4 Keys To Graduating On Time
When you get to college you will learn that graduating within 4 years seems to be somewhat of a myth. Besides myself, I can't think of anyone else who graduated on time. There was a point where I wasn't sure if I was going to graduate on time since when I began college I was in remedial math and wasn't allowed to declare a major until I completed the course. Yet, I was able to pull it all together and walk across that stage April 30, 2016. I loved college so I wasn't in a rush to graduate, but since my mom was paying for my education out of pocket and I didn't want to make things harder on her by being behind. This meant I had to stay on top of things. For those of you who want to do the same, here's how I made it.
Keep Up With Your Curriculum
Someone once told me they didn't graduate on time due to taking the wrong classes. I was blessed to have my mom on my case about keeping up with my classes since high school. A university is a business and the longer you are enrolled the more money they make. It's YOUR job to keep up with your curriculum. You should meet with your academic adviser and don't be afraid to ask questions. But, don't lean on him/her to keep track of your classes. I kept several copies of the check list for my gen-eds and my major's requirements. I marked the classes off that I took and any time an adviser tried to tell me I needed to take a course I had already fulfilled I'd show them the receipts. Print out copies every semester in case the school changes the requirements. The last thing you need is to find out 2 new course were added last minute.
You Might Bump Heads
Not to sound cliche but if you want to graduate on time you're going to have to put your education first and sometimes that will cause issues. People might say they want you to succeed, but they don't always realize that means canceled plans, missed phone calls and late text replies. There were many times when I had disputes with people and orgs because when I said so I couldn't participate in something due to homework. I've even had family be upset that I didn't come home as often. Let them tell it, I was busy ignoring them and giving all my time to my friends, but the truth is studying and being at home is difficult. You're expected to run errands and play catch up with everyone which means little to no time to get work done. Even with dating I had to say "help me look up these answers on Quizlet so I can take this test before we go on this date." It's an uncomfortable when allegations of you being selfish arise, but the reward came when I was finally able to shut down any shade with a quick "but I graduated on time tho."
Talk To Your Professors
It's amazing how far you can get by talking to your professor. I used to be afraid to ask for extra credit or an extension because I didn't want to be viewed as a slacker. Keeping my grades in mind changed that. I went from being a quiet student to not minding going to my professors for anything. You have to go in knowing that the worst thing you can hear is "no" which is better than not trying and not knowing at all. I've had extensions, extra credits, corrected grades, class dismal excuses, resume critiques, help with my post graduate plans and even help by them explaining where I went wrong on a test or homework. It was smart to build those relationships with my professors, because I can always turn to them for advice or connections. Don't be shy.
Don't Abuse Your Freedom
Freedom has always been important to me. Most of my life I've had well meaning people hovering over me telling me what I can and can't do. Although I love freedom, I never was in denial that freedom is responsibility that comes with positive and negative consequences. I know students who flunked classes or college all together because they went on a "i can do whatever I want" binge and lost focus. You have to know that just because you can drop a class doesn't mean that you should do it on the fly. Only do in cases when it's the last resort and you're sure it'll be beneficial to your future. Be aware of how many days you are allowed to skip without any issues and use those days wisely. Date someone who will support your educational goals. Try to get your homework done before you go out the a party and realize that it's almost 11:59pm and you didn't do it. Don't be that student that only shows up during finals week.
Unfortunately there are some reasons that people don't graduate on time that can be out of their control such as running out of money or an illness. Life happens. It was hard to watch my best friend cope with not graduating on time. Although I didn't encounter any serious issues that could have postponed my graduation, I do know that without following these rules I wouldn't have graduated on time. The rules might not always be fun, but remember you came to college to finish and the sooner the better.