When we think of a bachelor’s degree, we think of a four-year degree, right? It doesn’t have to be that way. If you work hard enough, you can graduate a semester early, or maybe even a year early. If you make a plan, and follow these tips, you’ll be in a cap and gown before you know it:
Take summer courses: Save some of your extracurricular classes for the summer so you get them out of the way, but won’t get bogged down with lots of homework. Consider taking something fun like yoga or bowling. If you run out of extracurriculars, see if your college offers summer pre-sessions, so you won’t waste away your summer behind a desk.
Find a major and don’t change it: It’s usually the five-year seniors who can’t seem to pick a major. So, unless you’re planning on joining them, have your major set in stone by your sophomore year. If you’re deciding between a few, pick the major that will allow you to have the most career options. Remember that you will have plenty of time after you graduate to pick another degree if need be.
Test out of college courses: If you feel like you’re ahead of the class, talk to your teacher about testing out. If you excel in something, like a foreign language, professors will let you move up a class and give you credit, free of charge, for the class you tested out of.
Set up your course schedule: And be sure to stick to it! Meet with an adviser and have him or her help you plan out each semester. This is especially important if you go to a small college. Most liberal arts colleges may offer a specific course only one time a year, or maybe every other year, so it’s necessary that your schedule matches up with the university’s schedule.
Spend some time at a community college: Community college courses are usually less challenging and more flexible. These courses are particularly useful if you have a busy work schedule, and the classes are cheaper, too. Before you enroll, make sure these classes will transfer to your four-year college or university. The last thing you need on your plate is to retake a class.
Graduating early isn’t easy, but if you stay goal-oriented and organized, you can get it, get out and save time and money.
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