Aidan: Thoughts from the last semester of college

Hey COM-panions! So, for those of you that don’t know, my name is Aidan, and this is my last semester here in the College of Communication! It’s really great to be saving money by graduating a semester early, but also really sad that I will be leaving pre-maturely. If you have been considering graduating a semester, or even a year early, I thought it might be helpful to let you know how to do it, and what you are getting into.

First, to be able to graduate early, you have to get done all of your 128 credits fast, and you have to cover all your major requirements and your focus. For me, getting out of here a semester early meant making a couple of sacrifices. First, I started with an English minor, but had to drop it to save time. I love English, and wish I could have done the full course load to get my minor, but there came a time where it became more of a burden to find a way to get it done than it was a boon. So, sad as it was, I was not able to do my minor.

Secondly, I had to overload and do summer classes….a lot. I came in with some external credits, which helped, but overloading and taking courses over the summer is what made this all possible. Overloading, to a certain extent, is free (once you qualify to overload without charge). So, overloading is the most effective way to knock out extra classes. For those classes you can’t fit in the schedule, Summer Courses are the way to go. What I did was I found a job on campus that provided housing for free (a lot of them exist!) and also had a schedule where I could take the courses I needed to take over the summer! This freed up a lot of my semester time, and was a great help, but summer classes cost money! So be warned!

After a combo of all of these things, here I am. Not only is this my last semester, but I am part-time (meaning you take less than 12 credits) which means I don’t have to pay for a lot of the fees of being a student here. Financially, this is the best situation I could personally be in. If you think that graduating early will help ease your financial burden, I highly suggest it. But just remember, most of your friends won’t be doing this, which means that your senior year with them may be cut into by your choice to go part-time. Also, overloading and taking summer courses can really put a dent in your free time (which can also barely exist even as a regular college student). This means you have less time to do extra-curriculars, and also less time for perhaps a part-time job or internship.

What I am trying to get across is that this option has both pros and cons. You can save a lot of money, but it can also severely alter your college experience. This was, personally, the best choice for me, and I don’t regret it, but it may not be the best choice for you. If you think you should go this route, talk with your academic advisor! They can tell you if it will be beneficial, and how you can do it. And, if you want, we can sit down and chat about it. Go to Undergrad Affairs, and they can get you in contact with me.

As always: keep it cool, COM

– Aidan

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