The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As I start my last semester of undergrad, I’ve started to think about all of the things that make me happy to graduate a year early and all of the things that make me sad. Everyone has a different journey that they take in their academic career, and I made the decision as a high school senior to graduate from college early. I come from a low income household, so the concept of graduating with less debt truly appealed to me. However, after taking many courses, making friends, experiencing a global pandemic, and more, I have started to truly appreciate all that I have experienced as an undergraduate student before my time here is done.
With that being said, here are three pros and cons that I think are important to consider when thinking about graduating early.
Pro #1 – Start my career sooner
As a communication major, I truly love that I have many career options, so I am excited to finally get to choose one once I graduate. As of right now, I am interested in project management and advertising, so as this semester progresses, I can begin applying for jobs. After all of the work that I’ve put into my courses in order to gain knowledge and keep a 3.9 GPA, I am ready to start working and applying what I have learned.
Pro #2 – Graduate with less debt
As I said earlier in this article, I come from a low income household so I’ve become accustomed to thinking about finances a lot. Since I am cutting out a year of college, that means I don’t have to pay two more semesters of tuition, room and board, etc. It’s honestly a great feeling knowing that I will have a small amount of debt, so I can pay it back quickly and start using my income to build generational wealth.
Pro #3 – Partake in hobbies/activities that I’ve been interested in
The past three years have been extremely busy with managing courses, internships, jobs, etc., so I am excited to hopefully have some free time! I truly want to be able to watch TV, read books, and maybe even try pottery. I think once I am not involved in so many collegiate activities, I will have more time to try new things and practice self-care.
Con #1 – Start my career sooner
I know this was my first pro on the list, but it is also a con. Even though I am excited to start my career, I am also nervous. Graduating early and starting my career means dealing with the stress of post-grad life. I have been in school for over fifteen years, so losing the structure of having classes and grades is going to be a big change. I will have to start navigating adulthood and figuring out who I am outside of a college environment. It’s important to acknowledge that things will change after graduating, but I am hopeful for the future!
Con #2 – Less time to make memories with my friends
During my time at college, I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing people. I love being able to make friends and living close to them. Many of my friends are from Long Island or the West coast, so I know it may be hard to see them after graduation. I am going to especially miss all of the members of HCOZ because being a part of this organization has truly created such a positive impact on my life, and I am thankful for all of the memories that I have made. Graduating early means that I can no longer spend time with everyone and make those memorable moments. My goal is to make the most of this last semester and keep in touch with everyone as best as I can.
Con #3 – Less time to gain experience in internships/co-ops
If I had more time here at SUNY Oswego, I could possibly get another internship or gain more volunteer experience. I am currently in my second internship, and it has helped me gain so much real world experience. I truly love working in an office environment with so many friendly people, and I am thankful for all that I have learned. My current supervisor has helped me grow so much as a person and as a business professional, so I am going to miss her so much. If I didn’t have to graduate early, I would definitely keep gaining as much experience as possible before starting my career.
I only have a few more months at this beautiful, lakeside university, and I plan on making the most of it. I am going to make sure I spend as much time as I can with friends and cherish all of the moments that I experience. I do not regret the decision that I made years ago to graduate early, but I’m glad that I acknowledge how things could be different. SUNY Oswego will always be home to me, and I am happy that I made the decision to attend! <3