To the seniors who aren't graduating at the time they anticipated, the universe works in mysterious ways and I can assure you that everything happens for a reason.
I know, how cliche of me to say that and you're probably thinking I have no idea what it feels like to be a "5th-year super senior," but for someone who's had their graduation pushed back twice, I can now proudly say it's one of the best things to ever happen to me during undergrad.
Of course, there is the initial stage of frustration mixed heavily with anger and sadness. I'm not going to sit here and pretend like I was actually okay with the same advisor telling me not once, but twice that I wasn't going to graduate this semester. It undeniably sucked watching my best friends graduate and it sucked, even more, watching them move back home to have all the time in the world to focus on themselves while I was stuck on the fifth floor of Strozier studying for finals until 4 a.m. I've missed birthdays, concerts for artists who will probably never tour again, and for a while, I felt like I was in this never-ending loop destined to be stuck in undergrad forever, but here I am, graduating soon and everything up until this point felt like a blessing in disguise.
When we begin undergrad, we're told it takes four years to get your bachelors. You're supposed to take x amount of classes by x time and then that's it, but it truly doesn't really work like that. Everyone's collegiate path is different. Things come up in our lives and we have to take a semester off. Sometimes we think the major we originally chose as a freshman is something we want to do for the rest of our lives when it isn't, so we change majors. The financial burden of accumulating debt is troublesome, and sometimes we have to work full time just to pay for part-time classes. Whatever your reasoning may be––things happens––and that's perfectly okay; you have to make the best of it, or else it will eat you alive and bring you down to your lowest.
As I reflect back on my fifth year, I think about all the things that never would have happened if I graduated a year ago. I think about all the friends I've made; all the night outs and times spent in the library joking around. I think about the incredible opportunities I've had like networking and internships; people who have mentored me and taught me better. I don't really think about where my life would be if I did graduate a year ago because, in the end, the extra year spent here has only made me a better person.
Own your 5th year, senior.