Graduating early: Do what feels right

Via FIU Flickr.

Andres Davila | News Director

Graduation is something college students desire the most. However, Paola Manzano wrote about the disadvantages of shortening your undergraduate career, which has led me to believe in its toxicity.

Ultimately, it depends on the person. This comes from someone who will be completing college in under three years.

The usual route for undergraduate studies is a four-year education. We must acknowledge our different academic backgrounds and goals. Some of us are ahead because of Advanced Placement courses or dual enrollment credits, while others are starting from scratch. Some are even returning to school after taking some time off.

Based on what I have done in three years, I feel it’s time to graduate. From studying abroad to completing two internships, I believe it was the right decision to graduate with only three years of undergraduate studies. 

Doing three years of college studies was not as overwhelming as people make it out to be.

It’s possibly due to my academic background. Coming from a continuous cycle of stress and academic validation throughout my life before college, I control what I want to learn and study.

I did not bombard myself with coursework or have the pressure to graduate early. It was the opposite. I was taking four courses each semester, including two during the summer, and I was able to balance between school and life. 

Sure, there were moments when it felt stressful, but remember that nothing good comes easy. It takes effort and time to balance your studies and internship while maintaining your sanity throughout college.

College is also where I learned to manage my time and spend time away from school, things I had not taken upon myself when I was younger. Truthfully, I am still a work in progress.

Doing this may seem hectic, but I couldn’t have done it without my support system. Not just to maintain my friends who are older than me or to feel superior for graduating college early, but because it took me certain moments throughout my studies to understand that it does not have to feel rushed.

Regardless of your major, you should graduate when it feels right.

Manzano mentions how early graduation can bring many mental health burdens and academic validation, which impacts the job search and view of life after college. 

However, the transition out of university life is hard in general. It’s known as “practice shock,” which is the uneasy feeling between the two stages of life. Some students even combine both these stages, which brings pros and cons.

At the end of this, there is no deadline you need to follow up on. You are the deadline.

If you know what you want to do for your career and prefer to graduate early, that’s great! 

But that is not the case for everyone. Life happens, and abrupt changes like changing career paths or financial circumstances could set students back. It leads to delays in graduation or studies being cut short. That is also okay! 

It’s admirable to be in college or returning to college after taking some time off. The priority is the student itself, a constant emphasis that advising departments must be aware of.

Everybody has a different story and motivation for going to college. Nobody should feel guilty about not graduating early or graduating on time. This also goes for internships and research opportunities.

Graduate when it feels right — You direct the rest of your life.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Be the first to comment on "Graduating early: Do what feels right"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.