Students graduate early to explore options after high school

As this school year is coming to a close, four juniors and one sophomore will also be joining the seniors by graduating early.

For junior Sabine Martin, graduating early means going to school in France for one year. She will be participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange.

The Rotary Youth Exchange is an international organization that allows students from all over the world to be a part of the exchange program. Martin is being sponsored for this trip by the Rotary Club of Cedar Falls.

She said, “I thought that I would gain a lot from it, like learning a new language, absorbing a whole new culture, and I am open to that and really excited for it.”

Martin will be living in Lyon, France, with three different host families. She will switch host families every three months.

She said she is most excited to be immersed into a new culture and the opportunity to be surrounded by French every day. She said, “I’m so excited to take everything I learn there back to Cedar Falls and tell people all about my experiences.”

“I feel like I’m going to get a lot more authentic experience. Rather than just going to Paris and being a tourist, I’m going to be in a family that is originally from France, and they already have their lifestyle set, and I’m just going to be placed into it,” Martin said.

Junior Sierra Miller is graduating early to prepare for college.

“I wanted to spend a year working and saving up money so that I could actually afford college,” Miller said.

After Miller saves up enough money, she said that she would like to go to college in another country. She said, “I have Spanish citizenship, so I will most likely move there once I’m ready.”

Sophomore Grace Boezinger isn’t exactly graduating early, but she is leaving Cedar Falls to attend an arts school in Minnesota to pursue her dream of being a professional ice skater. She will be living on the school’s campus dorms and will be practicing full time with her coach. In addition to attending the arts school, Boezinger will also be taking online classes that go along with her curriculum. 

What Boezinger said she  is most worried about is being away from her family. She said, “They are really supportive of me, but I am really close to my mom, so it is going to be difficult to be away from her.”

Martin said the most difficult thing about graduating early is “mentally preparing to leave a whole year early and leaving everyone behind is kind of hard, but I’m excited for the future that is coming.”

For Miller the most difficult part was coordinating how and when she was going to take her required classes.

For those interested in graduating early, Martin said, “Do it, if you want to. It’s a lot of work, but if you have a goal and something you are working toward, it’s a really cool idea.”

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