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Why You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Taking Your Time in College

Jordynn Godfrey

Posted on April 5, 2021 14:52

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Today, it is still the norm to graduate with a degree in four years. However, the reality is that the number of non-traditional students (such as those who are parents, work full time, live on their own, or come from low-income families) are rising.

One thing I’ve been self-conscious about during my time in college is how long it has taken me thus far. I’ve been in college since I was a sophomore in high school, thanks to dual credit. Six years later, and here I am still attempting to finish my first bachelor’s degree.

By the time I graduate, it will have taken me seven years to finish. The main factors that slowed me down were money, time, and mental health. There was one semester where I worked full-time and took a full class load.

I did it, but I wanted to quit after that. I was so overwhelmed and burnt out that the next semester I decided to only take three classes. I noticed an improvement in my mental health, as well as my academic performance.   

Today, it is still the norm to graduate with a degree in four years. However, the reality is that the number of non-traditional students (such as those who are parents, work full time, live on their own, or come from low-income families) are rising. Colleges are only getting more expensive, and wages are slow to increase.         

Reason 1 why you should take your time in college is costs. In addition to college being rigorous and time-consuming, it is also expensive. Many parents cannot afford to drop $40k+ on tuition, leading to a growing number of students working while in school. For most of us, money can be a huge stressor, especially if you’re like me and paying tuition by yourself while trying to avoid student loans. To lessen the weight of this stress, it may benefit you to lessen your class load.   

As I mentioned before, college can be time-consuming. When I took five classes in addition to working full-time, I found myself stressing about not being able to meet class deadlines. I did it, but I was dragging and not putting my best foot forward.

I noticed my academic performance slipping a little bit, leaving me feeling hopeless as I just couldn’t find the time to put 100% into my classwork. Lessening your class load will ease your stress, and leave you with more time to ensure that you are doing your absolute best.            

One thing that suffers when I’m overloaded is my mental health. During that busy semester, I often considered quitting altogether. Simply put, overloading my plate left me overwhelmed and unmotivated. If you don’t want to spend your entire college career feeling like this, it may be a sign you should slow down a bit.      

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to graduate. You can take pride in knowing that you put yourself first – I know am. I am happier, less stressed, and am able to make the most of my experiences. What matters is how you spent time in your college, not how quickly you got out.

Jordynn Godfrey

Posted on April 5, 2021 14:52

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Source: WTSP

She wants trained mental health school counselors on every Polk school campus.                

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