College infographic

Go at your own pace. 

In today’s society, it’s frowned upon to take longer than four years to earn your degree.

According to The New York Times statistics, only 41 percent of students achieve the feat of being able to graduate in four years.

In addition, the California State University website reports that more than 62 percent of all CSU students take longer than four years to graduate. 

However, graduating in four years is a task that has become both overrated and unrealistic for the average college student. 

Unfortunately, college students don’t just enter college with one task at hand. 

Instead, they are quickly thrown into the real world of college expenses, working to pay bills and everyday life obstacles as well.

People need to understand that college is not at all about how fast you can graduate.

College is about individuals finding themselves and what course they want to take in life.

Give us college students a break. 

Not everyone has a means of financial income or the certainty of who they are as individuals to be able to map out a rigid four-year plan with little to no room for a margin of error. 

Many of us are barely starting to figure out who we are as adults and what career path we want to explore.

When I entered college, I was lucky enough to have a supportive parent who paid for my tuition, but my worries didn’t end there. 

I still had to attend college everyday knowing that I had no clue as to what I wanted to major in.

San Jose State radio-TV-film professor Alison McKee recently shared the struggles she endured when starting her own collegiate studies. 

McKee, like countless other college students, entered college with one specific major and career path in mind but ended up realizing she had a different passion she wanted to pursue. 

McKee’s collegiate journey required some additional years because she changed her major. 

Changing majors, as well as class size restrictions, are just some of the plethora of factors that prolong college education. 

While society views graduating in a four-year window as something achievable, we need to be more sensitive and empathetic toward students who don’t come from a background of academics and wealth.

Some people can finish college in four years or less. 

Those who graduate in less than four years typically do so when they attend more costly, more competitive private universities. 

Some of those students come from families with a long line of college graduates and have thus have multiple resources to succeed in academics. 

Another hardship and deterrent that extends the graduation time for many students is just the process of going to college as a whole. 

When someone is a first-generation college student, they often lack the knowledge of steps needed to expedite their time at a university, such as regularly meeting with an advising counselor and consistently looking for internships. 

The New York Times also reported that more than 40 percent of undergraduates across the United States work more than 30 hours a week, which no doubt can hinder a 12 or 15 unit course load. 

Another issue is that of students who transfer from a community or junior college to a four-year university. 

The New York Times reports that transfer students switch schools only to find that on average, 27 of their units will not count toward a degree.

Learning how to file FAFSA paperwork seems unbelievably hard to comprehend to many.

Knowing how to pick your classes to ensure you’re on the right track or simply even finding out which exact opportunities a school has to offer is also not an easy task.

We must acknowledge that each student is going through their own struggle and rarely are we looking at a student who has their entire life situation figured out.

The point blank truth is that college is hard. It’s not something you can breeze through, so never feel bad about taking a bit longer to get through it.

Pay no attention to the time span. 

The amount of time it takes to graduate should not take away from the fact that you did indeed graduate. 

What matters most is that you end up receiving that Bachelor’s degree, regardless of the number of years it takes to get it. 

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