Extra credits lead to early graduation
For those looking to enter the "real world" before their peers on the Hill, graduating early not only means giving up late nights in the Street and Dana burgers; it also requires planning and research. Two students, Sarah Flanagan and Anna Tanasijevic, entered the College as members of the Class of 2012, but later decided to skip their sophomore year. They will turn their tassels with the class of 2011 this spring.
Flanagan, a biology major, came to the College with a full year's worth of credits from her International Baccalaureate (IB) program in Warsaw, Poland. "I entered knowing that I wanted to go to graduate school and then do research, so I decided to just streamline the process and get started as early as possible," she said. Similarly, Tanasijevic took classes at Boston University during her junior and senior years of high school, and the credits transferred, placing her out most of the distribution requirements.
However, arranging one's schedule to graduate an entire year early requires organization. "I could've planned my first year better because I didn't really understand the whole add/drop process," Flanagan said. "I wish I had planned out my whole three years so that I wasn't scrambling [as much] at the end." In addition to taking five classes per semester, Flanagan serves as president of Colby Dancers and is an Eco-Rep, officer and trip leader in the Outing Club, an information desk worker and a researcher in the biology department.
Tanasijevic, an international studies major and Japanese minor has also had a busy college career. She said she has, "taken five courses a semester since the beginning" of her time at the College and that she has "felt both stressed and anxious about taking many difficult courses, and unfortunately had to drop [her] planned double major in Spanish." Tanasijevic also volunteers with Student Programming Board and the Colby Volunteer Center and is a Colby Cares About Kids mentor. Despite juggling full course loads, both Flanagan and Tanasijevic studied abroad during their time at the College. Last spring Flanagan studied in Tanzania and Tanasijevic studied in Salamanca.
For both Tanasijevic and Flanagan, leaving the College a year early is bittersweet. "While I am happy and excited to graduate this year, [it has] been a tough two years, with a third looking very similar if not harder," Tanasijevic said. "I am scared to enter the 'real world,' but am thrilled to do so with the opportunity to have some wiggle room."
Tanasijevic advised those looking to graduate early to enjoy their time on campus, to make friends and remain open-minded about their decisions. Don't "be so hard on yourself when the plan doesn't work out exactly how you [intended]," she said.