Is it Worth it to Graduate Early?

Recently I have been faced with the decision of graduating early. My first reaction was, “that would be great! Why wouldn’t I take that opportunity?” But then I began to think about the repercussions of that decision. There are so many pros and cons to graduating early, so here is a list to maybe help you decide what is the best decision for you if you are in this position. 

Pros: 

Less Semesters, less stress

With one less semester, there’s going to be less stress from school. With the time away from school, you can look further into your options for your next move in life. You can start looking for jobs, apply to grad school, take a gap year. The beauty of having the free time is that you now have the ability to explore these options that you might not have been able to look into if you were still in school. I know that for me it is extremely difficult to find the time to explore that I want to do after school. 

Internships and jobs

By graduating early, you can gain an entire semester of experience with an internship or being your career with a job. Even if you had done internships and work over the summer months, this time can be used productively to gain more work experience. Additionally, by looking before the influx of newly graduated students, you will have an advantage since there may be less competition. 

Grad School

If you are thinking of grad school, this time may be the perfect time to study for the test, whether that’s the MCATs or the LSATs, especially if you plan on taking a gap year after school. If you have already applied or have been applying to grad schools, the four months leading up to the new school year can have a break from schooling, and be used as a time to reset before having another 3-5 years of schooling. 

Cons:

Have to be ready

In making this decision, you have to be ready for life after college. Personally, I don’t know if I’m ready to no longer be a college student, or a student at all. Also, you need your after graduation plan to be ready months earlier and need to be prepared for the future sooner. 

Memories

Everyone talks about college being the best time of your life. That being said do I, or even you, want to cut it short? The memories I have made in school have been the best of my life, and by leaving a semester early I may miss out on those important memories with my friends. If anything, the memories that are made at school are priceless, and the memories that will be made in that semester will be too. 

Senior outings

Senior outings occur mainly in the spring semester of your senior year. If you were to graduate early, there is a high chance that you may be missing some quintessential and monumental events. Again, the memory component is a huge aspect, but it’s also almost like a rite of passage to attend events that are only for seniors. 

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Ultimately, the decision is up to you and will be different based on your goals and aspirations. It depends on what you value the most and what is less important to you. Every decision will be different with every person’s schedules, remaining classes, and career goals. However, whatever decision you make will be the best decision for you.