There’s nothing wrong with graduating late.
While several of my freshman-year colleagues head out into the real world, I’ll be waving them adieu as I lag behind in the graduation race. As they’re busily preparing their invitations, buying their caps and gowns and trying to figure out what the heck they’re going to do with the rest of their lives, I don’t have any of these worries.
I don’t have a problem with it, but it seems like the rest of the world does. People who don’t graduate in four years become labeled as “lazy” or “stupid” just because they can’t get out in time. I have been preached at long enough, and if you’re in my place, I’m sure you’re sick of it, too.
So if you’re in my boat and are being teased by your friends, here are the top five comebacks to hit them with:
1. You’re normal. That’s right, most people don’t graduate in four years. You are one of the college populace’s majority. So don’t feel like you’re the only one who’s sticking around. All those geeky friends who are getting out in time are actually abnormal. From personal experience, it makes you feel better to tell them that they are abnormal on their cards.
2. You have a life. Sure, your friends may be saving time and money by getting out earlier, but chances are that their noses were stuck in a book the whole time. You understand that college is about more than just graduating. Maybe you studied abroad, maybe you had a full-time job, maybe you got really involved with a campus organization, maybe you dropped classes because you couldn’t wake up after partying the night before. Regardless of the reason, the reason why you’re not getting out is because you were busy. Can your graduation-happy friends say the same thing?
3. What’s the hurry? Sure, the student loans and rental property bills might be adding up. But look on the bright side – the job market isn’t the greatest right now. While your friends are rushing into an unsteady job market, you have the safety and comfort of at least one more semester before you have to figure things out yourself. I bet they’re a heck of a lot more stressed out than you are.
4. You’re not just graduating to graduate. You’ve probably put some time into your future career. You’ve probably switched majors, took some time off to think about where you want to go or just took fewer credits and focused on them. Sure, your friends have a degree, but is it what they really want to do? You’re taking the time to figure that out.
5. It’s nobody’s business anyway. Who the heck cares if you don’t graduate in time? It’s your life, your money and your time. If you don’t graduate on time, you’re the one who will be responsible, no one else. So why should anyone care?
So, you see, there’s nothing wrong with graduating late. You’re a normal person who isn’t afraid to say, “wait a minute – it’s not my time just yet.” Don’t let your friends give you any trouble because they’re getting out and you’re not. You don’t have to have a pang of jealousy as you’re sitting through the ceremony.
Just remember they’re abnormal geeks with no lives, and you’ll be just fine.
Maria Sanchez-Traynor is a senior majoring in journalism, soon to be a five-year super senior. She wishes her graduating friends the best of luck in the world, but is quite happy that she isn’t in their place just yet.