This is a response to “I Should Be Graduating Today.”
Since I started my undergraduate career at Miami, I knew that there was a good chance that I would graduate early. I took college classes in high school and loved the psychology major that was offered, which meant I was slightly ahead of pace and likely wouldn’t change my major. However, I feared that I would be missing out on the college experience due to leaving early. This fear went away, though, as I was still able to study abroad, volunteer, conduct research, and have fun with my friends - all aspects that you look forward to as a freshman (okay, maybe not the research part as much). As graduation is approaching this upcoming weekend, I have appreciated the ability to graduate at your own pace to truly follow your passions.
As mentioned in the original article, changing your major can impact your ability to graduate “on time” and although I was lucky enough to love psychology and not change my major, most people do at some point in their college experience. It’s totally normal to change your major and I would encourage exploring different options throughout your undergraduate career. By exploring, you’re taking advantage of the opportunities that the college experience offers. Changing your program or major can allow you to spend more time on something you’re passionate about, whether it’s having extra time in your schedule to dedicate to extracurriculars or dedicating your academic time to a field you’re excited to learn about.
You should graduate and take college at your own pace because it’s your college experience. Everyone has a different path and to complete their journey, sometimes they have to take a victory lap or two. That’s normal. Everyone has different circumstances as well, with some students needing more time to handle challenges and responsibilities throughout their college experience, leading them to take a bit longer. An important note as well, it’s okay if you need to take a break. Taking a semester off for any reason is valid, your health and well-being should take priority over academics.
As I prepare to graduate soon, especially as a first-generation college student, I feel privileged to have had an amazing college experience. Despite graduating early, the experiences and opportunities I had over the past three years exceeded my expectations. When pursuing a college degree, know that things can change and that’s okay. Your interests, passions, and goals for the future may change but that’s okay. That’s better than okay, considering that college is meant for exploration and growth. Graduate at your own pace, take your time, and do what’s best for you!