Dear Carolyn: I’m a high school junior and I hate it.
I am taking a few AP courses and finally talked to my guidance counselor today about graduating early. He said I can if I take on some independent study and do one GED class online.
I also need my parents’ permission, but I don’t think they’ll let me. They know how unhappy I am, but keep saying how this is the last carefree time of my life, and I should enjoy it.
I’m not, and I won’t. If I graduate early, I can start classes at community college. My plan is to build up enough credits that I can transfer to a four-year school as a junior and save a lot of money. Then I won’t have huge debt.
How can I convince my parents that these aren’t the best years of my life?
Want to Move On
You don’t “think” they’ll let you. That’s not the same thing as knowing how your parents will respond.
Point 2, ask your guidance counselor for advice on the parent-management side.
Point 3, what about a gap year? That walks the line between what you want — the heck outta there — and what they want — to make sure you don’t exit your youth prematurely.
Point 4, understand and acknowledge your parents’ concerns. If you approach it by dismissing each of their points, then you’re just playing into a perception that you’re too young to know what’s best.
If you set up a great “business plan,” present it to your parents calmly and humbly, and yet they are unmoved by it, then one option is to request that they let you satisfy the graduation requirements anyway and still remain for your senior year (if it’s possible to do that). That way, you’d have the academic flexibility to take at least some college courses as a senior.