It’s your senior year in college and all the excitement of graduation and accomplishment has consumed you, as it should. Until suddenly you realize it’s been five years. Five years since you got your acceptance letter to attend your graduating college. Five years since you’ve been dreaming of this day, to walk across stage with your bachelors. College says your degree is four years. Four years to complete countless hours of studying, protects and internships. Four years of college life. Why? They measure the time it takes to graduate with credit hours and not considering the reality of life’s obstacles that come with college life. As a full time student for four years, a student could graduate “on time”. That’s if all financial needs are covered in order to pay for those classes, the student has time to be a full time student and still be financial stable with good grades. Along with this is college life, being social, going out, football games, traveling, experiencing life, falling in love and starting a life. The only thing that can be realistically done for the majority of students, if they wanted to finish in four years is to only focus on classes (which students should). That however, limits them from work. So ideally the only student who finish in four years are those who are already financial stable. Most of the time their parents being there to help along the way. In the economy and the cost of schooling in 2015 that is hard to come by. Most students are paying their way with finical aid (which based off their parents income) and student loans. Both which are not enough to support a full time student to graduate on time. Students’ parents don’t spend all their pay check on their child to go to college, some even spend none and leave it up to the student to find a way to fund the rest. This situation is more common than people seem to understand. Even when the government does send enough to pay for tuition or even books that student still may have bills of their own in order to attend that college.
Our society has become expected to attend college but doesn’t get the support to do so realistically. We live in a time were prisons have a bigger budget then education and the government still wonders why there is so much unemployment. Instead they should be investing in education. It is proven societies with higher education are better off. Yet, somehow our government seems to ignore that. Then when it comes time to graduate we are looked at in almost shame as to why it took us so long to graduate. Why, am I rushing to a work force where my odds of being employed are against me? Why, am I forced to choose education over life experiences, travel and love? These are equally as important when becoming educated and a well-rounded person. Unfortunately, the system we have implemented in our society doesn’t let us practice that easily. We are expected to go four years with books and studies, oh and our credit hours. Somehow, with that they think they will get the best person to employ. I strongly disagree.
I am a proud five year senior. I have traveled to many countries and learn about different cultures. I’ve learned about these cultures through my own experiences not books or assignments. I’ve learned how to conduct myself in a work place. I’ve been able to learn at my own pace and enjoy life while investing in my future with the education I have received. I am a proud five year senior because I have paid America’s overly priced tuition out of my own pockets. A five year senior like me has parents who help support them but is also aware they have expenses of their own, some how the government forgets that and doesn’t help to aid me. I’m a proud five year senior because I have switched my major, I have messed up. With all of that why does society look at me weird when I complete my education but it has taken me longer than the degree was designed? A bachelors shouldn’t be known as or expect to be completed in only four years. It should be encourage and accepted no matter how long it takes a student. We all have a different journeys. When we make tracks like education so cookie cutter we don’t allow individuals to fully take advantage of the education they have available nor life’s opportunities that surround them at the same time.