5 Tips for Graduating College Early

Take it from me. I’ve been there, done that.  Each of these tips are proven to work.  Remember that graduating early isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes hard work that most people aren’t willing to do.  But if you’re willing to put in the work, here ya go:

#5 Don’t switch majors

Switching majors, especially when done well into one’s college career, is a recipe for an extended stay.  The only problem is that unlike the Extended Stay hotel chain, this one is costing you $5-20K a semester. My suggestion? Either know exactly what you want to do for the next 5-10 years and pick the appropriate major or pick a major that is flexible enough to pursue a variety of careers with and stick with it.

#4 Have a part time job in high school.

If you’re playing sports, I don’t care. I’m pretty sure you aren’t destined to become a professional athlete.  Let that job be what drives you to succeed. Develop an desire (but not an addiction) for making money.  You’ll realize when you get to college that the only thing that is keeping you from making good money is a degree you don’t yet have. The sooner you get it, the better. It’s a motivating factor.

#3 Don’t fail college classes. Ever.

This one seems to be difficult for some, but my personal opinion is that if you fail a class, you either don’t belong at that school or you were too sluggish to switch to a more manageable course before it was too late.  Both scenarios are very preventable.  If that’s you, get your act together kiddo.

#2 Take extra classes when possible.

A big part of me graduating early was taking on extra coursework when I had room for it. Of course this means that I had to budget more time and energy for my school work, but it was well worth it.  Also, don’t be the guy/gal who signs up for an extra class only to drop it later because they don’t have enough time to watch TV. Yeah, you know who you are.

#1 Take AP classes in high school.

I started college with 15 credit hours already logged, 12 of which I was able to apply to my degree.  Saving $5000 – $20,000 is well worth the extra studying and $90 test fees.

3 Comment

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  2. Great list of pointers. I did not graduate early, for various reasons. I did have a job in high school, as I have been working since I was 14 years old. But when I started my college career I started it for the wrong reasons. I went to school to play golf, not to learn.

    Two years later I was bored and ready to focus on my education. That is when I got serious and transferred schools. I also changed my major. It actually took me nearly six years to get my degree, but I ended up graduating with three degrees, not just one. I ended up having 198 credits when I finally finished. Now all I can think about is going back.

    But this is a great list for young students to take serious. You have been there, it is obvious. Congratulations on your graduation and I know that you will succeed in everything that your future holds.

  3. Thanks Ricky,

    Some people just really like school and they’ll pursue a variety of degrees. I probably should have pointed that out in my blog post, but I think your comment does a good job of capturing it. I think most people who have it in their minds to graduate early chose to do so because they would rather be doing something else. I know I was that person, but I commend anyone who wants to pursue additional learning opportunities in a collegiate setting.

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