So it’s the middle of fall semester in college, then in a month and a week later, it’s winter vacay! (But who’s counting? Lol.). Some are in their last semester in college, some are debating to come back, and some are even thinking of returning to school after a long gap year. There can be mixed emotions when it comes to those 3 scenarios. But don’t feel discouraged! Sometimes we might not graduate on time, but what’s the rush? It’s almost time to prepare yourself for spring 2020 semester, if you’re debating to come back or even start college after a long gap year. There’s always more benefits when it comes to taking your time. It’s never too late to think about your future.
I know I’ve had those times where I feel so down, even depressed, because I saw that some of my friends just graduated college a couple months ago. There were times where I constantly ask myself throughout this semester, “If such and such graduated college on time, why did my dumbass didn’t?” I snapped myself out of it and immediately thought of all the hard times I had to go through during my 2 year gap period and how I overcame them and how close I am to accomplishing my goals. Why compare myself to others when I can move it along and plan for my future? The more I think about how I didn’t graduate on time, the less focus I have on accomplishing my goals.
I’ve also had thoughts of whether a college degree is really necessary… Not necessarily, but it’s preferable for long time careers! I had the chance to interview my long time friend, Deandre Bellows (IG: @causeimdeandre), who recently graduated with his bachelors in Marketing and is currently working for a small doctor’s office as an event marketer. Not exactly what he had in mind for the rest of his career, but it’s a start. Just little by little, he’s saving up for the better in his life and he’s won’t be settling for average - Deandre is going to succeed. Because I know it can be extremely tough to juggle school and work, I asked him, “How did you manage to graduate on time with different jobs?” He states that with the experience he had in his previous job in high school, he learned time management - he went by his own pace and hoped for the best. Stress can overcome anyone’s ability to achieve their goals, but he manages stress by staying positive, constantly tell himself that everything will work out and hopes for the best. For someone who graduated on time while working, instead of looking down at those who didn’t, he admires it. “Yes, it’s okay to not graduate on time. Work at your own pace, there’s really no difference.” The advice he gives to those who are trying to get into college or are still in college is:
Apply for internships (early is best suggested by him)
Apply for jobs junior year, don’t wait, the longer you wait, the harder it will be.
He most importantly says, “Go through trial and error and wake up and do something passionate. Don’t settle. Start putting things into perspective, you have time.” What he gained from college is self-realization, growing as a person, and instead of looking for jobs, jobs are looking for you. In general, it’s always good to plan ahead even if you have already graduated college or are still in college and still have goals in mind.
I know it can feel sh*ty starting late in school and feel like it’s going to take forever, but that shouldn’t be the case.
Based on a recent IG poll I made, I wanted to see different point of views about how others felt about graduating late. And for the most part they were all comforting, positive responses that gave me a sense of relief. I got answers such as:
“Fine, my timing was good for me.”
“Never too late”
“As long as you finish it’s all good, if anything it’s admirable.”
“I’ll get it done. It’s not a competition to finish first”
But there was this one that stood out for me that I can relate the most: “I’m not bothered, I’ve gained more life experience from taking time off from school”.
I recently transferred to Georgia State University downtown campus from Perimeter college. I graduated high school in 2015, had my mindset I would live in Costa Rica forever, and have a future there. So I impulsively lived there 2 weeks after graduation and attended Universidad Latina in 2016, studying interior design. I was probably studying there for a good minute, maybe a year… But I felt like it wasn’t for me, I wasn’t so comfortable attending a college that didn’t suit me. I felt like I was almost forcing myself to finish there since my friends were already on their 2nd year of school. It was weighing on me little by little until I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to move back in 2017 and attend Georgia State Perimeter College, which by the way is an EASY school to get into. Highly recommend it! It sucked so bad that my credits couldn’t transfer and I had to start all over. But to me, that didn’t matter, I know I’m going to finish sooner or later. I just kept it going and soon transferred to Georgia State University and graduate with my associates this December and hopefully get my bachelors in 2021. I didn’t see this as a burden, I saw this as an opportunity to better myself and figure who I want to be and build a strong foundation for myself.
It’s always good to seek out for encouragement and have a good support system in order to go where you need to go when it comes to graduating! So never ever feel down, you are not alone, go chase that degree!