up on her sciences sophomore year. 

Hansen’s parents were an outlet for support and are helping her move through this process. “My parents are the ones who actually insisted on me graduating early. They are extremely supportive of my choices and believe this is the best thing for me,” she said. 

Although the classes she currently takes and her online classes create a lot of stress for the early glad, her glimmer of hope is attending Iowa State University in the fall of 2019. “The biggest enjoyment is knowing it will all be worth it in the end,” Hansen said. 

Unlike the seniors graduating at the end of semester this year, senior Claire Sabino graduated before winter break, on Dec. 21. “Needless to say, my last week nearly killed me. I took all my finals early, alongside the regular ‘before break,’ tests. I was a nightmare to be around, but in the end, the whole ordeal was less stressful than I had mentally made it out to be. Praise God,” Sabino said. 

Sabino’s family planned on moving to Gainesville, Fla., by Christmas to start a church centered around the college students of University of Florida, so Sabino knew she had to take action to complete all the courses. 

Sabino said she has no regrets with her decision to graduate early and even encourages others to do it. “The only trade off here are the college credits you can snag for no additional money. It would have to be a unique situation, but for me, it has absolutely worked for the best,” she said. 

In the fall of 2019 Sabino hopes to be back in school at the University of Florida studying dietetics, tourism or something in the teaching field. 

Sabino said the best part of graduating early is getting high school over with. “I loved wrapping everything up and fully moving on with my life. Although, I had so many sweet friends that I had to leave. However, I will be visiting soon. The greatest enjoyment is knowing that I am freaking done. What a blessing to be fully engaged with my family and our new friends here. It truly has been a fresh start,” she said.

Senior Early Graduates 

Mia Armstrong 

Brock Azbill 

Lexi Butz

Jae Fleshner 

Trevor Heinen

Kayla Hortsmeier

Marcela Jones 

Zoey Langan 

Tyler Larsen 

Tayah Medhaug 

Allison Nida

Claire Sabino 

Rubi Sabir 

Emily Sires 

Ashley Smith 

Alaina Wellendorf 

Nicholas Wessels 

Hannah Wheeler 


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