Cancellation of school activities prompts seniors to graduate early


Credit: Tisha Pankop

An early graduate from the class of 2020 receives their diploma at the graduation ceremony last year.

Ellie Haase, Social Media Editor

“Senioritis” is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. I think it’s fair to say senioritis is hitting seniors harder this year than it ever has. 

This year’s seniors have missed out on what is often said to be the best year of high school. As the end of the year is quickly approaching, seniors are left to reflect on all that they have missed this year, and as a result, some didn’t feel that it was necessary to stick around for their last trimester. 

Seniors look forward to Friday night lights, winter formal, homecoming, prom, graduation, senior luncheon, senior skip day, even the smallest things such as the days where juniors have the SAT and they don’t have school for most of the week or being the ‘leaders of the school’. All of these things are what people remember when they get older and that’s why it is often referred to as the best year of high school. This year seniors haven’t been able to have almost all of these activities but Loy Norrix is hoping to put on a prom and graduation, although they won’t go on as they usually would. 

Graduating early has always been an option at Loy Norrix, but this year we have seen an increase in students taking advantage of the opportunity. Thirty-four students graduated early this year, compared to the 21 students that graduated early last year. Loy Norrix counselor Becky Parsons said that the steps to graduate early are to “Complete all graduation requirements before the end of tri 1 or tri 2 of your senior year.” 

In the article “More high school seniors opt for early graduation” by Benjamin Pierce, Janesville School District in Wisconsin also experienced an increase in students graduating early. The average number of students from this district that have graduated early in the past three years is 96 students. This year the district is sending off nearly 150 students early. Many of the students’ decisions were highly impacted by COVID-19. 

Lucas Figueroa, a Loy Norrix senior who graduated a trimester early, said that “COVID made me want to graduate early.” He backs Parsons by saying that the process of graduating early was not hard at all. “I just had to ask my counselor if I could graduate early, and she gave me the schedule with the classes I had to pass,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa never intended to graduate early, but after the way this year played out, he didn’t feel like there was anything that could make up for all that he already missed out on. If things were ‘normal’ he would have remained in school for the last trimester and graduated with the rest of his class.

“When all my friends started to discuss graduating early, I realized I was able to and decided to graduate early like them,” said Figueroa. 

He went on to say that he wanted the opportunity to get a job and work full time, so the time he used to dedicate towards school is now going into his job at a furniture store.

“I would recommend others to graduate early if they are able to. I have found this time to be very valuable to earn money and grow as an individual,” said Figueroa.