Juniors living in the fast lane

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In the blink of an eye, those freshmen that touched the Kugel for the first time are now wearing a cap and gown about to receive a diploma. But are students blinking a little too fast?

It’s junior year and it is time to get serious. You are taking your most important classes by now and have an idea of what you want to do with your major. You are at a good pace to graduate in a year, but then there are those who have been taking 18 units each semester, summer school, and possibly even academic overloads; in other words, they have embarked on academic suicide.

This is the time period where you should be enjoying the college life with your peers and learning not only what was in your philosophy class, but also about life in general.

At this stage, we are over the homework, we are over the studying and just want to find a way out. So many students have decided to graduate a semester early, but this comes with catches.

Allison Beard, a junior at California Baptist University, is determined to graduate early. Beard is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in Psychology.

With the help of some Advanced Placement classes and summer classes she will be able to walk in the Fall 2011 commencement. She has really enjoyed her years at CBU, but by far junior year has been her favorite. She is in her major classes and is living off campus.

“This is my first year off campus which I really like, and I don’t mind being a commuter. Living on campus was fun but it brought too much drama, now it’s just more relaxing,” Beard said.

Her plans after graduation are to take a year off and go abroad before heading to graduate school.

“I want to do volunteer work and get a chance to work with people and put what I’ve learned to test,” Beard said.

Kamrie de Groot, a junior majoring in Sociology, is another who is contemplating taking the fast route. De Groot enjoys her time here at CBU, but as most of her close friends are graduating in December she wants to join them on that walk.

Junior year has been her favorite thus far, but she finds herself ready to go out in the world and start her career. “I want to work with kids or older people. I want to make a difference in people’s lives for the better,” de Groot said.

Beard and de Groot, and other students, seem to feel that if they have the opportunity to finish early than why not get a head start on their careers. They would not have to worry about the extra cash they will have to pay for another semester. For every pro there is a con and graduating early is no different.

Enrollment Advising Receptionist, Judy Frazier, has a different view on this graduating early craze.

“College should be a four to five year plan. You should not rush it and instead just enjoy the ride,” Frazier said.

Frazier sees many students every day walking in and out, trying to speed up their college experience. “Students usually do it because CBU is a private institution which is money motivated,” Frazier said.

It is natural to think that graduating early will save you money, and if that was the case more people would be doing it. This does not come easy. “Most of the students are coming into their 3rd year of college and are mainly girls,” Frazier said.

These students are very driven and determined to finish early, but they are losing their college experience and rushing through life. It is extra hard work that advising does not recommend for students.

“These girls are rushing to get out of college and trying to get engaged,” Frazier said.

This is the time when you do see a lot of your peers getting engaged, getting married, and some of the pressure may take a toll on women. Some slip into the wedding craze and want to wear that ring, look at dresses online, and watch wedding shows like “Say Yes to the Dress.”

But as college students, we should not rush our youth. We have to live it day by day and not try to grow up so fast. We have our whole lives to work, to be grown ups, enjoy the now, enjoy the moment because you don’t want to wonder “what if” or say “I wish i did…”

College is a time where we learn, love, and make the most memorable experiences so we can look back ten years from now and see how much we enjoyed it.

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