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What’s Up At EC: The (Graduating) Early Bird Gets the Worm

“Wait, you’re a senior?”

That’s probably the most common question I’ve gotten all year. Yes, I’m graduating early, and yes, it wasn’t too difficult, and YES, I know I’m crazy for doing it.

The best part of graduating early? I’m not alone. Almost every major has at least one student finishing up their major in six or seven semesters rather than the traditional eight.

“There are more students doing it than I expected but I still feel like we’re in the minority,” said Hub Editor, Melissa Mecchi, an English Communication student graduating next spring rather than in 2015.

“I had actually planned on staying later and studying abroad a couple semesters,” said Rachael Love, a Biochemistry student graduating this year (originally Class of 2014). “However, halfway through my  first semester my parents told me that they wouldn’t be able to pay for my education, so there went my study abroad plan. I decided to aim for three years to save myself from too much student loan debt.”

“I expected to be here all four years but maybe have a lighter class load than most,” Mecchi said, but she participated in a Early Enrollment Program in high school and earned eight college courses worth of credit. Love earned credits through AP classes, and tested out of ITech, First-Year Writing, and a semester of foreign language, and has taken five classes and two labs each semester.

“I ran into a lot of conflicts with certain classes only being offered at certain times,” Love said. “There were definitely stressful points, especially towards the end of semesters like now. But I really enjoyed the classes and I get a year to kind of collect my thoughts and breathe before I move on to the next phase of my life.”

Mecchi, however, has found the process easy.

“Four of my general requirements were covered by my early credits,” she said, “and one of my high school classes fit a major requirement.”

Of course, early credits aren’t the only reasons students are graduating early.

“I only had to take out loans for one year and I’m already applying to full time jobs so, fingers crossed, I’ll be in a full-time position by this fall,” Love said. “Taking so many classes did take a toll on my social life though. It would have been nice to have had the freedom to go out to dinner with friends or even audition for plays/musicals like I used to in high school.

But, of course, the benefits outweigh the downsides, which may be why so many students are taking the quick route out of Emmanuel.

“I’m not paying a fourth year of tuition but still getting a great education at a great price,” Mecchi said. “My dad recently added up how much we spent on the credits in high school and it came to less than $2,000 spread over two years. I definitely cannot complain about that!”

What’s up at EC? Discuss graduating early (or anything else at EC) in the comments below.

Posted by on April 10, 2013. Filed under Around Campus,Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.