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Why It’s Okay to Not Graduate in Four Years

Gratuating students thowing their academic caps in the air

Nishwa Chaudhry

by Nishwa Chaudhry

2nd Year Student in International Management

“When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?” (Billy Joel)

University is a weird phase for students.

It’s the official bridge between childhood and adulthood.

It’s a purgatory that blurs the line between what’s acceptable to do as a young adult finding one’s place in life and a grown-up ready to hit the ground running.

It’s a time where failures and mistakes are encouraged because as soon as you cross that graduation stage, people can’t chalk up the fact that you’re just a kid or a student.

University is a weird, but almost comforting phase for students.

So, why is everyone in such a rush?

Four years will come and go in a blink of an eye and in hindsight, the experiences and memories made in university will be cemented as an essential period in your life. The stigma for students that decide they want to change programs or for the students that just need a little break is almost taboo. The mere concept of graduating past four years brings up several questions that have an undertone of negative connotations like: “What happened?” or “Is everything okay?”

Everything is okay.

And everyone is different. Everyone has a different path and distinct opportunities. Graduating in four years may not be the right path for you. Rushing through a part of your life just because you feel pressured to by society’s standards is an easily preventable regret. Take a year off if you feel like you have to. Change programs if you know that this is not the future you see yourself in. Four years is not the deadline that everyone has set for you and it’s definitely not the deadline that you should feel chained to.

There’s so much waiting for you. Before you know it, you’ll be right there in the middle of everything. Years will fly by. You will hit different milestones and make countless more memories. It will be at your doorstep one day, so there’s no need to rush out the door to find it.

So, like Billy Joel says, slow down and cool it off before you burn it out.

Vienna waits for you.