It’s OK not to graduate “on time”

Many students take more than the traditional four years to graduate. Senior Chris Niquette shares why that might have some advantages.

Many students take more than the traditional four years to graduate. Senior Chris Niquette shares why that might have some advantages.

Every college student’s favorite question is, “When are you graduating?” especially if they’re not graduating within the “normal” time frame.

Unfortunately for the most part, students who are not graduating within the four-year plan didn’t do so intentionally — some changed majors and it set them back, while others changed schools and credits did not transfer, and some just got bad advice early on. Complete College America (CCA), a non-profit organization with the goal to encourage Americans to not only attend college but graduate and earn their degree, discovered that only 19% of those seeking a four-year degree graduate “on-time”. TROY has a higher rate of graduation in four years with the latest available data saying that the percentage of students who graduated in four years from TROY is 34% (according to Troy’s IRPE). However, that information doesn’t count the transfer students so the percentage could be higher. This is definitely a sign that there is a new “normal”; students just are not graduating in four years like they used to.

A delayed graduation date means that you get that much more time to spend at TROY and defer the inevitable “adulting” of post-graduation to a later date. With the extra time you have, you can use it wisely to plan your next move in your career, get a head start on your future by adding another internship, expand your professional contacts, or interview for jobs. You also have the ability to  join that club you didn’t think you had enough time for, check off the rest of the boxes in the college bucket list, and discover new interests or hobbies. This is your last chance to be the inner kid we all are, and I say it’s better to graduate one or maybe even two semesters past the “expected” four years.

With a delayed graduation date you have more time to take the classes that you need to graduate without being overloaded and to attend events on campus, and your course load will be lighter some semesters. If you really want to reap the benefits, add the minor you always wanted! All in all, it is not the end of the world if you have to spend another semester or two taking classes. It may bother you seeing some of your friends walk across that stage when they started the same time you did, and it may be difficult to explain to your family that you need to take a “victory lap”, but you just need to use your time wisely and effectively while you are still here at TROY.

If you go to class and study hard, graduation will happen; it just may not be with-in the four-year time frame. Any college student will tell you they have enough stress, so you shouldn’t add more pressure to yourself by setting a timer. When you do graduate it will be well earned and a well deserved accomplishment.

Just make sure you remember one thing: what do they call a student who takes more than four years to graduate?…… A Graduate.

Study hard, be happy, and GO TROJANS!