Am I doing something wrong if I don't completely love college?
September 10, 2013 8:37 PM   Subscribe

I truly like my school and feel that I have adjusted well. I found a great major, lovely people, and interesting activities. However, I'm looking for the fastest route out of here.

I am only a sophomore in college, and I have always enjoyed school/have had a passion for learning. However, I don't understand why people want to prolong their years in undergrad. I can't wait to get out and I am considering graduating early. Here are my reasons:

- I feel like I've been a slave to assignments, classes, and activities for the majority of my life. I think I'll enjoy going to work for ~8 hours a day and then returning home to do whatever I choose to do with my time. I also look forward to the independence of earning a salary instead of seeing the number I owe increase with each passing year.
- Graduate school is highly competitive (and necessary) for my field so I'm tired of participating in things just to get into another school... and pretty much being told what I "should" do with my time.
- My boyfriend will be graduating soon and I think the fact that he is a little older has had me thinking of what I'll be doing in a few years, as well. Also, we are somewhat long-distance and we've dated through most high school; he's a wonderful person, he encourages me to pursue my dreams, and our relationship continues to improve. I'd like to start our life together, though I am in no rush to get married (I'd like to finish my educational career first.)

Tl;dr Is it typical to want to graduate early, or am I just doing something wrong? (Am I glorifying life after college or just feeling burned out?)
What else can I do to make the most of my time here?
For those of you who believe that your college years were among your best, what made them so? Thanks!
posted by metacognition to Education (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
NOW I believe my college years were the best, but WHILE I was actually there, I just wanted to get out as soon as possible. Don't know what to tell you in terms of making the most of it, but if you can tell yourself "deal with it, this is your life for the next few years" maybe you can stop thinking about getting out. You'll graduate eventually, most people do.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:49 PM on September 10, 2013


You're certainly free to have any views on college you want; you don't have to want it to go on forever. I think your view of post college life is pretty rosy, though. It's really not just riding the gravy train for 8 hours a day and then glorious freedom, particularly in this economy. You may look back to find that you never had so much freedom and leisure as you do now (or at least freedom and leisure of a type you'll never have again). Good luck with your studies.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:49 PM on September 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


I graduated early and don't regret it at all. College was just not my scene. I had friends and did fine but I wanted to be in the real world.
posted by greta simone at 8:59 PM on September 10, 2013


I dropped out of college and spent 3 years working retail, living in the bad part of town, and sleeping in a mattress we pulled out of the dumpster, and I still preferred that to being in college.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:04 PM on September 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


The thing I liked about college was the ability to do so many things. Want to know more about chemistry? How about writing for a newspaper? Run a social club? Go to lectures about alligators and post-Ottoman geopolitics? Be a radio DJ? Etc. Of course, you can do all this stuff outside of school, but you're practically obligated to do it while you're in school, and it's made easy for you. It's like, undergraduate studies are the Dim Sum lunch of life. Later on you will go to graduate school, or you'll get a job, and with luck it will be a focus that you love, but it's rare that you get random feeding at the great salad bar of life the way you might in undergrad.
posted by feets at 9:05 PM on September 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'll enjoy going to work for ~8 hours a day and then returning home to do whatever I choose to do with my time.

This is not the reality for many adults. Long hours, family obligations...it's not really 16 hours a day to do whatever you want. In the same way undergrad probably isn't the happy-go-lucky slack-off that I remember.

FWIW, I loved college and I graduated at 4 years in a school where everyone took 5-6 years to graduate. There's nothing wrong with wrapping it up early. It doesn't mean anything more than that you've finished your degree reqs.
posted by 26.2 at 9:07 PM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sophomore year was easily, easily, the hardest year of college for me. I felt like I'd grasped most of the basics that the standard core curriculum had to offer, and I was more than ready to start diving into the more specialized classes, but the two-year core curriculum meant that years one and especially two were completely filled up with baseline bullshit. It was the only year of college that ever felt rote and interminable. I seriously considered dropping out, which would have been a horrible mistake for me, but it felt that bad to me and I just wanted to be out of there. That whole year fucking sucked.

I'm not going to tell you that it gets better, because who knows if it gets better for you, but my college experience improved radically and dramatically once I was mostly taking classes I actually cared about and that I picked. Maybe that will also be true for you. Assuming you can afford this experiment in both time and money, see how you feel a semester into year three.
posted by Errant at 9:08 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ditto what Admiral Haddock said. You're free to feel however you feel. I think the real question though might have something do with how to profit from the time you have remaining there, because you are going to stay, and I'm presuming you want those to be fun, stimulating years.

With that in mind, it sounds like you feel like there are a lot of unnecessary demands on your effort and time. Are they all necessary? Could you be taking more time for yourself than you are now? Are there any non-school related hobbies that might interest you now? A lot of people I know are well-rounded, interesting people today because they availed themselves of some opportunities that were much more accessible in college than in the real world (e.g. dance classes, guitar lessons).

Which, I suppose, is my real point: college is really no different than the real world except that things are packaged for you already. Ideally, though, that packaging allows you the time to learn and think about things that are important to the world and unrelated to the day-to-day. So take this amazing time now to develop yourself expansively. You always can later, but it becomes more difficult as responsibilities creep in.
posted by vecchio at 9:10 PM on September 10, 2013


Nothing wrong with wanting to graduate early-- I would have liked to have started graduate school earlier if I could. But I think you have unrealistic expectations of what post-college is like. Graduate school is going to make amazing (though less structured) demands of your time, and many professional jobs are not the sort of things where you can just leave your work at the office after 8 hours. Your salary will quickly get eaten up by rent/mortgage, retirement savings, and car repairs.
posted by deanc at 9:16 PM on September 10, 2013


Best answer: There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way.

It's always important to remember the "real world" thing is utter bunk. College is real. After college is real. It's all real, and in both cases people live in any of a billion ways and have a billion different kinds of experiences and wants and needs. Some people work multiple jobs to get through college. Some get drunk every night and never go to class. Without judgment I would say that if any sort of school is the high point of someone's life, that probably means their post-school life hasn't been that great. There can be kind of an "Al Bundy syndrome" where it starts to look really good in hindsight, but that's nothing to hope for! For me, my mid-late 30s have been when I've really started to feel like I "get it" and know exactly where I'm going and what I want to do.

And hey, it's not too soon to start doing all the great things you want to do when you're done school. Do them now! My experience of college was much closer to the "get it over with" end than the "best years of my life" end, but one thing I did love was that I was away from my parents and, within some pretty lax limits, living exactly how I wanted for the first time. Take advantage of that!
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:28 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Graduate school is highly competitive (and necessary) for my field so I'm tired of participating in things just to get into another school... and pretty much being told what I "should" do with my time.

You're starting your sophomore year in a major that's not especially employable. If I may ask, what are you hoping to gain from your time in undergrad?

If you think that a college education is something that "a girl ought to have" before getting married and settling down (and then doing what?), then I think I can see something of the reason why you're not terribly excited to be in college. A college is not a very fun finishing school.

If you think that having a major you're into is important, but you don't like your prospects after graduation (ugh, more school), most majors can be tuned or supplemented with classes that are relevant for an entry-level professional job. Talk to your academic advisor about a career-oriented academic track.

And if you think that college is about doing what you gotta do, like it or hate it, then there's really no better time than now to try out something you don't like quite as much, but that's a little more certain to give you the quality of life you want after graduation. You know, just in case that whole "finish school, get married, have fun" thing doesn't work out quite the way you expect.

The eight-hour work day is mostly a white lie. It's an especially egregious lie in the case of a job where you have any promotion or advancement opportunity whatsoever.

If you're burnt out from school, then consider taking a leave of absence from school for a semester or so. Then either travel the world or work the evening shift at Panera, whichever your situation will allow.
posted by Nomyte at 9:29 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Congratulations, you are growing up!

I loved undergrad and missed undergrad life once I graduated. However, when I went back to do a second degree (Education), I utterly and absolutely hated being in school.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:30 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


What does "start our life together" mean? Like, getting a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence? Or just being in the same location?

Because if he's about to graduate, I wonder why you can't start your life together during college by him joining you at your location. I assume there might be a perfectly good explanation for this (he's a foreign citizen and can't get a visa, or something) but if it's just that he wants/"needs" to get a job elsewhere and expects you to join him when you're done, well... I raise an eyebrow at that.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:39 PM on September 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's OK to not like college. I was absolutely miserable most of the time in college, mostly due to taking classes I wasn't interested in in huge university classrooms with hundreds of people I didn't have much in common with. But also just this feeling of being... trapped. I did enjoy the smaller, more personal courses that supported my major, plus some cool 400-level electives. But those 100-level TA-taught geology lectures nearly killed me.

Some fifteen years after graduation, I can honestly say that I found post-college life to be many times more enjoyable -- I've had jobs with crazy hours and a lot of stress, sure, but no one forced me to learn French at 8a. I'm glad I graduated, but I view my degree simply as an admission ticket to better jobs. I can also say I'm more receptive to learning when I do it on my own pace, and my interest level is much higher because I am learning it for ME, not just to pass some course requirement.

To make your college time more manageable, try to spend this time working on things that will make you more employable. There are a million ways to set yourself apart doing what YOU love to do. If you're an X who also knows about Y, you're instantly a better catch than someone who can only do X.
posted by mochapickle at 9:51 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Its okay to finish early. If you want to, you should do it.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:01 PM on September 10, 2013


Well, "going to work for ~8 hours a day and then returning home to do whatever I choose to do with my time" may be your experience... depending on commute time, what field you're in, and how frugal you are. I definitely had far more time in undergrad than I do in the workforce. But there are a lot of variables, and there are definitely jobs that won't come home with you the way school does.

Keep in mind that it doesn't go "college, (grad school), job, retirement". Past high school it goes wherever way you want: My mother never worked in her undergrad major - she did sales, then assessing, then got a teaching credential, taught for years, recertified repeatedly for educational admin jobs, consulted independently for several years, started teaching in a different field, and recently moved into educational technology and administration again. I'll probably never work in a job that's directly based on my major, though I expect to apply the skills and knowledge I gained in undergrad in a variety of ways.

And you don't have to do All College, All The Time. I volunteered (which led to my current job) and learned to cook and weld and run nonprofits. All those were far more fun, and probably far more useful, than most of my classes.

Finally... If you're taking out loans, get done fast. Every year is more you owe.
posted by sibilatorix at 10:09 PM on September 10, 2013


I have a job where I work for 8 hours and then go home and slack off and do hobbies and fun stuff, but that will depend on what field you were looking into. I'm assuming that if your field requires grad school, you may not be in one of those fields though, so keep that in mind.

Why don't you try graduating early (if you can stand to do EVEN MORE WORK and less free time than you have even now, though) and then take a year off before grad school and see how you feel about it?

I'm with you though, I like actually earning money and having free time and was pretty burned out by senior year myself--and I normally like school.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:14 PM on September 10, 2013


I think the way you feel makes a lot of sense. Being in school year after year can get tiring and old. There's nothing at all wrong with you wanting a new kind of existence. Go for it, graduate early.
posted by Dansaman at 10:19 PM on September 10, 2013


I feel like I've been a slave to assignments, classes, and activities for the majority of my life. I think I'll enjoy going to work for ~8 hours a day and then returning home to do whatever I choose to do with my time. I also look forward to the independence of earning a salary instead of seeing the number I owe increase with each passing year.

I don't know about you, but when I was in high school, I felt like university represented an awesome sort of freedom in which people studied what they liked, weren't subject to parental scrutiny, and did all kinds of interesting and cosmopolitan things, like discussing philosophy over lunch or learning glassblowing in their spare time or whatever.

It wasn't like that. At all. I found it pretty disappointing. My expectations just did not line up with reality.

Then, starting around sophomore year of university, I started thinking longingly about life after college, about putting in my 8 hours and then coming home to enjoy a leisurely evening doing what I wanted to do. I thought about all the things I'd do with my (assuredly wonderful) salary: the trips I'd take, the fun things I'd buy, the apartment I'd live in.

Well, it isn't like that. At all. I've spent most of the last three years struggling (hard!) to make ends meet, being disappointed in myself, moving around the country to find a job, and trying to adjust my expectations. I'm financially independent out of necessity (I have had no parental support since I was a teenager), but I'm certainly not living the kind of life I or any other recent graduate would want. In the current economy, depending on your field, you'll be extremely fortunate to find a salaried position upon graduation, and competition is brutal. Also, college may FEEL really independent and unstructured, but there's actually quite a support system which makes it hard to fuck things up too much. Once you're a nominal adult, there's a lot more at stake and a lot less assistance. If you fuck things up, you fuck things up, and it's on YOU to fix them.

All this to say I didn't like college much either, but I would caution you against being too optimistic about what the "real world" is like. I think a lot of universities do students an immense disservice by setting them up to believe that because they attended X University and work hard enough, their lives will be fine upon graduation. It sucks, but that just isn't true anymore.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:22 PM on September 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Best answer: - I feel like I've been a slave to assignments, classes, and activities for the majority of my life. I think I'll enjoy going to work for ~8 hours a day and then returning home to do whatever I choose to do with my time. I also look forward to the independence of earning a salary instead of seeing the number I owe increase with each passing year.

This was my experience. On the whole I enjoyed being in college but I loved being done with it and having that clear separation between home life and work life. It was incredibly liberating to be free of homework for basically the first time ever.

I also graduated early, as did a bunch of my friends. Nobody has regretted it for an instant. And although it was a little painful at first when I went back to grad school a couple years later, I think having a couple of years of work experience in between was really beneficial.

Now granted this does depend somewhat on exactly what industry you're going to be working in--I'm fortunate enough to be in a field where there are work-8-hours-a-day-then-go-home jobs, and where having time off before grad school isn't a bad thing. But if that describes your field as well, then I think you've got the right idea.
posted by equalpants at 10:27 PM on September 10, 2013


I graduated college two years ago, and I now I have a medium-demanding job in a semi-related field with room for advancement that allows me to go home and knit or watch TV for six hours or cook an elaborate dinner or sleep or read a book if I want to. And it's cool? I might apply to grad school in a year or two but I haven't decided yet. I really needed time off from school, and I almost dropped out about three times, so I don't know-- adult life isn't the worst thing in the world. More responsibility, but it's not like you graduate college and suddenly have a mortgage and three kids.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:02 AM on September 11, 2013


Best answer: I don't think OP was imagining a paradise of 16 hours of complete freedom outside of work. The effect is real, provided you have decent work hours. You don't have to stay up to 2 AM studying or writing last-minute papers; you can come home and just cook or go to a movie, and you are done with your obligations for the day. I recall being surprised by just how much I liked this, when I was welcomed to the working week after school.

I like hearing you talk about graduating early instead of some daydream of taking time off and one day coming back to finish. Some people do come back, but is much easier to finish while you have momentum and are, in fact, enrolled and in good standing. Once you get those loans, you really need to just power on through and get done. I have friends with big piles of student debt and no degree; it is dismal.
posted by thelonius at 3:18 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't like college. I had all the work of high school plus I had to pay for it, plus get myself there and back on my own. I had to work, so I commuted. Don't forget the teachers who didn't care whether I showed up or not.

But I'm different. I'm older than you, plus I didn't go to grad school and I'm not an academic like others here. I work the 9-5 office job that many people would call soul-sucking (I enjoy it) and, 90% of the time once I get home I'm done with work and my time is my own. Factor in chores, dinner, dogs & husband and sometimes I don't have all night to do nothing. And I have a salary!

Get out as quickly as you can, and keep in the back of your head that you don't *have* to go to grad school. I know plenty of young people with a Bachelor's degree (I refuse to say "only" a Bachelor's degree) who have good jobs, and we all work in the same cube farm with people who have advanced degrees.
posted by kimberussell at 4:15 AM on September 11, 2013


i love working 8 hour days or well sometimes more. the best part is now I get paid and can do things with my money. when I come home I am somewhat responsible but with no kids and no homework it is great. I graduated college 4 years ago and love what I do. I do not want to go back to college!

so I do not think there is anything wrong. plus if you graduate quickly it might mean less student loans if you have those.
posted by Jaelma24 at 4:59 AM on September 11, 2013


I fucking hated college. However, I still absolutely harangue anyone who expresses an interest in early graduation. Real life sucks.
posted by notsnot at 5:06 AM on September 11, 2013


Best answer: I had a really terrible time at college for some of the reasons you describe plus a few others. Part of the problem was that 1. I was totally unchallenged and 2. I felt terrible for not having the best time of my life. Everyone else seemed to be having a great time, and I just wanted to move on.

So I graduated and got about a hundred times happier, and I've stayed that way. Some people are just built for real life. It helps that I have a good-paying job that I love and that I can leave at the office. I work, and when I come home it's time for dinner parties or bike rides through the park or drunk board games. Life is fun.

Three things that did make college better:
1. Study abroad, if it's financially possible.
2. Have your own projects that are completely unrelated to your schoolwork and extracurriculars. I made terrible paintings and wrote short stories.
3. Have friends who aren't college students. For me this was...my professors, several of whom I'm still close with six years later. Sometimes college students just suck.
posted by punchtothehead at 5:09 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always worked and went to school. It took me 7 years to complete my undergrad (I did go to ASU for 3 years so PAR-TAY!)

I loved the social aspects of it, but the actual sitting in boring classes and assignments, not so much.

My goal the entire time I was in school was to graduate and get out of it. To get on with being a full-fledged adult.

So no, you're entitled to feel the way you feel. Also it's smart to graduate early, you'll save money.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:39 AM on September 11, 2013


It's not wrong to feel however you feel. Period.

That said, what I think is great about college is how free you are. To choose to have free time, to choose to be busy, to choose to learn, or what have you. While everything later also involves choice and is what you make of it, this freedom almost certainly won't increase when you get out into the adult working world. Your long-distance relationship might become close, but otherwise (and in some ways even including that) you'll find yourself increasingly constrained. You're not likely to find the 9-5 you're imagining, and if you do, that will come with its own significant problems.

There's nothing wrong with graduating early. But I do think you're glorifying life in the working world more than it will prove to deserve.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:50 AM on September 11, 2013


I'm not sure if by "prolong their college experience" you mean finishing in 5 years instead of 4 or just not being in a hurry to graduate, but these are things I've noticed as a former student and current university staffer:

Some people are in college for the experience more than the academics - they are often not in a hurry to finish.

Some people are putting themselves through school and can only afford to take so many classes per semester.

At the university where I work students have to get special permission to take more than the standard number of credits per semester. Most schools do want their students to actually graduate and not be spread too thin, especially when many students are working or doing internships at the same time.

At the start of their sophomore year, students are often just beginning to feel like they know their way around college, both literally and figuratively, and like they are a part of the school. Senior year seems a long way away, and my school for one doesn't require students to have declared a major until they're halfway through their sophomore year.

The economy still isn't great and I hear a lot of students talking about how they expect to move back in with their parents after graduation. This can make liife after graduation sound a lot less fun.


Basically, it's not unusual to feel like college isn't The Best Years of Your Life (really, a lot of that is put on students by their parents and other people who have been out of school for a while), but it is less common to graduate early, often simply because of the school's requirements and limits on credits (I have a friend whose daughter is beginning a second major as a Junior because she's finished the requirements for her primary major but doesn't have enough credits to graduate yet).

Also, you're probably not going to encounter so many students who feel the way you do because they have either dropped out (most students who drop out do so before completing their sophomore year), they are not around a lot because they are in long-distance relationships or otherwise committed to a lot of things off-campus, or they're immersed in coursework for the extra classes they're taking in order to graduate early.

In about a year you'll start to notice more of your classmates talking about graduating early - that's usually when the combination of accumulated credits and wanting to be done, already, hits.
posted by camyram at 5:54 AM on September 11, 2013


I hated college with a passion, loved working and absolutely loved graduate school (so much that I did it twice). If I could have graduated early, I would have done it in a heartbeat. For a variety of reasons, the way the undergrad educational experience (academic, social, etc.) was structured simply did not work for me. I felt boxed in and trapped; I only felt a sense of freedom when in grad school and while working.

I say, graduate soonest and move on to the next stuff you want to do whatever that is!
posted by skye.dancer at 6:13 AM on September 11, 2013


Response by poster: Thank you all so much for your responses! I'd just like to clarify a few things:

- When I say graduating early, I mean in less than four years. I have friends and peers who are in their senior year and every one of them has told me that they don't want college to end, so that's what I mean by wanting to prolong undergrad. I'm not sure if they want to escape the "real world" or if their time here has been so great that they want to stay.

- The boyfriend situation: I did not mean (nor do I want) marriage, kids, suburban life anytime soon... far from that! I just want to cohabit, do cool stuff, and just enjoy being young adults who are truly independent of our parents. I guess the issue is that I don't see how, if he does become employed soon, he could afford to sustain both of us, particularly while I am still a student. If I am fortunate enough to get a job in my field, I am expected to make significantly more money than he is, so I guess it seems like I'm waiting on me.

- Graduate school is necessary not because my current major is unemployable, but because it is part of the "track" towards a profession. I could skip graduate school, but if I follow through, I'll have much greater job prospects and more chances to find a job I'll enjoy.

I'm thinking it is a combination of my expectations/what I'd been told not lining up with reality, as well as my desire for, as equalpants put it, a clear separation between home life and work life. I appreciate your responses!
posted by metacognition at 6:46 AM on September 11, 2013


I really enjoyed college but I prefer working. I'm going to school at nights, which can be stressful, but I don't think anything could convince me to go back to school full-time. I think a lot depends on your personality; I know so many people who love-love-love being in school, but I prefer reading up on things on my own time, and having a reliable source of income. (I know that I'm lucky to have a job, given the economy.) I mostly miss college because of the wonderful friends I got to see all the time, not because of the classes.
posted by mlle valentine at 6:47 AM on September 11, 2013


i graduated a semester early from college. i was VERY proud of that though my friends thought i was an idiot because parties! beer! etc! but graduating early was a good choice for me because a) it saved me and my parents about ten grand; b) it gave me a semester before grad school to work and save money; c) it gave me a bit of time to not be in school after having been in school for pretty much my whole life. not everyone has to love college and graduating early could be a good choice for you. don't let what is "normal" or what your friends think decide your path for you.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:46 AM on September 11, 2013


The sophomore slump is very real. Some people prefer school to the "real world" while others prefer the opposite.

It sounds like you are romanticizing the real world too. You may have a 9 to 5 job... you may not. Some jobs will want you to take work home with you at night, work longer than 8 hour days, and/or be accessible by email/ phone when you are out of the office.

Unfortunately, part of being a "grown up" is doing tasks that are boring and tedious. Your future boss may have a particular preference for a way something is done that "defies all logic," but you have to do it his way. Unlike in college, this figure of authority doesn't disappear at the end of the school semester. Like in college, the figure of authority gives you work that you must complete.

Socializing after college... is different. It's much harder to meet people and "hang out" with them. People are often "too tired," and have family to attend to/ errands to run, etc. FWIW "doing cool stuff" often costs $$ or needs time or more people or something else you don't have. And are you aware that the average number of vacation days U.S. full-time employees get after a year on the job, is 8.1?

I'm saying all this not to be a downer, but rather to point out that no stage in life is going to be perfect. This is the last time in your life where the experience is centered around you. At best, the real world is indifferent about your existence. In the mean time, take advantage of what your school offers you.

You should consider taking some inspiring (advanced level) classes next term. Do an independent study/ research with a Professor. Take advantage of the crazy extracurriculars/ athletic facilities. Go to random club meetings/ lectures. Consider studying abroad for a term/ summer.

There are also somethings you can do now to get closer the life style you prefer. Learn/ polish skills that will make you more employable in the future. If you are a "humanities" person, learn quantitative skills. If you are a "STEM" person, make sure you can write well. Visit the career center and run your resume by them. Make a schedule, and stick to it, so that you don't have to do any homework after dinner. You will never take homework home with you if you do all your studying in places besides your room. Get a job/ internship for the $$/ real world experience. Go off campus sometimes, and when you can move off campus.

In sum, I don't think it's worth racing to get to next stage in life. There's always going to be the Disneyland ideal of something and then the reality. The best you can do is make the best choices you can to get the life style you want.
posted by oceano at 10:59 AM on September 11, 2013


It is emphatically NOT wrong to wish college was over already so you can move on with your life. It's how I felt, too. I wanted to graduate early, and wish I had, and didn't, per my parents' wishes that I "enjoy" my time in college. In the end, aside from some friends I would have missed, I think I would have rather gotten on with my life. If I had been paying my own way through college, I absolutely would have graduated early.

All that said, I do miss certain aspects of college--the flexible schedule and the intellectual rigor most of all--but does having had a year more of it in my early 20s made me miss it less 15 years later? I doubt it.

Assuming you don't pay per credit, you could always go ahead and earn enough credits to graduate early...and then if you start having a better time in school, take the time to learn something you might not have otherwise or that might increase your marketability. Another language, for example, or web design.
posted by elizeh at 4:13 PM on September 11, 2013


I graduated early -- both from high school and college, which gave me about six months in between them, and six months in between college and grad school. It was nice to have some travel, summer jobs, and fun time in between all that school. I don't regret getting through it quickly. (And my friends were from a number of different years, so it's not like everyone was graduating at the same time anyway.) If it's a reasonable option for you, take it. (And if you can find a way to both get into your grad school and rest a little in between, then your experience of grad school may be better too.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:36 PM on September 11, 2013


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