The early bird gets the worm.
The decision to graduate early is a tough one. Am I ready to be completely independent? Am I missing out on the full four-year college experience? Am I leaving my friends behind? The decision to graduate early may be due to financial reasons, those extra few classes you stacked on each semester or over the summers, or you are just ready to start a new phase of life. No matter the reason, these are a few thoughts that run through your mind when you’re cutting a semester or even a year out of your college career:
1. I hope I get a job.
Getting through college is a major accomplishment in itself, but going through it at warp speed is especially impressive. Graduating school early will show employers you have the drive and dedication to make a great employee. Don’t stress.
2. Is it worth saving the money?
College is ridiculously expensive. Whether you’re pocketing the cost by yourself or you have some help, graduating early can save thousands. The real question is: What can I do with all this extra moneeeeyyyyy?!
3. I’m going to beat the competition in a job search.
Graduating a semester early will put you out into the job market in an off-peak time. You will have a leg up on others when it comes to standing out in front of employers because your resume won’t be lost in a stack of hundreds of others.
4. Should I just pick up a minor instead?
I mean, there is that one subject I’ve always loved but never thought to do anything with it. Maybe now’s the perfect time to dabble in something new. Who knows – maybe I’ll discover a new passion.
5. I could also just fill my entire schedule with fun classes.
Wine tasting, yoga, scuba diving, zombie apocalypse survival…there are endless options for unique classes regardless of your university. Why not spend some time doing things you’d probably never experience or learn somewhere else?
6. I’m going to have so much time to relax.
College is exhausting, so maybe you don’t want to immediately start a job. That’s OK. You can spend your time traveling the world and meeting new people, or even just making Netflix-watching a full-time hobby. No judgment either way.
7. You have all the time in the world for grad school exams/applications.
Just when you thought you were done with school earlier than everyone else, you realize you should probably go to grad school if you want to be competitive in your field. As much as deciding to go back to school seems like a damper on your “I’m-done-with-school-forever-parade,” you have to realize that now that you’re not a full-time student, you have time for things like grad school exams and applications.
8. I’m going to be in the real world soon…
It’s going to happen regardless of if you leave school early or not. So why not just get a head start? The worst that could happen is you freak out and spend the rest of your life living in your parents’ basement. That’s not too bad, right?
9. I’m going to miss graduating with my best friends.
So, maybe you will miss walking at graduation with your best friends. But you always have the opportunity to take a day or weekend trip to your university for their graduation and cheer them on as loud as you can. You can be there for them on their special day, because nine times out of ten, they were probably there for you on your special day.
10. Have I made the most of college?
Lifelong friends, internships, free resources, student organizations, Greek life – these make up a huge part of most college students’ experiences. If you threw yourself into everything you could, of course you made the most of your college experience. You should feel proud of the impact you made and memories you created while in college. Now, you can continue to make waves in the real world.
11. This is really happening...
You’re graduating early. Congrats! You put in the work and now you’re preparing to write the next chapter of your life. Live every day with the drive you have up to this point, and you’re sure to make the most of life. You've got this.
Article originally published here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/thoughts-graduating-early.