One step ahead

Basay Tayfun on Graduating Early


For most students, walking across the stage at graduation is a culmination of four years in high school. For Basay Tayfun, however, it will be the culmination of three years. Basay Tayfun started this school year as a junior after living in Turkey. 

“ I lived in Turkey for 10 years, I came back last summer,” Tayfun said. “[I lived in the United States] when I was little.” 

Despite starting the year as a junior, Tayfun is graduating this June and is now considered a senior.

“I just got coded as a senior,” Tayfun said. “I think that [happened at] the beginning of March so that they could match Naviance and Common App so I could apply to colleges.”

Tayfun’s main motivation for graduating early was to not waste a year where he could be doing something more valuable. 

“[Graduating early] feels great because… I feel like high school is kind of [strenuous],” Tayfun said. “I was looking at my course request form (CRF) for grade 12, and I felt like I was just selecting courses just to pass the time, free time… I feel like with a whole year, I’m just wasting it [in high school].”

Tayfun  considered graduating early at the beginning of this year, but originally put the thought aside after reviewing his transcript.

“I wanted to see if I could graduate early this year, but I didn’t have enough credits for the Advanced Diploma,” Tayfun said. “In November, I took a term sheet, and I didn’t know about that when I was enrolling here in August. So I took the exam in November, and I got like, four credits… and then I learned that this class I took from Turkey gave me extra credit.”

After acquiring some of his missing credits, Tayfun spontaneously decided to graduate early in late February,

“I decided to graduate early [in] late February,” Tayfun said. “I mean, that’s a hectic story… I had to take three classes: grade 12 English, government, and economics. I didn’t know that you could take those classes online during the spring. So I asked my counselor about it, and she said that I could just like, start grade 12  next week or something online. It all just happened and… it wasn’t planned.”

Tayfun will be participating in many senior-related activities like senior experience. 

[My senior experience will be] my online class, I have to get those done,” Tayfun said. 

Tayfun found that the most challenging  part of graduating early was applying to colleges. 

“[Applying to colleges] was so crazy… I had to write six essays in just a week,” Tayfun said. “One was about what would you add to campus life… Then why choose George Mason, or why Georgetown or one other question was, ‘reflect on a time which helped you develop as a person and grow as an individual.’ Another one was… ‘why did you pick this major?’”

Connected to the college application process, Tayfun unexpectedly had to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) in March.

“I wasn’t planning to take it,” Tayfun said. “I was planning to take it over the summer when I didn’t have much going on. So when I just applied early, I had to take the exam… I applied for the SAT last minute. The application closed [on the] 28th of February and I just applied that night at 10 p.m. or something… I didn’t study at all.”

Tayfun applied late to George Mason University and will be attending this fall. 

“​​I’m going to major in Global Affairs and International Affairs… maybe do a minor in music,” Tayfun said. 

Tayfun plays the piano and his favorite memories of his time at the school are linked with being in the band. 

“[My favorite memory of this year is the] band trip, we went to Myrtle Beach,” Tayfun said. “The winter concert where the Army band came was awesome, that was great.”