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Students graduate early, pursue other opportunities

Tori Roeck | Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Because of the current economic climate and the high rate of tuition at Notre Dame, some seniors have chosen to graduate at the end of this semester rather than in May.

Senior finance major Alex Vander Linde said his decision to graduate early was primarily financial.

“The reason I decided to graduate early was because I had the credits to do so and because I did not want to spend another $25,000 on tuition if I did not have to,” Vander Linde said. “I came into Notre Dame with 18 AP credits and have taken 15 credits every semester never dropping a class. I currently have exactly enough credits to graduate.”

Vander Linde said he will remain in South Bend and continue with his part-time job on campus while crossing off some other bucket list items.

“I do plan on visiting friends at other universities, going skiing and traveling abroad given the amount of time I have before I start my job at the end of June,” he said. “While in South Bend I will continue working my part time job in the development department and hope to find a hobby and several charities to occupy my time while others are in class.”

Senior Brendan Sullivan said despite spending the spring 2012 semester in London, he was able to complete his political science major early, with some help from the 14 AP credits with which he came to Notre Dame.

“It wasn’t like I did any special planning. It just kind of worked out that way,” Sullivan said. “I realized last year, ‘Oh wow, I can graduate early.'”

Sullivan said he also plans to stay in South Bend and get a job while continuing to live in his same off-campus house.

“In a lot of ways I’ll be getting next semester all the easy parts about being a student and not all the hard parts,” he said.

Senior philosophy and gender studies major Christina Genovese said she is planning to work in Chicago beginning in February.

“I interned at a law firm this past summer, so I’m planning to go back there and do that for a year and a half,” Genovese said. “Then I would go to law school.”

Genovese said being in Chicago will allow her to visit campus frequently.

“I figure if I’ll be in Chicago, I’ll probably just visit school most weekends,” she said.

The school does not sponsor an official graduation ceremony for those who graduate in December, but Genovese said early graduates get to walk with their peers in May.

“I’m excited to be in Chicago, and it’s nice that you can still walk with your class in graduation and come back for Senior Week and all that,” she said.

Even though he will miss seeing his friends in class every day, Vander Linde said he has no regrets about graduating early.

“I view it as a privilege that not many people have and am grateful for the time off,” he said. “This will probably be the last time in my life when I have six months with absolutely no obligations and when I can truly do anything I want. I look forward to having a great time with my friends and doing things that truly make myself happy and help others less fortunate than myself.”