Some kids rush for the real world |

Some kids rush for the real world

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Red Canyon High School student Micah Morris will be graduating Friday as a junior. Morris is looking forward to working, traveling and going to college.

EAGLE COUNTY ” Many students need that all-American, four-year high school experience and the endless chain of activities that accompany being a senior.

For a small handful of students though, three years is more than enough. They don’t mind growing up a year early.

“I was ready to get it over with and move on,” said Micah Morris, a Red Canyon High School student who is graduating high school as a junior.

He decided at the beginning of this school year that it would be his last. On top of work, practicing guitar and playing in his band, the Introverts, he took several online classes in his spare time to gather the needed credits. Instead of spending his senior year in school, he wants to spend it working, saving up money and traveling. Japan, or anyplace out of country, will be his first stop.

Eventually, he wants to go to college in Denver, where he wants to study music and become a teacher.

“High school is something I can use and be done with now ” it won’t hinder my ability to save money and travel next year,” Morris said.

A handful of students are graduating early this year from local high schools, and there aren’t usually more than that. Students who graduate early certainly have to be extremely motivated.

It’s a difficult process that can’t be done on a whim, said Jan Abbott, a counselor at Battle Mountain High School.

“It takes a lot of soul searching ” you have to ask if they’re emotionally, academically and socially ready to do that,” Abbott said. “Are they running away from something?”

So, why do it?

Some kids, naturally, just don’t like high school, the whole idea of it ” the cliques, the classes, the tests and studying things that don’t interest them.

“They may not be into the social scene of a typical high school,” said Judy Caliguiri, a counselor at Red Canyon.

Some juniors may not like the idea of school if they happen to have a lot of senior friends graduating. When they leave, that last year in high school would be a social drag.

“Most of my friends are a year older, and it wouldn’t’ be much of a senior year without them,” said Zachary Domenico, who’s graduating from Battle Mountain Saturday a year early. “I had enough credits, and it was there to do it if I wanted, so why not?

Domenico will attend CU Boulder and major in engineering. He’ll miss playing golf and baseball for Battle Mountain, but not much else, he said.

“I feel like I’ve already been in high school four years,” Domenico said. “It’s time to graduate and get out.”

For a solid student who isn’t applying to a highly competitive college, an extra year of racking up tough courses or extra curricular activities may not make a difference.

They’re just itching to tackle the college life.

For a student wanting to attend an Ivy League school, graduating in three years wouldn’t be a good idea, Abbott said.

The idea of graduating early appeals to many students, and some even start the process. Several of those students end up feeling like they’ll miss out on something.

Why rush? Why grow up?

“They end up saying, ‘Why don’t I stay here, apply to more colleges and take more classes. I don’t’ want to miss my senior year,'” Abbott said.

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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