Are you thinking about graduating early and working on weighing your options? Are you curious as to what the disadvantages are of graduating earlier? You’ve come to the right place. We are here to help you with any concerns you may have.
This article will cover several of the disadvantages of graduating high school early and even cover how colleges feel about students who graduate early. If you’re on the fence about graduating, there are several questions that you can ask yourself to assess your readiness for graduation, and we’ll provide you with just that.
What are you waiting for? Keep reading to find more information on the disadvantages of graduating early and data to determine if it is right for you.
Should You Graduate High School Early?
If you’re asking yourself this question, it is important that your answer reflects your goals and the decision which is best for you. There are several benefits to graduating early, which we will cover later. However, graduating early isn’t for everyone. For the student who is excited about participating in school activities or has a fear of missing out, this may not be the best option for you. There are several questions that you can ask yourself before you decide to graduate.
- Where do I see myself going in the future?
- What are my plans for after high school?
- What effect will graduating early have on my future or my education?
- What do I plan to do with the extra time?
These are all questions that will get you thinking about your life after high school and planning for what’s next. If you answer all these questions and can see the benefit of graduating early, you should definitely go for it. However, if you are still unsure about what you want to do, graduating early may not be best for you. It may be best to stay in school, enjoy your high school experience and get the guidance from the counselors you may need.
What are the Benefits of Graduating Early from High School?
There are several benefits to graduating early. Though it may seem like you may be missing out on activities that your classmates get to enjoy, there are several ways that it can positively impact your life.
There are several benefits to graduating early.
- Early start on your career or education. Graduating early allows you to get a jump start on your career. This can allow early admission to college and even the opportunity to participate in bridge programs earlier than their classmates.
- Save money by forgoing end-of-the-year activities. It’s no surprise that senior activities can be expensive. Between prom, class trips, and end-of-the-year activities, funding your senior year can be costly. If you are someone who isn’t keen on making a fuss about senior activities, graduating early just might be for you.
- Potential to graduate college early. Basic logic applies in this case. If you start earlier, you will likely finish college earlier. Students will have the opportunity to enroll in bridge programs or even summer school. This will allow a jumpstart on college credits.
- More availability to apply for scholarships. Graduating high school early gives you the time and availability to spend time dedicated to applying to scholarships rather than doing homework or planning activities.
- Avoid senioritis. Graduating high school early allows you to avoid any periods of laziness or senioritis. If you aren’t looking to get an early start on work or school, you always have the option to rest rather than jumping back into the grind.
What are the Disadvantages of Graduating High School Early?
Though graduating early can have its advantages, there can also be several downsides to ending your high school career early or even graduating high school at 17. It takes a special kind of student to graduate early. They must be disciplined and dedicated to doing well in school. There are several disadvantages to be considered, and these include the following options:
- Restrictions may still apply even if you graduate early. Depending on the age that you graduate, some restrictions may still apply. If you graduate before the age of 17, you may still not be able to work specific jobs or enroll in programs until you are slightly older. For some students, this can include restrictions based on the time they work and beyond.
- Ill-prepared for the workforce or college. Though you may have the book smarts to graduate early, you may be lacking in life experience. One of the disadvantages of graduating high school early is missing out on those pivotal years of experience. Several events that shape us happen within our college years. Depending on when you graduate, you will miss out on those experiences. You may go into the workforce with an immature attitude and the notion that you can treat the “real world” like high school.
- Fear of missing out, also known as FOMO. Some students may regret missing big activities like the senior trip or prom. For some students, prom is a pivotal moment in a teenager’s life. They share memories and an experience that many of them will remember for a lifetime. Some students may not be able to deal with this.
- Heavier course load. Graduating early from high school means that at some point, you will have a heavier course load. This can mean doubling up on traditional and college classes or even attending summer school to ensure that you are ahead on the curriculum.
- High Stress & Anxiety during HS. Another significant downside to graduating early is the high level of stress that some students may experience when trying to get ahead. Burnout and overworking is a real issue and can happen to high school students as well. High levels of anxiety may be detrimental to a student’s success and ultimately cause them to behave poorly in school.
These are all disadvantages that must be considered when thinking about graduating earlier. You must prioritize these things to determine if graduating is really for you. However, now that you are aware of the disadvantages, it’s essential to consider how colleges may perceive early graduation.
How Do Colleges View Early High School Graduates?
There is one question that you may be asking yourself – does graduating early look bad to colleges? Though you may feel like graduating earlier may have some substantial impact on your college application, that is not always the case. For most schools, you will likely fair the same if you would have graduated at the appropriate time. Often, no matter if students graduate within four years or three, their chances of acceptance are likely the same. Colleges are more focused on what you did during this time rather than how long you did it in.
Graduating early will likely be indifferent to a school rather than being a downside on your application. Graduating early can be used as a supporting factor in you being an intelligent and motivated student. However, being able to graduate early while still maintaining your grades, working, and even partaking in extracurricular activities is extremely impressive.
Graduating early is not as uncommon as you may think. Some schools even have special programs for teenagers who attend college under 18. These programs will help them get acclimated and introduce them to students who may be in the same age range as them. If you are a student who is graduating early with college credits, you must make sure that your credits will indeed transfer. Depending on where they are received from and where they are being transferred to, some schools may not accept them.
If you are graduating early, getting your application in early may allow you to get a jumpstart on your college curriculum. Regardless of if the college gives explicit benefits for graduating high school earlier, it can benefit you in the long run.
Wrapping Things Up: Disadvantages of Graduating High School Early
Graduating high school early can be good for some and bad for others. While some students may be capable of juggling extra coursework and going into the workforce early, this isn’t the case for everyone. There may be several disadvantages to graduating early.
These disadvantages may include regret or fear of missing out on senior year activities. For some students missing these activities means missing out on an extremely important part of their life. This can also mean taking on the added stress of doubling your course load in order to graduate early. Both of these are things that need to be factored into graduating high school early.
Though you may feel that graduating high school early is a significant feat, it is far more common than you may think. Graduating early has more personal benefits than college benefits. College often does not have large consideration for teens who graduate in three years rather than four.
You must weigh the pros and cons of doing so no matter when you plan to graduate high school. These can often mean different things for different people; however, they must be considered before making a decision.