Graduating early (from high school) -- impact on admissions?

<p>I am a high school senior who has struggled with clinical depression for about a year and a half. High school has become a terrible variable in my condition and outlook – even though I have teachers that really care and think I’m both capable and smart, it’s become increasingly hard to motivate myself, participate in class and with others, do my work and in general just live day-to-day. Not to mention waking up. Waking up is haaaard.</p>

<p>That being said, Barnard has most definitely become my first choice of schools that I have applied to and it is, at least to me, a really obvious “fit” – I am a strong writer, interested in pursuing creative writing and journalism, with decent grades and test scores that are generally in their margin. My personality and love of learning seems to match how that environment “works.” I love love love Barnard :)</p>

<p>So, my dilemma is – I have the opportunity of petitioning to graduate early from high school. While I know that wouldn’t impact “getting in” (since their decision is based on grades up to this last semester), I am worried that it would be grounds to revoke admission. I have all the credits I need to graduate, and would love to do something I find more fulfilling and worthwhile in my community (not to mention to have some time to sleep in, do some writing, and some soul-searching before college); but I’m unaware, as is my school counselor, of how it would impact Barnard’s (or any college’s) admission. Similarly I am pretty hesitant to call the admissions office, because I am not sure how fondly they would look on my depression and my eagerness to get out of school.</p>

<p>Long story short… oh, I don’t know! Help me out here, ladies :slight_smile: Any thoughts and suggestions are very appreciated.</p>

<p>Well, how soon do you have to begin petitioning for early grad? It may be helpful to you to wait and see if you get in and then contact the admissions office directly... I'd say it's something you probably don't want to do beforehand, but if you don't contact admissions about it, it may appear that you were trying to be sneaky about it, especially since you'll probably be dropping classes/activities which may have been the grounds for your acceptance.</p>

<p>Can you wait it out until April?</p>

<p>Couldn't you just wait a few months until you graduate? I mean, a lot of seniors hate school and can't wait to leave, but they stick it out.</p>

<p>If you "wait it out until April," obviously you will not be graduating early.<br>
I understand the need to get out asap, but you should think about whether you will just be running away from your problems or whether this decision will be about putting you in a better place, in the long-term as well as the short-term.<br>
I think it's a good idea to call Barnard and ask what they think. You don't need to mention depression, and don't frame it as though the entire problem is your school--that is, take responsibility for yourself. You can just say you have enough credits to graduate early, and you have found an opportunity that you would really like to pursue, and how would this affect Barnard's decision? You should make the most of these extra six months; sleep in and take care of yourself but also do something productive so you can show Barnard you are to be taken seriously. And it sounds like you've thought about this, not as though someone just suggested it to you and you leaped at any chance to escape.
Are there any good things about your school? Sometimes end of senior year togetherness can make you feel even more miserable, but it might also give you a chance to make closer bonds with classmates and distract you a little from your depression.
Barnard is generally open to students who forge their own way; I shouldn't see why this in itself would detract from your application; but I do recommend calling.
Good luck!</p>

<p>are you not taking any AP's that would require class time until the exam?</p>

think I'm both capable and smart, it's become increasingly hard to motivate myself, participate in class and with others, do my work and in general just live day-to-day. Not to mention waking up. Waking up is haaaard.


<p>It's not that long until graduation at this point. If you are under treatment for your depression (and I assume you are since you characterize it as "clinical"), talk with your doc about how things are going. You are going to need to deal with similar motivation issues as well as the desire to stay in bed, even in college (or maybe even more so). So you would not be well-served by allowing yourself to avoid the responsibilities involved in following through until graduation, IMO. </p>

<p>Hang in there!</p>

<p>Hang in there girl! You can do it, just think how much tensions u dealt with during college apps! U made it through now u can beat this!</p>

<p>I have a daughter who is a senior who suffered early in high school from depression. I think that at this point you should not call Barnard and ask, nor should you petition to graduate early. If you feel that you are well enough to attend college next year, and assuming that Barnard is your first choice, then my advice would be to finish the next few months. While you should discuss this with the professionals who are helping you, if being at high school is creating or exacerbating issues, then I would think that you should just focus on getting your school work done while you are there and spending the rest of your time working on getting better with people who are probably more supportive than your schoolmates. Look forward to graduating and moving on to the next stage of your life. In a few months high school will be behind you and a whole new world opens up. Good luck to you.</p>

<p>Try to concentrate on the stuff u love, .i.g. English class perhaps, some volunteer work maybe. U might even find something tht pleasantly surprises u during these last few months of high school! If anything u can come back here for some support system!</p>

<p>I know a student at Barnard who graduated early from high school under somewhat similar circumstances (boredom, not depression) after having been admitted ED -- as she had already been admitted, she was able to discuss the situation with the admissions office. I know that part of her equation was having a job lined up for the interim.</p>

<p>I think that it would be very simple for you to contact admissions and ask whether early graduation could lead to a revocation of admissions, assuming you get in. </p>

<p>However, that is a separate issue from the depression. The very worst thing you can do for clinical depression is to put yourself in a situation where you have less stimulation, and where you could end up staying home and sleeping all day. So you need to address the depression and also not succumb to it -- if there is not something that would motivate you that is taking the place of school, then you are better off with some external demands requiring you to get out of bed each day, even if it is difficult.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the warm responses and words of wisdom!</p>

<p>"Couldn't you just wait a few months until you graduate? I mean, a lot of seniors hate school and can't wait to leave, but they stick it out."</p>

<p>Staying in school until June is naturally something I'm considering. A lot of seniors do hate school; I'm not one of them. What is proving most frustrating about all of this is that I'm being misconstrued as just a pretty bad case of 'senioritis' by peers and teachers who don't know me better. A lot of seniors do manage to "stick it out," but I'm sure a good deal fewer are being put on medications that turn them into proverbial zombies to "cure" their equally exhausting "condition." Furthermore, I'm not totally sure staying in school is fool-proof, considering I might be sending in a lackluster second semester school report.</p>

<p>I also agree completely with those of you who have warned against putting myself in a situation, after early graduation, that would let me just sulk in my laziness/depression. Obviously that'd look terrible for any college and it'd do more to exacerbate depression than quell it. Plus, it's just not my style -- I don't have much of any intention of treating the extra months as a joke; right now I'm looking into interning at Planned Parenthood or a local newspaper, and if both those fall through, it's election season (or so I hear? Is that right?) and there's probably plenty of opportunities elsewhere I haven't thought of. Feeling needed can be pretty therapeutic!</p>

<p>I will, like many of you suggested, be calling admissions and asking how early graduation might affect admission and won't be mentioning the depression thing. I'll keep you posted, and thanks again to all you guys!</p>

<p>Wow your story is really similar to mine! I also want to attend Barnard, pursue an interest in journalism/writing, and am graduating early....</p>