It’s Okay Not to Graduate in Four Years

Whether you took a reduced course load, ended up switching programs, took a semester or two off, or failed a course you needed, you may find yourself taking longer than the ‘standard’ 4 years to get your bachelor’s degree. Personally, I experienced a combination of these things, which means I’m finishing my fourth year, but not graduating yet. And sometimes it’s hard, but it’s okay.

About three years into my program, I realized I wasn’t very happy with what I was doing. And then I realized that I really loved some of the electives I was taking, so I switched my major after three years of working towards a completely different one. It was so freeing to realize that I wasn’t stuck taking a program I didn’t love as much as I thought I would when I was in Grade 12. There’s always time to change your mind, and it’s okay to do so!

I have insane FOMO sometimes. When I saw all my friends from first year posting their Instagram stories from the Class of 2018 Grad Toast, I wished I was all dolled up and drinking champagne along with them. When I see people posting their grad photos on Facebook with sentimental captions about how they’ll miss Laurier, I wish I was booking my grad photo session. But I’ll have my turn for those things too, and I remind myself that when the FOMO starts to get to me.

Something that really helped me was the realization that I’m not alone. I’m certainly not the first one who took longer than 8 semesters to get her Bachelors degree, and I certainly won’t be the last. Knowing there are lots of others who made the same choices that I did, made it much easier to make those choices.

I’m happy with my choice. I love my school and I’m glad I’m not saying goodbye yet. I get to stay with the Golden Hawks a little while longer. I don’t have to worry yet about getting a “real” job and being an adult. So, if you find yourself panicking about graduating “on time”, don’t stress too much! It’s totally normal to take longer than expected to get your degree.

So, Laurier, I’ll be back again in September, working hard to get my degree. It’s great to be a Laurier Golden Hawk, and I’m not ready to be an alumna quite yet.