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The Truth About Graduating High School at 16

As most people get to know me, they become surprised that for my classification I am very young. I was fortunate enough to be able to graduate high school at the age of 16, but it was not always sunshine and butterflies.

You might think that “YAY, getting out of high school early must be the most amazing thing ever!” Yes, I am very glad that I was able to do this yet there was also a lot of struggling I went through to get to the student I am today.



As a military child, I was moving around every couple of years. Going into a new school for my junior year of high school, I was told by my guidance counselor that after that school year I would only need one 12th grade English class in order to graduate. I was delighted to hear this and spent the rest of my junior year bringing my GPA up.



After junior year, I signed up for an English 12 online class and worked on that during the summer. At the end of the summer and nearing the start of the new school year, I went to my graduation ceremony at the school library where I had the principal, a couple teachers I was close to, and my parents come. I was very sad that I was not able to get the ceremony that everyone else experienced after finishing high school, but I can say I truly appreciate everyone who helped me get to that exciting day.

The ceremony lasted about 30 minutes but they made me feel quite special.



Starting college the next week, I wasn’t sure at all how to pay for my courses, what financial aid was and how to get it, what degree I wanted so that I can pick my courses and so much more.

I felt like everything was coming at me so quickly at the age of 16 and I spent lots of time confused and crying to my mom telling her I didn’t know how to do anything.

At the time, I thought I had made a mistake in graduating early.

I felt pressure to pick a degree and thought that I would have to stick with it no matter what.



Looking back, I’m very glad that I went through it all because I realize that it wasn’t such a big deal that I had no clue what I was doing or what I was going to do.

Now, as a 18 year old nearing the end of my sophomore year, I have chosen my degree,  thinking about my future plans but continue to remind myself that if I change my mind that would be okay too.


My greatest help these past two years were from my parents and my advisors. I always talk to my parents about what I want to do and they ensure me that if I changed my mind for my career path that it would not be the end of the world.

As I go through my courses I get more of an understanding of what I like and what I don’t like. Talking to my advisor and going to the career center showed me what endless possibilities I can do with my degree once I graduate.


During these past two years, although they have been the hardest, have also been the best years filled with new experiences. If any of you gals reading this is having a hard time figuring out what you would like to do in the future, know that it’s alright!  

It’s okay to be confused for a while. Most people change their mind several times before they find something they love to do and I can say this from experience!


Howdy! I'm Cassie and currently a senior studying Environmental Science getting little sleep throughout the semester. I love spending time with my dog, taking naps when I have time, and hiking the beautiful outdoors:)
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