Why It Is Okay to Graduate Late


By Hannah Curran | hcurran1@radford.edu

In life, there is no such thing as getting around to doing something “late.” This implies that there is an “early” or “on-time” way to live life, which there is not. Life is on a personal timeline, and that is how everyone should respect each other on this matter.

People come to college at different times, and there is nothing wrong with that. Even if a student comes to college at the “normal” time (right after high school), and even then a student might stay longer than the standard four years.

Taking more than four years to get a bachelor’s degree is not a big deal. Maybe the student had to work, or perhaps a significant change took place in their life which resulted in a setback. However, why would someone waste time and money on a major he or she realized they hated halfway through college?

Graduating “late” directly affected senior Lexi Beiry. She graduated high school in 2014, making her two years “later” then the social standard.

“I believe it is fine to graduate late,” said Beiry. “Many friends of mine have gone to community college and lost their credits when they transferred to Radford. There are others who pursued a career in the military first, then went to college. There is no set time to get an education.” Lexi is right; not everyone conforms to what ‘should’ be done.

Many students decide to go into the military before college. This is honestly a great plan if it is a struggle (beyond the normal struggle of unreasonably high tuition) to pay for college. Once you are out of the military, they will help veterans pay for college, if not paying for the whole thing.

Why wouldn’t a student use that even if it “puts them behind”?

There is a stigma for going to college at a certain right time, and more and more people are going against this which I think is a good thing. It shouldn’t be the only way to be successful especially considering how expensive it is.

If a student wants to go to college and has to take a gap year to work and save money for it (which is an asinine situation, to begin with), then the fact that it will put them a year behind should not matter to anyone.

“Yet it does!”

Is what I hear from others and things like “Wow you’re 24 and haven’t graduated yet?” Who cares? It really can affect someone’s ego when comments like that have become so mainstream in today’s society.

Culture has suddenly decided that going to college right after high school is the key to having a successful life – but it is not.

Life happens, and sometimes that plan is just totally unrealistic. Students can’t afford it; they join the military, they go to community college, or they go to trade schools and going to college just isn’t going to happen right away.

And that is okay.

Photo Credit: (Andre Hunter on Unsplash)