Deana A.

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What are the negative aspects of graduating from university early?

I plan to attend the University of North Texas in the fall. After going over a course plan that I found for my major, social work, I realized that I will not be spending 4 years there. I have accumulated enough AP and dual credit hours to graduate in 3 years if I take 15 hours each semester. My question is, what drawbacks do you think I will experience not spending 4 years in a university? Will I be less prepared to work in the same settings as my peers that took 4 years? Am I less likely to complete my degree if I aim to finish in 3 years rather than 4? I would really like to hear the cons, drawbacks, and overall negatives of this decision. #college #university #social-work #undergraduate #graduation

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Well, since everyone else hit on everything else, let me just say this: There is no reason to rush into full-blown adult-hood. Being an adult is a tad bit over-rated, and you will be one for 60 years or so. The responsibilities will never go away. The transitional years from high school to adult hood are for both learning and FUN. Treasure these few years. You will never get them back. Live a little. Form some friendships. Relax. Do all the things you want to do while young: mountain climbing, travel a little, perhaps a semester abroad. Seriously. Getting to the starting line first does not get you to the finish line any faster.

Just my opinion, of course!

Last updated Jan 19 '17 at 19:18

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Hi Deana: You sound very focused and motivated which is awesome. It sounds like you've done a lot of research and have a plan to graduate in 3 years. As long as you earn your BSW, you should be in good shape, no drawback for finishing early. I'll add that being in the social work program allows you to explore different areas of focus, and populations which you should take full advantage with. You should explore who you love working with - older adults, youth, young children, adults, etc. and what area os your passion - community organizing, direct service, policy and advocacy, etc. The more internships and volunteer gigs you can do, the better and don't stick with the same area or population, try different organizations, setting, etc. I also agree with other comments. If you don't have to, don't rush through your college experience, this is a time to explore, meet others, have fun, learn. Take classes outside of your area of study - something totally off the wall and not a class you were naturally select. You'll meet different people and learn new things. Good luck, angela
Last updated Nov 29 '17 at 00:06

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Hi Deana!

This main concerns are two fold. Perhaps it is not so good to try to rush your education 1. Perhaps there is a better way that will not cost as much 2. Perhaps there is a better way that will allow you to have more career exposure as you complete your degree

Here is an important exercise that may help you to determine your best career option, even if you think that you know what you want to do, take these exercises for confirmation. The most frustrating thing that I encountered when I was doing college recruiting was when the graduate, when once on the job, found he/she did not like the job for which he/she had studied for so long. Also, this type of career exploration is something that you will be helping your clients with when you start in Social Work, so now is a good time to try it.

Also, please do the following as a way of practicing something that you will be working with your clients on: - talk to your school counselor about participating in coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs that will allow you to see the inside of the career and meet people to learn what they do, how they got there, and how you feel about it. - talk to the head of alumni relations at your school to arrange to meet and visit graduates of your school who are working as social workers to learn more - talk to the reference librarian at your local library to learn about professional organizations to which social workers in your area might belong, so that you can mix and mingle and learn more

Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. They may look great, but you need to try them on and walk in them for a while to determine proper fit and comfort.

Here are some tips on gaining important information and creating helpful relationships. 80% of people who find jobs find them through such networking: http://www.wikihow.com/Network

It really, really does not make any difference where you go to college. What really counts is how well you do with your academic work and how well you do with your opportunities for career exploration and networking along the way. Too many people spend way too much money on an education and end up with unnecessarily huge debt which is very hard to repay, especially if you are going to work in Social Work. Here are some tips on keeping college costs low: http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations

Many people in Social Work found that it was a good idea to start at a community college. The classes are smaller and the costs are lower and they have very good career exploration programs such as coops and internships. Talk to the head of alumni relations at your local community college to arrange to meet and visit graduates of that school who are doing what you think that you want to do, so you can learn more. Also, these schools provide helpful career testing and counseling that will help you along the way. Things like this are very important for to become familiar with, as, they will not only help you, but they will be helpful tools with which to use to help your clients. Use them and become familiar with them as helps for yourself as well as helpful tools to put in your tool box.

Best of luck! Let me know if and how this was of help. Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

Last updated Jan 15 '17 at 09:31

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I think that you would be easily able to show graduating in 3-years as a strength. 15 credits isn't always easy -- 2 out of every 3 students take at least six-years to complete their undergraduate degrees. Doing it in less shows dedication, intelligence, work-ethic, and (in my mind) is VERY impressive. (Also, it would essentially decrease any students loans by 25% -- now that the average college student graduates with $30 in debt that's about a savings of $7,000.)

The only drawbacks that I'm aware of would involve missing chances to build a resume. However, if you stay on top of things you could easily complete them all.

1) Rushing through school so quickly that you do not get involved with student organizations:

They're big resume builders and will give you hours of volunteer work and exposure to professionals and persons who may be the gateway to finding a great job. Look into joining and leading those clubs. Being President/Secretary isn't as hard as you think and probably takes 3-4 hours a week, but adds up to over 240 hours before you graduate.

2) Never completing any internships, or completing the bare minimum "easy" internship:

Sure, unpaid internships suck, find a paid one if possible. Get several. They'll add to your experience, add to your resume and, in many cases be the difference of several thousand dollars a year when it comes to your salary. (If you're going to earn a Master's this is slightly less important but experience can still be a big factor that shines through during the interview process)

Anecdotally, I deferred one semester when the right paid internship came a long. I was able to use the paid internship as a spring-board to complete other part-time work while I was at school that really enriched my college experience. I've never regretted that decision.

3) Never becoming "chummy" with any of your professors:

Several reasons: these guys/girls are often the smartest people you'll meet. The best possible job you can get on campus will be with them as a grader, lab assistant, etc. They're chuck full of good advice and have chosen to share it for a living. They are undoubtably the best, and most underutilized resource on campus. Sure, there are bad apples in the bunch but you'll meet many great professors in school. (If you're going to graduate school, they'll be able to write much better letters of recommendation if they know you.)

Best of luck! Brendon Larsen

Comment, or message me if you have any further questions. Best of luck to you!

Last updated Jan 15 '17 at 01:29

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