Let me start off by saying that being a fifth-year senior was never my plan. I mean, who actually plans on staying in college for a whole extra year? I know I didn’t, but I guess that it was just in the cards for me. As I am nearing the end of my second to last spring semester, I began to feel guilty. Why couldn’t I finish in four years like the rest of my peers?

My Twitter and Instagram feeds are full of my friends and classmates sharing statuses about applying for graduation or posting pictures of their decorated caps. I, on the other hand, am taking advantage of another 12 months of Spotify student discount. Instead of moping around about not walking across that stage just yet, I realized that an extra year of college is really a blessing in disguise. I mean, who graduates on time, anyway? Collegiate athletics promote fifth years, but they just call them “redshirts,” so let’s celebrate ourselves!

Instead of feeling guilty or embarrassed, fifth-year seniors need to seize the day because we have a whole extra year to enjoy the college life before heading out into the real world. Once the excitement of graduation wears off, our peers will be making tough decisions and they will most definitely be jealous of us. Our time is coming, but, for now, we will continue to take advantage of all of those student discounts. Sorry, college grads.

I am beyond excited to see where my post-grad life takes me, but, for now, there’s no sense in feeling sorry for myself. Although I wish that I was flipping my tassel alongside my friends, I know that there is more in store for me this coming school year. Throughout my college career, I have learned that it is okay to be scared or nervous, it’s okay to quit sometimes, and, most importantly, it is okay to not finish in four years.

Even though it is a bit longer than most students, my college experience is what I made it. I have two more semesters to continue my campus involvement, to cheer my team on at sporting events, and to relish in the rowdy, Friday night bar scene. Not to mention that fifth-years have one more summer, winter, and spring break to enjoy.

Being a fifth-year senior is not something to be ashamed of or to worry about. Ask any college graduate and they’ll tell you that they would give anything to go back to the glory days. Lucky for us, we have an extra year to savor! That said, live it up and take advantage of all of the perks around campus. Work hard, study hard, and play hard. Say yes to every to free t-shirt that comes your way. Attend all of the professional development opportunities that you can and prepare yourself for the real world because it will creep up faster than we know it.

To each and every “super senior” out there, it’s OK! Your time is coming.