You Can Graduate at Your Own Pace

By Samantha Allan

The end of the semester is finally here. The rush of papers, presentations and projects is a clear indicator there is a light at the end of the tunnel. First, it is important to note you can make it through all the due dates. Keep pushing forward and let all of your hard work come together.

For many students, including myself, this is the final tunnel. Graduation is less than two weeks away. The years of hard work, sweat and tears are finally paying off. For some of the graduates, the four or five years have flown by. It may seem like only last semester was their very first time at Youngstown State University.

After completing over five years of school, I cannot relate to that feeling. I have met a lot of great people, taken classes I never even considered and experienced a lot of personal growth in my time here. YSU has been a constant part of my life for quite some time now and I am glad for the experience. However, I am also really glad it is coming to a close. I have put more time and work into college than I ever would have imagined. While I am grateful for the education, I am ready to move onto the next stage.

Many college students feel the senior itch, and YSU is not any different. Years spent in the same place could make anyone eager for some space away from constant familiarity. Graduation may feel far away, but it creeps up a lot faster than you think.

Some days will be better than others. Although it may feel like the impossible, you can definitely graduate. In the long run, an extra couple of semesters is not the end of the world. There is nothing wrong with staying a little longer than planned in order to change majors, study abroad or simply to give yourself a break.

It took me a little while to accept that my college plan was not going exactly how I expected. (Does anything in life ever go according to plan?) Everyone learns and grows at their own speed; being in school longer than four years is nothing to be embarrassed about. The most important takeaway is you can succeed in wherever college may take you. No matter how long it might have taken you to graduate, it is wonderful that you kept pushing for success.

I will not lie and say a longer college experience was easy. Some days you might grow tired of waiting and begin to question why you went to YSU in the first place. You are not alone and plenty of other students are facing the same worries. A longer trip can mean more time to learn about yourself and what you truly want in the future.

No matter where you fall in completing your degree, the last couple weeks can be pretty stressful. Don’t let yourself be discouraged and remember all the reasons you began college in the first place. I am speaking from experience when I say you will reach that final light. It may not feel like it now, but all of your hard work will be worth something much bigger. Good luck to everyone and be sure to enjoy all the summer you can.

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