Why It's Okay To Take More Than 4 Years To Earn Your Degree

Why It's Okay To Take More Than 4 Years To Earn Your Degree

In elementary school, you think "I miss sitting at home and eating snacks and taking naps." In high school, you think "Middle school was a breeze, I wish I could go back." In the real world, you think "College was the best four... five... six... years of my life." If that's the thought that's going to follow you around for the rest of your life, you better make sure you at least did it right. This is why it's okay to take more than four years to earn your degree.

College is an important part of your life. It's a lot more than going to class every day. College is where you get to experiment, explore, and figure out what you're good at and what you like. College is where you learn about life and unfortunately, sometimes in life, you need to sacrifice. If that sacrifice happens to be pushing a class or two back a semester in order to join a fraternity, that's okay as long as you're happy! If you decide that you need another semester so you can express yourself in an art show, or another year so you can play football, do it! And more power to you if you're extending your school time in order to pick up a minor or a double major.

College is your time to set goals for yourself. If you want to leave college with a mechanical engineering degree, that's awesome. What does it matter if it takes you four or five (or even more) years to do it? Unlike high school, no one is going to judge you for taking an extra year to complete your necessary requirements. Or an extra two years. Or three. Or however long it takes for you to fulfill your accomplishments. This is your time to grow.

I know that it's easier said than done but you can't allow other people's opinions to cloud your vision. Whether it's about what makes you happy or how long it takes you to get there, nothing matters except how you feel about the situation.

Another reason it's okay to take more than four years is because life happens. College is meant to help you, not hurt you. It's okay if you can only go to school part-time if you're working to pay for your education. I know from experience that family emergencies can set you back a semester or so, and believe me - it's not the end of the world if you fail a class (It's actually quite common!). You should always focus more on your mental health than feel pressured to finish college in the suggested time frame.

Basically, you shouldn't freak out if you need to take an extra semester, or even a year or two. College is supposed to be the best years of your life, no matter how many years it takes you! There's no need to stress it. Just relax, take a deep breath and remember - there's always next semester.

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.


7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.


10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.


13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!


16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!


19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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