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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Students who graduated early: What are they up to?

Lindsey Kupcho ’22, Emma Hartman ’22 and Kate Bettez ’22 all graduated a semester early. (Photos courtesy of Gateway Career Center, Lafayette Library and LinkedIn)

While it is only the start of the semester for most students, for others, their college careers have just ended. Students may not typically graduate a semester early, but this path can be a way to get a head start on a career or to squeeze in a little more relaxation before figuring out future plans. 

For some new graduates, this early leave was planned. Emma Hartman ’22 came to Lafayette knowing that she would graduate early. The numerous Advanced Placement classes she took in high school led her to meet class requirements before even starting at Lafayette.

Although she originally wanted to major in international affairs with post-graduate plans of going to law school, Hartman’s plans changed when she fell in love with the English major after taking a single class. Hartman ended up double majoring in international affairs and English with a minor in anthropology and sociology. 

With her newfound interest in English, Hartman worked on her honors thesis with professor Christopher Phillips, who is the current head of the English department. “Working on my honors thesis with Professor Phillips was very impactful. It really prepared me for a lot more independent work,” Hartman said. 

Not only did Hartman graduate early, but she already has plans for what comes next. She applied to eight different graduate programs and was recently accepted into the University of North Carolina. She is looking to do some form of archival work in her future career.

“I really want to do archival work, but I’m not completely sure yet. Maybe more in college archives or community archives, but I’m definitely exploring different areas,” Hartman said. 

Though she may not be officially enrolled in the college anymore, Hartman is still finding ways to stay connected to Lafayette. “Phillips has been an amazing mentor and helped me find two internships,” Hartman, who has also been able to audit one of Phillips’ classes, said. 

“I miss being in class, which is funny because you finally get to be done,” Hartman said. 

Unlike Hartman, Kate Bettez ’22 concluded that she would graduate early later in her college journey.

“I definitely had no idea when I first started and I didn’t realize that I could even graduate early until the end of my sophomore year. I realized that it was possible and then I just sort of scheduled myself after that,” Bettez said. 

As a psychology and theater double major, Bettez has always been interested in how the arts better people’s emotional and social health. Despite her interest in the arts, Bettez originally entered Lafayette as only a psychology major. “The fact that Lafayette is so liberal arts-focused allowed me to add the theater major as well,” Bettez said.

Majoring in theater also introduced her to one of the most impactful aspects of her undergraduate education: the Marquis Players, Lafayette’s student-run musical theater group.

“Honestly, [the] Marquis Players were one of the biggest things I did at Lafayette. It’s a nonprofit and theater organization and it helped me realize that you can do something that you love while helping other people at the same time,” Bettez said. 

As she explores her future career options with the hope of combining her two major interests, Bettez has found ways to maintain the connections she’s made at the college, which includes directing the Marquis Players’ spring production of “Footloose.”

“I’m actually still living just off campus with some of my friends on Cattell Street and directing the Marquis Players musical. It’s been a nice way to stay connected,” Bettez said. 

For Lindsey Kupcho ’22, being able to graduate early also came as a surprise.

“I actually last minute decided to,” Kupcho said. “The dean told me that I had enough credits and it allowed me to jump into my career.”

Although she originally came to Lafayette as a psychology major, Kupcho wanted to find a way to study biology as well and, after speaking with one of her counselors, found that neuroscience was the perfect meld of the two. 

Since graduating, Kupcho has remained the vice president of the DMAX club, which establishes and supports student mental health. “The club started when I was a freshman and it helped make a difference in people’s lives,” Kupcho said. “I worked with the president to make events that were different mental health things.”

For now, Kupcho is taking time to relax at home before jumping into the professional world.

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About the Contributors
Kendal Davis, Staff Culture Writer
Ari Ismail, Staff Photographer

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