All My Friends Are Graduating, But I Still Have One Semester Left

Spring is in the air and so are grad caps. President Fuchs will soon present this year’s graduating class. The 2018 spring graduation is so close you can almost feel it, but I don’t know what to feel because my friends are graduating and I’m staying another semester.  

Staying another semester is not a bad thing, and it really isn’t that big of a deal. But missing out on walking the stage with my friends and peers who I’ve had classes with throughout university stirs a strange feeling inside me. It’s like I’m missing out or I’ve fallen behind even though I know that’s not the case.

However, graduating later doesn’t stop me from being super excited for and supportive of my friends who are graduating now. In fact, I’m probably more pumped for their graduation than mine.

If you’re graduating later than expected, or passed the four-year mark, maybe you’re feeling the same way. It’s totally normal. There are pros and cons to graduating later, and it’s more normal than you think. Plus, you get your own celebration after joining your friends in celebration.

The biggest hurdle in graduating sometime other than spring is maintaining a positive mentality. The mentality that states you have to graduate at a certain time to be on track with everyone else. The mentality that makes you feel like there’s something wrong with you if you’re graduating later. The mentality that convinces you that you won’t have the same opportunities if you graduate later.

Break out of that mindset.

Thinking like that will only hold you back. Again, everyone has a different path. Just because some of your classmates are graduating now it doesn’t mean that you’re supposed to. Sometimes life diverts you from what society deems as “normal” to prepare you for something greater and more specific to you. In the end, the universe has a way of working itself out.

So, there’s nothing wrong with you or your journey. And, you won’t miss out on opportunities because you’re graduating in the fall or later.

In fact, you may have more opportunities if you graduate later. You’ll have an extra summer(s) for internships, jobs and classes. There will be extra semesters to bring up your GPA and network with other students and professors. Graduating later guarantees you months of planning for life when you do graduate.

At the root of it all, the best thing about graduating later is you have more time. I realized graduating in December instead of May was a blessing in disguise because I had more time. More time to get another summer internship, more time to apply for post-grad jobs and more time to enjoy my last days of college.

Ruminate on the positives of graduating later and you’ll realize that the grass may be greener on your side. You get to watch them go through it first and experience all the emotions firsthand without the consequences.

But don’t just sit there and partake in the graduation stress or drama. This is a huge moment in their lives, even if you can’t share it with them. That’s when you have to realize their life is different than yours and be happy for them. It’s such an exciting, happy time and you don’t want to distract with a sore attitude.

Be there for your friends because you know they’d be there for you. When they look out into the crowd holding their diploma they want to see your smiling face — and if you’ve got the flash on or not.

After graduation, you can party it up before they jet off into adult life, and then you’ll be thankful you have the security of college for a while longer.

I’m personally excited for my friends’ graduations. I can help them with the fun stuff, like picking out graduation outfits and decorating caps, without having to practice my own walk across the stage. The only curve ball for me is knowing that graduation reminds me of spring and I’ll be graduating in December around the holidays. But it’s fine because at any time of the year graduation brings friends and families together before grads start the next phase of their life.

And don’t forget — the best part about having friends out of college is hearing about the growing pains of being an adult. Make sure to take notes so you know exactly how to handle life outside of college. And just know that soon enough you’ll be out there living it up with them, too.