Students graduating early at Northwest


Joshua J. Mazgelis

Some students choose to graduate early.

Many students are graduating early this year, whether it be for personal reasons and they need to be out of high school or simply because they are ready to move on with their academic lives. The four exhausting, unnecessary years of high school will not plague these individuals as they sit beside the graduates in the spring. Two students in particular–juniors Cat Denny and Renad Alsaid–share why they chose to graduate early, both for very different reasons. 

“I’m graduating early because my mom finishes her studies in 2020 (we are all international students) and once she graduates we have to move back to Saudi Arabia,” Alsaid said. 

Alsaid stated she did not want to continue her high school education and last year in a different country with different curriculum, and wanted to fast-track her education here at Northwest. Hectic schedules and late nights completing homework for extra classes one has in order to graduate early means they oftentimes must stay home and prioritize. 

“I have to plan ahead a lot more and I have absolutely no room for mistakes,” Alsaid said.

With added work, it can be difficult to fit in the “high school experience” and attend every football game, participate in all the extracurriculars one may want to, and more; but the sacrifice is one that must be made in order to finish core assignments on time. In Alsaid’s case, she was forced to make the decision between friends and work often. 

“I have to stay home a lot more and don’t go out with friends in order to catch up on work, but since I’m going back home (Saudi Arabia) I prioritize my studies and don’t worry too much about friend groups because I probably won’t see anyone other than a few people ever again,” Alsaid said. 

Graduating early is a really good option and I’m glad I’m doing it,”

— Catherine Denny

Students completing extra coursework and taking on more responsibility may also feel a disconnect between themselves and their peers, as they are forced to mature faster and realize the importance of life beyond graduation before others. In Denny’s case, she wanted to begin her further studies into her career field of choice rather than waste time in high school with classes that would no longer benefit her.

“I wanted to graduate early because I wanted to get a head start on college and my career in psychology,” Denny said. 

While the obvious drawback is more work in the short term, Denny expresses her happiness to push through because of her excitement for real-world work and application of what she has learned, rather than a brutal prison-like environment that many students experience today. Oftentimes students are jealous of those graduating early, and there is no doubt it is due to an education system in need of much reform and improvement. 

Parents pushing their kids to graduate early helps as well, but the only real factor that determines if one can is their motivation to push through a difficult year. 

“You miss out on a year of high school (when graduating early) but I’d say it’s a really good option and I’m glad I’m doing it,” Denny said. 

“Personally, I think graduating early has a lot of pros and cons but it is a good route for some people to consider; I’m 100 percent happy with my decision even though it can be stressful,” Alsaid said.