Life Lessons For Non-Traditional Students
Entertainment

Life Lessons For Non-Traditional Students

Enjoy this time for what it offers and don't dwell on the "what-ifs."

6
Life Lessons For Non-Traditional Students
Michelle Dufflocq

By now it is pretty common for an undergraduate degree to take more than four years; however, it still feels abnormal. Even if you've taken 16-plus credits per semester and passed every single class you can still end up as a fifth or even sixth-year student. I happen to be one of those people and I'm not going to lie -- it sucks. It feels like I'm the kindergartner who couldn't color inside the lines so I'm getting held back one year. I'm the non-traditional student. The weird one. The student who didn't really know what she wanted to do so she took every class under the sun and only after three years declared a major. I'm the fifth-year student who will likely end up going taking an 11th semester -- and you know what? I don't care. There are valuable lessons to be learned from taking your time and I will never regret that.

1. Confidence

By the time my "traditional" four years were over I had no idea what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be, or who I even was. Even though it's stressful dealing with some of the setbacks that come with being a non-traditional student, I'm glad that I'm still in school. Not only do I know exactly what I want to do when I receive my diploma, but I know where and who I want to be. I'm more confident not only in myself but in my abilities as well. I know what I bring to the table as a potential employee; I also know exactly what I deserve in terms of friendships and relationships and how to be my best self.


2. Experience

Staying in school longer than the normal amount of time has given me the opportunity to gain experience in so many fields I would not have thought to explore otherwise. Since my 4th year of college I've gained invaluable experience in writing, editing, photography, marketing, and leadership; not only in the classroom but in professional environments as well. This has all lead me to a career path that I am motivated to pursue every day! Not only that but through these experiences I have gained friends that I will have for life -- we share the same passions, have the same end goal, and think the same way. I thought I would end up graduating with no friends and no passion for anything other than food and cats; now I have a multitude in each category and I thank my lucky stars every day for deciding to take my time.

What I wish someone told me?

I wish that I had someone there to tell me that it's okay to not be the stellar four-year undergrad that I thought I would be. That taking your time means gaining even more experience. That an extra year means nothing in the grand scheme of things. I wish someone had told me that a lot of people take five or more years to graduate and that it's okay. Nothing about being a non-traditional student reflects poorly on you.

I think that when I look back on my college years that I will be so so grateful to have had the extra year or so under my belt. I didn't feel ready to take on the world after four years and I can only benefit from taking more time to prepare myself. The "real world" will still be there in 2017 and I will take it on even more fiercely than I would have at my original graduation date.

Here's the deal -- it feels a little weird walking around campus with so many young freshmen around you, but that's okay. Revel in the discomfort and adapt. You're now the cool older person on campus that freshmen look up to for advice. You can be that helping hand that a lot of underclassmen need in order to figure out their future. Don't shy away from being different -- embrace it and change the world with it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

We have all been there. Mindlessly scrolling through social media and then we see that post. We see someone we once saw a future with creating it with someone else. However this time it was really different. A lot of times when we say we are happy for someone we don't really mean it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Nordstrom's Biggest Sale Has The Most Legendary Deals On Luxury Beauty Brands We've Ever Seen

Counting down the days to the Chanel box set gracing my front door.

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments