When we enter college, we have a predetermined number in our minds of how long we are going to be there. Whether it be for an associates degree (2 years) or a bachelors degree (4 years), we have expectations for ourselves to fulfill our degree within that set amount of time. However, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way.

Even though there is a target number of years for you to complete a degree, you don't HAVE to complete your degree in that set amount of time. Even though you often times feel the pressure to take five classes every semester and finish "on time", sometimes that just isn't realistic because life happens.

For whatever reason, you didn't graduate in the four years you expected to. If you're like me, and added a double major, that takes some time to accomplish. So, when you see all of your classmates whom you entered college with graduating and you're left behind, it is sort of a daunting feeling. You just have to keep in mind why you started in the first place. Did you begin this path just for the four year journey? Probably not. For one reason or another, you had a "why" that sparked a fire in you

What nobody really talks about is the fact that graduating in more than four years is much harder than graduating in only four. Therefore, the path that you are on, perhaps is harder than that of your peers. It's not easy seeing all of your peers graduate without you. It's not easy continuing on when others are getting into the work force. What you are doing takes a special kind of person.

The good thing about taking an extra year or so to finish your degree is that you probably had more time, and you probably had more money. You were able to work during this time and not be the stereotypical "broke college student". You didn't miss out on different family events because you "had too much homework". So, who really wins here?

In the end, there are pro's and con's to every side. No, it is not ideal to take forever finishing your degree. However, nobody has any authority to tell you that you have to finish in four years. Take it in stride, enjoy your time, and don't sweat the small stuff.