I'm A 'Super Senior' And Ultimately, I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

I'm A 'Super Senior' And Ultimately, I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

Taking more than four years to finish college is actually more common than you think...

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Ever since the beginning of high school, I had my academic future planned out. I was going to be a pre-med student in college, graduate with my bachelor's degree within four years, then move onto graduate school. Once I started taking my pre-med classes, I started struggling quite a bit.

I was retaking certain classes not only to get a better grade but to also understand the material more. After retaking multiple courses, I started to fall behind in the number of credit hours necessary to keep the proper class status. At that point, I knew I wasn't going to be able to graduate in four years and would eventually become a "super senior."

The term "super senior" refers to a student who will be taking longer than the traditional four years to complete their undergraduate studies. People can become a super senior for a variety of reasons.

Some people may not be able to attend school full time. Others may double major or be in a program that takes longer than four years to complete. There are also instances where students develop different interests and change their major.

As I said, I had never planned on being a super senior, so when it became my reality, I felt defeated. Being a super senior made me feel like I was failing at college. During my fourth year of school, I witnessed many of my friends since freshman year filling out their graduation paperwork, applying to graduate programs, getting internships and co-ops, or looking for their first adult job. While I was happy for their success, it was hard watching my friends graduate without me.

Another unpleasant aspect of being a super senior is having to tell people you are one. I've lost count on the number of times friends and family have assumed I would be graduating and asked me what my plans were for the next year, and I had to awkwardly respond that I would still be finishing up classes for my degree.

As much as I didn't want to become a super senior, the fact was that I became one. However, I am currently in the last semester of my undergraduate studies and I must say that I am truly thankful that I got to spend that extra year in college.

Having the additional time in college gave me the opportunity to realize what my true calling was. I was able to take classes that I would have never taken on my pre-med pathway and I discovered that social science subjects like psychology and social work are actually my passion.

Once I realized I was in the wrong major and started taking classes that interested me, I actually started to look forward to going to class every day. Not only did I like my classes, but my grades improved immensely.

Another bonus to being a super senior has been the new relationships that have developed. Once all of my college friends graduated and moved away, I tried to find other people to spend my time with. I am so thankful for all of the new friendships I have made because of being a super senior. Had I not been in school that extra year, odds are good I would have never met them!

All in all, becoming a super senior was not part of my initial plan, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I was able to learn more about myself and what my passions are, as well as meet some amazing new people along the way.

In the end, it doesn't matter how long it takes for you to get that degree, all that matters is that you earned it!

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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5 Ways To Tackle Credit Overload In College As A Sleep-Deprived Senior

So you think you can take 19 credits. Well, you can!

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So you were ambitious and went into credit overload this semester. Cheers to you! You're hopefully right on track to graduate, if not ahead. Regardless of the reason you chose to bog yourself down with more work than others, here are some tips I've come up with along the way for a successful semester.

1. Make a daily to-do list for each class.

Every day I make a list of all of my classes and what is upcoming for each class. That includes assigned reading, homework and upcoming quizzes and tests. This allows me to visually plan what is on my plate for each day. I am also far less likely to forget an assignment if I continuously write it down until I complete it.

2. Prioritize these items!

Rank the items you just listed to your highest priority (due today or tomorrow) to least priority (due a few weeks from now). This allows you to manage your time and get what you need to get done on time.

3. Try to do your homework on the day it is assigned.

I understand that this is obviously easier said than done. But, one of my professors gave my class this advice in my very first semester of college, and I have remembered it and cherished that advice ever since.

If you are assigned homework on Monday in a class that meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it is much better to get it out of the way on Monday afternoon rather than wait until Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning, if you're good at procrastinating). This also lessens your workload on weekends.

4. Etch out time every day to spend in the library.

I never used to believe it when people said you do better work in the library because at home you have more freedom and are distracted. Now that I am in my senior year of college, I have finally found that to be true. I wish I realized that sooner. Now I spend at least three hours a day in the campus library three days a week. If you want to spread it out to one hour a day, that's fine, too. Find a schedule that works for you.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

My university has a web page with a countdown to graduation. I keep it bookmarked on my laptop. When I am feeling unmotivated, I click the link and remind myself of how many days there are until graduation. If your university doesn't have this feature, you can make your own graduation countdown on a variety of countdown websites. Find something tangible to focus on achieving. You can do this!

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