CON: A traditional school experience

Whether it is being on the sports team, playing for the school band, attending prom or even graduating with your friends, high school offers many shared experiences. Those who decide to graduate early will be missing out on all of these.

Although the option of getting out of school earlier is available with the California High School Proficiency Exam, it is not necessarily the best choice. Many students who are geared toward taking the road to graduating early fail to recognize the benefits of staying in high school.

While many students graduate early eager to start working on projects they are passionate about, the reality is that many of the dreams and aspirations they had will start to fade as they begin to realize how hard it is to work without any real deadlines or structure. People start to get lazy due to lack of self motivation, a skill learned through high school with time.

Graduating early also limits a student’s choice of colleges. For example, the UC system requires fifteen college preparatory courses in the “A to G” courses, such as four years of English and three years of mathematics prior to application.

Students who desire to enter such a university would have to attend community college to complete their prerequisites, defeating the purpose of beginning their higher education earlier. Additionally, most universities do not see early graduation as a positive.

Skipping a year of school may not seem like much, but students will enter college socially unprepared. Students will be facing a whole new level of freedom and confronting issues that they have never encountered before.  It is not a secret that college is the time where people discover their limits with drinking and try to experience new things. Early graduates could face peer pressure and, due to their immaturity, may fail to make rational decisions in compromising situations. Another factor worth considering is that they could feel out of place due to the age gap between them and other students, which can make them social outcasts.

Also, some students are just not ready for the level of independence needed in college. While teachers in high school have around 40 students per class, college classes can be as large as 200 students, leaving little one-on-one time with teachers. This quick transition can be difficult for students at a young age, as some students require the extra push that high school teachers provide compared to the independent work that college professors expect.

While the state’s early graduation program opens up options to students who want to graduate and take on the college life earlier, there are many drawbacks to consider. Students should take their time to fully mature in high school to avoid making hasty decisions and see what truly benefits them in the long run.