What a Nontraditional High School Experience Looks Like

An interview with Catie Sims, a senior who is choosing to graduate early.


Catie Sims is a senior here at WCHS, and this year she made the decision to graduate a semester early. She also has decided that instead of going to college, she will work on advancing her skills and knowledge in video editing. I talked with Catie to hear about her plans after she graduates and what she hopes to get out of this school year. This is what she had to say:

What was last school year like for you?

It was really easy but also very boring, and it felt like I didn’t really learn anything. It didn’t feel real, honestly.

What was learning virtually for the first time like for you? 

I liked it because I could go at my own pace and I didn’t feel like I was wasting time like I was in public school. 

Why did you decide to go virtual again this year?

Because they (Woodford County students) were in and out of school constantly last year because of Covid. I didn’t know how this year was gonna be, and I felt like it would be easier to know I have a constant way of learning than repeatedly getting taken out of school and put back in if Covid did get bad again.

How would you describe your high school experience?

Catie Sims talks with me in her backyard. Photo by Kendall Edmonds.

It was just okay. It got taken away from me sophomore year, so I didn’t get to enjoy it like some people. I did grow a lot and learn a lot as a person which is good. 

Why are you choosing to graduate early?

Because I just don’t want to be in high school anymore. As soon as I learned I could graduate early I jumped on that bandwagon because I was ready to be done with this.  

What made you decide to not go to college?

I’m not very good at school. I have a lot of problems with focusing. The idea of going to college scares me because I don’t know if I can go through all of it and I don’t want to be in debt over something I wasn’t good at. 

What are your plans after high school?

I’m not really sure yet, but I’m looking forward to using the second semester as a way to help figure out what I want to do in case I do decide to go to college or something else. 


Do you think people should put less importance on college?

College is absolutely not for everyone. More power to the people who can handle it, but for people like me, it may not be necessary for their career, and they may not even be able to even afford it. The stigma that everyone should go to college in order to be successful is not true. The more that mindset is pushed on people the more harm it does. 

What is your advice to students who may be considering not going to college?

Don’t feel forced into doing something you don’t think will be best for you. There are plenty of other options out there just find one that works for you.  

What are you looking forward to after high school?

Doing adult things. Getting started on my life and being able to live on my own and become who I’ve always wanted to be, even though I don’t know what that is yet.