Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service
Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Wake up at six in the morning, brush your teeth in the shower and pick out clothes with one eye open as the other one catches up on sleep – a quick daily routine in order to make it on time for that long day ahead. It seems like the older we get, the shorter the day becomes. We are always in a rush, trying to get everything done in the quickest manner. We live for that satisfying feeling of knowing that everything on the to-do list is marked off. But are the sleepless nights needed to finish that “big” paper really that serious? Is a speeding ticket in order to make it to work on time really worth it? Really think about this next rhetorical question. Is rushing through college to make that four-year deadline actually realistic?

Yes, I know many people have done it before, but is it really the best course of action for everyone? No, I don’t think so. It’s the natural thinking of the same society that forces us to believe that standardized tests measure our value. It’s just perceived that people who graduate in four years are the successful ones. However, the amount of time it takes someone to graduate from college does not guarantee a successful future. In fact, graduating alone doesn’t completely guarantee that future.

As students, we strain ourselves to be that perfect kid that every parent wants. As ideal as it would be to graduate within four years, sometimes it’s just not meant to be. It’s already hard enough juggling our awkward social lives, managing to stay alive with our minimum wage jobs and keeping our perfect little reputations as perfect as they can be for our parents. Now imagine topping all that with 18 credit hours. Each class consumes about an hour and 15 minutes, not including the excessive amount of work outside of class. It’s overwhelming, but somehow, some of us manage to do it.

On the other hand, some students are already in their fifth year trying to complete that last bit of classes – and that’s completely understandable. Often, students go into college with a certain major in mind, but by junior year and after three change of major forms, there’s no other choice but to take more classes and push back graduation. In other circumstances, taking five classes a semester can be very difficult. Everyone has different stress levels, and some people are simply better under pressure,.

I’m not trying to encourage anyone to stop setting goals for that four-year plan, but I’m simply trying to saying that it’s understandable if you don’t. Everyone has their own pace and methods. College is meant for our own personal enrichment, so wouldn’t it make sense to set our own goals and follow our own pace?   

I am student at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I am a current Marketing major. Apart from writing for NinerTimes, I enjoy spending my time swimming, playing volleyball, go on adventurous trips, and most importantly spending time with friends and family. I spend a lot of my time helping the community by joining non-profit organizations and volunteering. My biggest goal is to have a huge positive influence and be considered a historical idol someday.


  1. […] following is a letter to the editor in response to “Going at your own pace: The typical 4-year graduation plan is becoming more unrealistic,” published in print in the Jan. 27 through Feb. 2 issue of the Niner Times, and online on […]

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