While most students attend all four years of high school, some schools allow students that meet graduation requirements to graduate half of a year or even a full year early.
Jennings County High School is one of many schools to allow early graduation, having let 27 students graduate mid-term of this school year. Some of these students have graduated to pursue college early or focus on their jobs, while others simply did not feel the need to remain in school after they had met their requirements.
Mary Lynn Whitcomb, one of the counselors at Jennings County High School, explained that while the school prefers students to remain the full year and take as many classes as they can, it is understood that mid-term graduation can allow students to further their chosen career path.
Some previous mid-term graduates report that this early start was greatly appreciated when entering into college.
“With my career choice, I’m glad that I got an early start,” said Kamryn Russell, who graduated in December of 2016 and is studying to become a veterinarian.
Other students report wanting to graduate at mid-term to have more opportunities and time for other aspects of their life. With a high school degree they are able to get better jobs, and without the demands of high school such as homework and tests they are afforded more personal time.
“I had all of my credits by mid-term. I have been through 11½ years of schooling. To me it would have been pointless to go another semester worth of classes,” said Annabelle Allman, a mid-term graduate of this school year.
While those who have graduated early technically hold a high school diploma, they will not walk the stage and receive their diploma until May when the rest of the senior class graduates.
Ashley Browning is a senior a Jennings County High School.