To the student who is not graduating on time,
I'm not gonna lie to you, it's hard. That moment when all your friends are getting their caps and gowns and posting their countdowns to the last day of their college careers and not being able to celebrate with them is super upsetting. It makes you feel ashamed, left out, and like you didn't do enough or try hard enough, but you should not feel that way at all.
One thing to remember about college and life in general is that it's not a race. Everyone is on their own path and should go at their own pace. Comparing your journey to another person's is not going to do you any good. The jobs and opportunities will still be there once you finally graduate, no rush. Just because you have more time left in school doesn't mean you are dumb or not as capable as your peers, maybe you changed your major, maybe you didn't do so well in a class so you had to retake it, or had money troubles. There are so many reasons as to why people have to add time to their college experience, so don't let it bring you down. Your patience will seriously be tested while you are still in school and you might want to give up, but you're too close to the end to do that. We have all had to wait for things at some point in our lives so you have to realize that at some point, if you keep working hard, you will get there. It's just a matter of time!
It might feel like you're being judged by the people around you and society in general but in all honesty, no one really cares THAT much. At first they may be like "damn that sucks," but I promise, in half a second they probably won't even be thinking about it and if they are then that's their own problem. Bringing it up to your parents may be hard at first but you are their child and they should want you to succeed at your own rate, knowing that at some point you WILL get there.
One benefit of having to stay in school a bit longer is that it gives you more time to figure things out and decide what jobs you're interested or what you want to do afterwards. A lot of people who graduate on time are still super confused about what they really want to do so having a little extra time is actually pretty nice in that aspect. Another thing to remember is that graduation in general is a huge accomplishment. Whether it's in 4 years or 10 years, you still did it. You put in the time and effort and made it through, and that is something to be proud of. Not everyone makes it through college, any people quit or drop out when it gets tough, so you should be proud that you stuck it out.
One last thing to remember is that there are thousands of people in your same position, you are not alone. Graduating college takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You will get there when you get there, keep pushing, you got this!
I wish you nothing but the best,
A girl in the same boat