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Degree deadline

Taking more than four years to finish college does not reflect badly on you

Sierra Taylor, Managing Editor

I’ve spent the last four years stressing over classes with my head in books, and I am still not graduating on time.

While my fourth year in college is coming to a close and graduation is still a little beyond my grasp, it is hard not to feel like a disappointment. Looking back at the last couple of years, I definitely wish I could change some things, but my college experience is exactly what I have needed.

I once had a biology professor at a junior college tell me that I was not here to just get a degree and get out. He insisted that I was also here to become a well-rounded individual who knew more about the world than I did when I started my college career. He made me understand that taking classes over again or taking classes in different majors to find out what you want to do was going to help your degree more than hurt it. That conversation really set the stage for the past two years of my life, but it also kept replaying in my head as I counted credit hours and registered for my fifth fall semester.

I tend to focus a little too much on when things should be happening, and that makes me lose sight of the things that are actually happening. I should be graduating at the end of this semester. I should be looking into graduate school. I should be sending out applications and landing my dream job. But those “shoulds” are doing me more harm than good. The past few years have been difficult and I know that these next few will be even more so. However, I should be proud of how far I have come.

There were points in my high school career where I had doubts about even going to college. On the first assignment that my high school freshman English teacher gave us I accidentally wrote ‘collage’ instead of ‘college,’ which she corrected in red ink and wrote to the side, “You will never get there if you do not learn to spell it correctly.” This tiny remark made me spend the next four years questioning my education and being afraid to even think about college. But here I am, years into my degree and excelling at what I love to do.

In the past few years, I have called my parents to cry numerous times because classes and assignments were piling up. I have been stressed out, on the verge of quitting and being a waitress for the rest of my life, but I kept working.

That is the key. I keep working toward my degree and I try to make myself a well-rounded individual. If your situation is anything like mine and it may take more than four years to graduate, please do not give up and do not be too hard on yourself. Whether it takes you four years or ten, know that you have worked hard and you will have a college degree in the end.

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