Pros and Cons of Graduating Early


As UCSD seniors prep for graduation in the coming weeks, I can't help but second-guess and re-consider my decision to graduate after only three years of my undergraduate career. Am I making the right decision? Am I taking the easy way out? Am I leaving too early? These thoughts are constantly on my mind, but especially these last few weeks of school, as the reality of me going from being sophomore to a senior real quick hits me. Next year, I will be the one in the cap and gown taking grad pictures, completing my senior bucket list items, attending commencement ceremonies, and receiving my diploma. If you're considering ending your undergraduate experience early, here are some of my thoughts that I weighed in making my final decision, and hopefully you're able to make an educated one.


  • One of the most obvious ones - you don't get to spend another year with the best friends you feel like you just made. The thought of not seeing my best friends anymore and having to start all over really frightens me.
  • Not enough time to do the things you want to - I've made my bucket list of things to do before I leave college, and there's a lot on it. It's going to be hard to complete everything before leaving in a year. I also won't be able to become certain leadership positions in my organizations because the term for them is calendar year and not school year.
  • You have to REALLY plan ahead - It was a harsh shock for me when I realized I had to sign up for the GRE asap so I could take it on time to apply to grad school.
  • You have to apply to grad school in the first half of your 3rd year. That's scary early. Or you have to decide if you're not going to grad school and you're going to travel or work - and although these decisions have to be made eventually, when they have to be made a year earlier, it seems a bit more daunting.



  • One of the best ones - You're saving SO much money. Not having to pay for three quarters worth of tuition is such a blessing, and really sealed the deal for me in making my final decision.
  • It makes you make a decision - Although deciding to go to grad school was something I always saw myself doing, the quick time crunch made me finally and strongly decide. I had to choose one path out of the many paths, but I finally did.
  • I'm actually super excited to get the opportunity to study what I want to study and further my passion about psychology and education! 


With these pros and cons in mind, I made my decision to graduate undergrad in three years, and while I will miss UCSD and the home I've found here, I'm exciting for what lies ahead.