Dare to Challenge Yourself

Updated: May 22, 2019

Sophomore year is generally when you start to feel comfortable in high school. You are no longer a freshman, you know your way around the school, you’ve survived being in a new and possibly intimidating environment, and hopefully you’ve made new friends. Sophomore year is when you start to feel apart of the school, and when you look forward to what the next couple of years will bring. You revel in the true start of your high school experience.

For me, sophomore year was when I decided I wanted to shorten my experience here at Brewster High School. Part of it was because I knew that by the end of the year I would have enough credits to be recognized as a senior, and partly because I was over high school.

The idea of graduating early wasn’t originally my own: there was a student in my Trigonometry class who was already cleared to graduate early, and by talking with her I started to think it would be a great idea for myself. So, I went to guidance and talked with my counselor.

At first we just talked about what graduating early would entail and how it might affect my college applications. My guidance counselor was very helpful with completely informing me about the decision I wanted to make. After the first conversation I knew I would have to double-up on my English, social studies, and gym classes to satisfy the amount of credits each that I needed to graduate.

I was ready for the challenge.

Around April, I was approved of skipping junior year. After it was finalized, I was extremely excited, but my friends weren’t. When I told everyone the news, majority of my peers and my friends criticized me. They constantly said that it was “stupid” to graduate early, they said that they also had enough credits to do the same thing but they wouldn’t have any free periods if they did.

Yes, I have absolutely no free periods this year (then again I’m taking three extra classes than what is required), but I’m okay with that because I would rather be learning something than sitting around in a study hall or free period doing nothing.

Also, it wasn’t solely about the credits: I was simply over high school.

Many people have asked me, “You’ve only been in high school less than two years, how can you be over it already?” My reason is that I’m ready to move onto the next step in life. High school isn’t like the real world, and the real world is what I want. Everything about high school just doesn’t fit me. So many people are focused on who’s dating who, when’s the next party, or any other gossip. I’m focused on school and my future — I always have been. High school students, for the most part, aren’t focused on what’s actually important. Or at least it doesn’t seem that way.

Even though I am now officially a senior, some juniors (my former class) and some seniors, still consider me a junior. Which in a way hurts because I am not a junior. I’m even criticized and put down when I try explain why there is a difference.

I shouldn’t be made to feel inferior because I’m challenging myself, but I don’t know why I expected anything less. The society we live in generally seems to diminish those who appear to be smarter, more advantageous, or even just doing something that seems unordinary.

We should be encouraging students, and people in our society as a whole, to challenge themselves instead of making them feel as if they’ll be outcasted if they do.


Written as a 15 year old high school senior 11/30/14

Published as a 19 year old double major college senior 11/30/18 **Graduating May 2020 with a Bachelor degree in Public Health Education, and a Bachelor degree in Psychology.

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