Graduation Talk with Mr. O’Rourke


Maddy Summers (Junior), Reporter

As scheduling finishes up, you may have thought about your high school career as a whole. Classes to take/have taken, future plans, and of course, the event that tells you, it’s time for the real world: graduation.

Graduation is the point in your life where everything changes. Your education is coming to an end, and you start discovering the thing you want to do, who you want to be, everything relating to you. Some people would rather get a head start on their lives and graduate early, which is something that can be something very beneficial, but also not. Getting input from someone who is educated on this idea, can help form your ideas on what will be best for you. Let’s talk to our principal about it, Mr. O’Rourke.

Each student has a different situation, and different goals. Having support from people, family, or the school, really helps students feel better about what it is they truly want.

“Each person has a unique situation and I want the best for our students. I’m very supportive,” said Mr. O’Rourke.

People might decide to graduate early to begin their post-high school career, join the military, start work, or even just save up money for college. So, even though graduating early can be beneficial in these ways, there are still some negatives. Dual credit and AP courses won’t be counted, and you don’t get to finish out that course. Students will miss that last second semester, with the extras, fun, and opportunities it can bring.

“That last semester, a lot of times is, value-added opportunities. That’s courses that you didn’t get to take, you get prom, last walk, and senior camp out. And even just going to a ball game, or to a play, being in school during that time just adds to it. It’s a lot about the value-added experience during the school day, to put the icing on the cake,” he said.

High school doesn’t need to be rushed, and should not be about the bare minimum. Senior year is the time to enjoy the last part of your teen journey. Carefully think about your situation and what it is that you truly want after high school before making this decision. Make sure to be aware of benefits and downfalls, based on your situation.

“It is something that really needs to be a thoughtful decision. I would say my advice is just making sure you’re making the decision that your 40-year-old self will look back on and say you’ve made the right decision, not your 18-year-old self,” he said.

Mr. O’Rourke has, “no blanket recommendation,” on graduating early, and would be happy to meet and discuss graduation with you. He would love to hear your reasoning, and learn some more about your situation so he can work with you to help figure out what would be best for the future.