You Might Not Graduate On Time – And That’s Okay!
Navigating your studies is never an easy task. A lot of the time I find myself asking if I am actually doing what I want, or if I’m just doing it to be a so-called ‘success’.
I’ll ask myself what success really means, but that’s the thing, it doesn’t have just one meaning. Some people define success as being an academic in university, taking five courses all at once. Others will see success as living your life in a fulfilling way, going on constant adventures with friends and family.
But why can’t we do both?
The simple answer is, you can!
If taking five courses and balancing your work and social life works for you, that’s great! But for some of you who are like me and struggling to do so, just know that it is completely okay if you choose to take fewer courses if that eases your stress levels and helps your mental health.
I know personally taking five courses and balancing work and my social life all at once is a lot to do and I am not enjoying myself as much as people tell me I should be during this stage in my life.
Procrastination became more and more constant for all of my assignments. Due dates began to pile up, and my mental health took a turn for the worst. What you experience might not be the exact same, but these were my own signs that I was doing way too much and burning myself out.
The only solution I could think of was to drop some classes for the second semester, and that’s what I have decided to do. Even though this means that I will either have to take some summer courses to catch up or graduate later than my peers, it is more important to prioritize mental health than worry about doing everything in a ‘timely’ manner. Besides, it’s better to enjoy your time in university than to struggle your way through it.
Ultimately, if you are thinking about dropping some classes to only have four, three or even two classes in your schedule, know that you are not alone. Do what is best for you and remember to take care of yourself. After all, this is your life and you get to decide how you spend your time!
I loved this article because it’s timeless advice that can apply to any level of student. I took 4.5 years to finish my Bachelor’s over 20 years ago and that was even after having to retake a prerequisite course in the summer. I don’t regret doing that then because it meant that I was able to take nothing but courses towards my major in my final semester, and being able to arrange my schedule so that I could do that was a pretty awesome feeling.
I’m currently in the Master’s of Community Development program here at UVic and I know I won’t be graduating until possibly after Summer 2023; that’s three semesters longer than the intended program duration. The delays were a combination of the process of community consultation going long and my chronic medical issues (including dealing with the fallout of adding a new diagnosis to my medical condition stack). I am really glad that UVic students now live in a time where we have easy access to mental health and assistive learning. I wish everyone well with their studies, no matter how long or how many breaks you need to take.