First time posting but I've recently found myself needing the advice of this board.
Heres the story:
I graduated high school in 2014 and had taken a few AP's and a few community college classes to avoid taking high school classes I didn't want to take. Started college with more credit than I expected and got to waive into a higher math class. Eventually what my college advisor wants me to take for the next semester seems useless to me so I go talk to the Physics advisor who informs me I can take my first upper division the next semester and graduate in three years if I would like. I considered adding a double major in applied math at some point to get me to stay four years but I eventually decided against that and just focused on physics. The summer my freshman year I got to do some computational astrophysics research with my first physics professor there, and a semester after that i joined a experimental CDM research lab at my school and have been doing research with them for almost a year now, I have gotten a few scholarships and the LSAMP fellowship at my school, I am working with my research advisor on applying for the NSF grant right now, have done one talk and three poster presentations. I have never taken even taken the max amount of units and have never dormed, always commuting and working, and i still don't feel that i rushed and didn't learn the material, this is just the way it happened for me
Overall i feel pretty good with how i spent the last 2.5 years and am in the process of applying to graduate schools, and i am really motivated to start a phd program.
This is until all of a sudden no less than 4 physics professors I have talked to as part of a scholarship/mentorship program have decided to tell me that i would be better off delaying graduation for a year, doing a REU over the summer, and applying to graduate schools next year. I don't want to discredit their opinions and experience, but i feel genuinely disheartened. Graduate school would the more economically fruitful decision, but it seems that they feel i just won't get in anywhere? I have strong letters of rec and despite never having done a REU I have a letter from a professor at a very good institution.
Any opinions? personal stories? All insight is welcome.