Ella Woodruff to graduate as a junior


Lynnae Wollenweber, Reporter

As seniors approach graduation in May, junior Ella Woodruff is also preparing to walk across the stage.

“Originally I was going to graduate a semester early, and then I learned I could actually graduate a year early,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff says that graduating early was the best fit for her in the long run.

“I didn’t really enjoy going to school,” Woodruff said. “I just really wanted to go to college as fast as I could. It’s definitely a lot. Last year I completely loaded up my classes for both semesters.”

Currently Woodruff takes a total of nine classes.

“With the extra load I have to double the amount of papers I write, which isn’t fun,” Woodruff said, ”But I got it done. It’s definitely a lot of stress.”

Graduating early is not an easy process as it requires a lot of extra hard work outside of the classroom.

“Students who are strong independently and have worked hard should be able to do what’s best for them,” school counselor Chris Headrick said.

Woodruff’s class load demonstrates just such a strong independent work ethic, and she has found a variety of avenues for completing her required course work.

“I took a Heartland course online and a summer English Class through Heartland, and I’ve taken an ISU course,” Woodruff said. “And this semester I’m actually taking three online courses at Heartland”

Woodruff has received the Presidential scholarship from Illinois state “I’m very excited that I got the presidential scholarship. I’m very pleased that all my hard work paid off”

After graduation Woodruff plans on majoring in anthropology and psychology at Illinois State University. While graduating early has many benefits, this has come at a cost to Woodruff’s social life.

Headrick points out that while there are many advantages to graduating early, this path comes with its own unique consequences.

“You lose some of the relationships and friendships from high school,” Headrick said.

“When I initially made the decision I didn’t really know a lot of people so it was easier,” Woodruff said. “But, it’s starting to get a little harder to let go [Now that] I’ve made more friends.”

Woodruff will be graduating May 21 with the class of 2023.

“I do think overall it’s the best decision for me,” Woodruff said.