If it seems like graduation is coming early this year, you are right.
Several Bloomington-Normal high schools will be sending their young adults into the world this Memorial Day weekend. But graduation day comes especially early for at least two Bloomington-Normal students.
Taylor Harper, 17, of Bloomington, is graduating early from Bloomington High School to get on with plans for a career in forensic science.
“I wasn’t finding a lot of my classes stimulating,” Harper said. “I was tired of doing the same thing over and over again and I wanted a change of pace.”
Harper, who is a National Honor Society honoree and plays varsity soccer, is headed to George Mason University in Virginia.
Campbell Albaugh, 17, of Normal, explains how he was able to juggle a heavier class-load and playing in the marching band to graduate early from Normal West.
“When you have this more weighted academic schedule, and all these activities, you have to be more diligent about time management, so at the start (of high school) I was kind of rough with it, then I realized I really had to be on it.”
Albaugh will be studying exercise science at Ball State in Muncie, Ind.
Both Harper and Albaugh said their desires to move on with college early while pursing advanced degrees are motivated in part by the rising cost of student loans.
Albaugh said he’d also like to accelerate his college schedule so he can start his career sooner.
“Right now, it looks like it is going to take me eight years, but I am trying to see if there’s anyway I can get out in seven or maybe less,” he said.
Albaugh said his goal is to become a physical trainer for a sports team and own his own business.
Harper will be attending George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and plans to get an advanced degree, which she knows will be expensive.
“Student loans, getting them paid off, is a major factor for me,” she said, adding she two brothers who will both be racking up college load debt too.
“My family can’t pay for all of it, so if I can go to school in the least amount of time or get out early, then it will be very beneficial.”
Unit 5's graduation ceremonies are both scheduled for Saturday at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington. Bloomington High School's graduation is Sunday, also at the arena.
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