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Why I Decided to Graduate Early

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

College goes by so fast, sometimes I wish it could go on forever. There’s something so special about living in a town with all of your friends less than a mile away. You all have similar schedules, similar responsibilities and all around similar lifestyles. It’s the last stop in life before we become real adults with actual responsibilities. All that being said, I still decided I wanted to graduate early.

A big reason why I wanted to go to UNH was because it has such an amazing study abroad program. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring semester of 2020, I knew there was a chance that I wouldn’t be able to study abroad as planned in the spring of 2021. The longer the pandemic persisted (and continues to persist) the less likely it seemed like I was going to be able to go. When it officially got cancelled, I instantly knew that I still wanted to travel in whatever way I could. I emailed my advisor right away to inquire about whether it would be possible for me graduate early. When she said I could, I started planning on graduating in December of 2021.

I know you may be thinking, “But Emma, you don’t need to graduate early to travel, you could just go in May.” I know this. But I knew I wanted to get started on my travel experience before I graduated, or at least before the time I would have graduated. I didn’t want to fall behind on the timeline of my career, but I also know the travel experience help me figure out exactly what I want to do for my career, as well as where I may want to do it.

While I’m sad that I will be leaving all of my friends in Durham while I go abroad, I chose to do what I knew would make me the happiest. I’ll miss my friends and I’ll definitely have FOMO, but I would regret it if I made a decision based out of fear. While my friends are in class and taking exams, I’ll be traveling the world and figuring out who I truly am by getting out of my comfort zone.

I would recommend to anybody considering graduating early, just do it. It’s definitely scary at first, and I would be lying if I said I was always confident in my decision, but it’s important to follow your dreams, especially if they take you off the beaten path. As great as college is, it’s not the beginning nor the end of your life. You get to keep all the friends and all the nights out, just without homework now. Don’t be afraid to do something different from the norm.

Happy on the beach with some sushi
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