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Depart for a Headstart

Attending high school for all four years is not the path for everyone

Chelsea Park, Reporter

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Most students go into high school planning to attend all four years. However, there are a few seniors who depart the hallways of BV West before their four years are up in exchange for a head start into college.

Chloe Hayne and Layne Nudson have decided to leave high school early for headstarts towards their majors. However, the direction they are taking in leaving, along with their visions of their future, differ greatly from each other.

BV West senior and college freshmen Hayne left high school after her junior year to work towards her major. Currently, she attends college as a freshmen, but is still enrolled as a senior at BV West with one unfinished credit.

“I’m doing a backwards dual credit thing,” Hayne said. “I had senior English left, so I am taking classes this year in Charlotte at Johnson and Wales University that counts for it. [I am also] getting a head start on doing classes that I enjoy towards my major. In May, I will come back to [BV West] to graduate and I’ll also be done with my freshman year of college.”

Nudson is also a senior at BV West, but she only attends the high school. She plans on leaving high school after first semester to start going to  college early. While she will begin to attend college next semester, she also has one credit left to finish.

“I only have my fourth ELA credit left which I am going to take online, and at JCCC next semester, I will be taking 12 credit hours that will allow me to develop study habits [and] get ahead,” Nudson said. “I want to pursue a rigorous degree [in engineering] and I know I need to take baby steps to do so.”

A longtime goal of Hayne helped to influence her in making the big decision to depart high school a full year early. From a young age, this dream of hers has stayed consistent.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the culinary field since I was young, so the goal of being a chef is what gave me a big push to college early,” Hayne said.

Nudson, however, came to make this decision later than expected, as her own growth as an individual encouraged her leave early.

“What influenced me the most is falling down and getting back up so many times in high school and figuring out who I am and what I need most to become a better student, teacher and learner,” Nudson said. “I’ve realized that I’ve struggled with staying focused in classes. And for me to take passion and pride in what I’m doing, I need to indulge myself in things that I truly love learning about.”

Deciding to leave high school early is a major decision that carries responsibility and requires determination. Hayne juggled the advantages and disadvantages of leaving BV West as a junior to ultimately make her decision.

“The pros are that you get a jump start in your career and you get to take the classes related to your major sooner,” Hayne said. “For me, there wasn’t any major con, [but] leaving those I was close to was hard.”

Nudson agreed that she would benefit from leaving early, but drawbacks still remained.

“I can start my next chapter in life, and I can decide who I want to surround myself with,” she said. “But I am going to miss a lot of my teachers. There have been so many teachers who have truly influenced me, and made me the person I am today.”

Despite having to miss out on some memories and opportunities senior year offers to students,  Hayne was set on the idea on attending college early.

“I don’t think I’ll regret it at all, I really enjoy my school [Johnson and Wales] and I’m not upset that I’m missing out on [some] things,” Hayne said. “There wasn’t anything that would have persuaded me to stay and not go, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Nudson shares similar sentiments, but remains focused on the future.

“There is Prom and Sweetheart, [and] I’ll miss checking up on [friends] to what they are doing, who they are becoming,” Nudson said. “But everyone has their own time in life where they choose to start a new chapter, and I want to start mine a little earlier.”

Making this decision may not appeal to everyone. Leaving all that is familiar to pursue one’s goals requires great determination, passion and diligence. Nonetheless, both encourage younger students to consider starting college early because it can allow students to do what they love sooner in life.

“It depends on the individual,” Nudson said. “Prepare yourself for it and get excited for it, but also make sure you really absorb those years of high school so it’s not something you regret later on.”

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