Coming into college, I was undecided. But I still figured that I'd find my major soon enough and be ready to graduate in the usual four years.
But college threw me a curveball. My initial declared major turned out to be the wrong one for me, and I ended up switching majors in the first semester of junior year.
Needless to say, this put a crimp in those "graduating in four years" plan.
When I decided to switch, I took a look at the classes I'd need to fill my new major...and panicked. Despite my major being my former minor, I still had many classes to complete--and definitely wouldn't be done by my original graduation date.
College up to that point had seriously sucked for me. I wasn't having a good college experience and had spent most of the first two years unhappy and alone, struggling to make friends in college. I was struggling with my mental health and just wanted to be out of college. To be past this point in my life and living in the real world. I most definitely did not want to stay in school for any longer than I had to.
With my new major, the classes have to be taken in a specific order. Because of that, and assuming everything works out, I'll be doing an extra semester come fall 2019 as a super senior and hopefully graduating that December.
The fact that it's only an extra semester doesn't make things any easier. Because the second I tell anyone I'm a senior in college, the immediate reactions are either, "Oh wow it's your last year!" and/or "That's awesome, so you're almost done!" I've hit the point where I don't even bother to explain that it's not, in fact, my last year and I am not almost done.
Frankly, hearing those phrases and any variation thereof sucks hard. They feel like a reminder that I failed at my first major, that I didn't have the skills I needed to go through with it. Hearing those words reminds me that I'll be seeing pictures on social media from my old high school classmates and college friends graduating when they're supposed to be, and I'll be getting ready for one more semester.
They feel like just another reason I'm different from everyone else, in a way that I can never make up for.
I'm still getting used to the fact that I'll be graduating late. I know I'm not the only one, and I know quite a few people who either graduated late or will be graduating late. This is a small comfort.
At the end of the day, I know it's not the end of the world that I won't be graduating come spring. Because now I'm in a major that is an infinitely better fit for me and my skills, and I'm learning things that I am actually good at and gaining valuable skills that I'll be able to use once I officially enter the "adult world" job market.
Not graduating on time does suck. Being in school for longer than you once planned isn't always fun. But in the end, it'll be worth it.