I am currently a second year student at an American mid-ranked liberal arts college, majoring in philosophy with hopes to attend a PHD program in philosophy (in the US) and become a philosophy professor.
I have read all the advice I can find on graduating a year early, and there is some conflicting suggestions. I also find my reason for graduating early to perhaps be more compelling than some that I have seen be dissuaded on this site. To spit it out; I am a closeted transgender person, who, if I were to come out, would likely be disowned by my family whom I am currently reliant on for my tuition. I fundamentally cannot tolerate delaying being who I am any longer than I must to graduate undergrad. I need to graduate in 3 years as opposed to 4.
Some facts about my application:
- I have a 3.9x gpa, 4.0 in philosophy (which I hope to keep).
- I will have taken 16-17 philosophy classes, including nearly every advanced course offered.
- I conducted research last summer, am writing a paper this semester that will likely be published, will conduct research this upcoming summer, and will, both semesters next year, be conducting independent research. I will graduate with a sizable amount of research experience in just 3 years.
- I have been deeply involved on my campus, and have achieved a lot extracuriccularly. (Don't want to dox myself with specifics, and know that extracurriculars aren't that important, but hope that this would diminish worries about youth/maturity and being someone just interested in my discipline).
My big conflict at the moment is trying to figure out whether or not I should apply to PHD programs next year, or spend a year after graduation in a fellowship or job before going for my PHD. I suppose I may apply to both fellowships/jobs and some PHD programs next year, and then if I don't get accepted to the PHD programs I would do the fellowship and reapply to more in the next cycle, but I am really just looking for advice here.
Thank you all for reading this mess!