10 Ways To Streamline Success So You Can Graduate College In Less Than 4 Years

10 Ways To Streamline Success So You Can Graduate College In Less Than 4 Years

Surround yourself with motivated people!

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When I started college, I was already a semester behind. After graduating from high school, I took a one-semester break. Instead of accepting that I was 'behind' (in my mind, I wanted to graduate when my graduating high school class would graduate), I worked twice as hard. Learning that I would be able to graduate a semester early, meaning I spent only three and a half years in college, was extremely exciting.

1. Take at least 15 credits every fall and winter semester... if not more.

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I took an average of 16 credit hours every single semester. This meant every semester was more expensive. Every semester needed more books, more supplies, and more time, than most other college students. Though I was studying all the time, I was able to keep a 4.0 GPA many semesters, on top of working multiple jobs and having a life.

2. Take summer classes...

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Most summer courses are online, score! You can sit by the lake and be graduating early, sounds like a win-win to me.

3. Get to know the head of your department!

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He or she can lead you in the right direction. They can also put you on the path to success faster than other academic advisors. Knowing your exact program, they know what you need to do to succeed as fast as possible. Get to know them! Meet with them at least once every semester and build a relationship so they can write amazing recommendation letters!

4. Actually take the time to study.

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Crazy, right? Who goes to college to actually study? If you're like me, and want to do bigger and better things than solely graduating college then you'll actually hit the books. This not only means studying but taking the time to get to know your classmates, professors, and the content of your classes. Don't half ass it!

5. Go to office hours!

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I am guilty of not going to office hours. Whether I have to work or am too tired, sometimes it is hard to make that effort. But, when you do it'll be so worth it! Building a one-on-one relationship with your professors can help you more than you know. Not only can they write you recommendation letters, but they can teach you how to do well in their class. Just go!

6. Surround yourself with motivated people!

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If you surround yourself with people who don't care to succeed and have no big plans, then that's all you have to compare yourself to. Surround yourself with the go-getters, the people who are hungry to do better. Those people will push you to be your best self, and seeing them succeed will push you even more.

7. Set big goals for yourself!

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If you're trying to be mediocre, this article is not for you. Setting big goals, hard to reach goals, will set you straight. Big goals mean you have to make big moves to get there. It's not easy, but you can do it! Think about how worthwhile it will be to graduate early, and be closer to those goals.

I have many goals. I like to think of it as shooting for the moon and landing on a star. My small dream is to be an attorney, the best attorney. I'd also love to be a senator or the President of the United States. We'll see.

8. Make, and use, a LinkedIn.

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You should make a LinkedIn as soon as possible and use it just as much as you use Facebook or Instagram. Get a nice headshot, or use your senior pictures. Make connections throughout your undergraduate career and add them on LinkedIn. Keep it professional!

9. Do an internship!

Emma Callihan

Whether it is for your career path, or for a class, do an internship! This will show you what skills you still need and have already developed. This can be done during the summer, and usually, count for more credits than a regular class. It is 100% worth the time and effort, and looks good on a resume!

I did a summer internship with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and it was amazing!

10. Plan ridiculously far ahead!

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After meeting with the head of your department, you should have a general idea of the courses you need to graduate. Plan out your semesters far in advance, so that you know where you need to pick up credits. Skip the 'advisors' in your program, as they usually end up taking you the long road to graduation!

If anybody can do it, it's you!

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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