Before you even think about going to college, you are told over and over that it will be the best four years of your life. But why just four years? Majority of undergraduate programs take four years to complete, however there can be minor setbacks during this process. Failing a class, not deciding your major until your junior year, or taking the minimal amount of credit hours each semester are just a few that can contribute to spilling over that four year norm.
I am here to tell you that taking a victory lap is completely and totally acceptable. There have been so many of my friends who have taken an extra semester, even an extra year, and to be honest, I was a little jealous. Yes, it is more money, but you get to experience college for another year.
I was projected to graduate in May 2017, but due to a few setbacks of my own, I will not graduate until Fall 2017. I’m sure it’s going to be difficult seeing all of my friends graduate and get their diploma without me, but what’s helping me get through not graduating with my friends is having a little extra time in the best place on earth. Boone is my favorite place ever, other than Disney World. It is a town that holds a special place in my heart. Growing up in Winston-Salem, my family and I made frequent weekend trips to visit Blowing Rock, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Grandfather Mountain. A good chunk of my childhood memories came from this cute, little mountain town.
What I love most about Boone is the carefree atmosphere. You can experience this throughout town whether you are hanging out on King Street, grabbing a brew at the local bar, or tailgating before a football game. It’s nice to live in a place where happiness and enjoyment are priorities of the locals. There are so many opportunities in Boone to experience new things and I am grateful that my time here was spent exploring those opportunities.
I think what I’m excited for most to spend an extra semester at App is getting to enjoy one last football season as a student. Football is the best sport, in my opinion, to bring people closer together. I love that I can tailgate with my friends, and walk on over to the stadium and see how many people love App State Football. Over the past few years, I’ve seen the football team grow and change into a different division. I think that is something really cool for me to be able to tell my kids, “Hey, you’re mom went to App when we almost beat the No. 9 nationally ranked team in overtime.”
Boone has definietly developed since 2013, my freshman year. I hope one day, I can bring my children to Boone and tell them all about Klondike and Parthenon, the trailerpark bars where my friends and I hung out almost every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Or the time when our football team went to our first bowl game and won! Even though Boone is changing and I’ll be moving on to a new chapter, I still have all of those memories stowed away with me. Places close, and come and go, but memories last and that’s all that matters.
Even though I’m super salty I’m not graduating on time, I know that I will eventually graduate (thank God). Boone is not just the place where I went to college and got my degree. Boone is really where I grew over the years into the person I am proud to be today. I changed for the better, because of Boone, and now I’m watching it change and grow too.
So, for those of you who are stressing about finishing in four years – don’t. Most people don’t finish in four years anyway. There are so many things you’ll get to do one last time before going into the dreaded adult world. Going to one of the greatest schools in the prettiest town, who would want to leave this place?
And for those of you who are stressing about your victory lap: