An ode to the fifth year seniors

Kalyn Johnson

While we strive for the 15 for four, it isn’t a bench mark. Instead, the bench mark is attending an institution and doing your best no matter what’s thrown at you. In all honesty, 15 hours a semester for four years doesn’t work for everyone. Take my major for example. My major and minor go over 120 hours. So sometimes you can’t help but stay another semester.

Finishing within the same year is ideal, let’s be honest with ourselves. The faster we finish our mandatory internships and observation hours the better. As long as we finish, and finish strong, then it doesn’t matter how we do it. Yet, not everyone finishes in the first four years and that’s fine. We change majors, join clubs, get involved with Greek life and even find ourselves at a student publication and find out passions we didn’t know we had.

No matter when you graduate, or if you take time off, just try to finish. We should all have the ability to walk across a red carpet, shake the standing president’s hand and be proud of where we’ve come from. I asked Taryn Mitchell, a junior from Chicago, how she felt about seniors graduating in five years

“Graduating in five years isn’t a big deal, hey at least you got it done. Time doesn’t matter,” she said “I feel it’s fine if you graduate in five years. Especially if you have a demanding major that requires a lot of hours.”

When asked about individuals taking between four and five years to graduate, senior Frankie Poynter from Lebanon, Tennessee said she didn’t think there was a limit of years that someone should be or should not be in college, and I agree. Putting a time limit on someone’s academic career could set them up for failure because not everyone works at the same pace.

Additionally, there can be perks to being a fifth year student, Andre Dowell, Brandenburg senior said it best.

“I feel that students who are fifth year have the opportunity to better prepare themselves for post graduation and are able to gain more experience and professional development skills,” Dowell said.

Fifth year seniors not only have these opportunities, but if their last couple of semesters are light, then they also have the opportunity to branch out and try more things with their extra time as an undergraduate.

Stressing about finishing in four years is pointless if we’re chasing after career paths we know we will be happy with. The final year of college is supposed to be fun and filled with great memories, not worrying about meeting a four year goal. Don’t take my advice, listen to what Poynter had to say.

“My advice is to live up the last semester in college!”