The Four-Year Engagement: How To Avoid Staying in College Forever

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College students are expected to graduate in four years. Any more time over that is cause for panic in the eyes of some. You only have four years. Four years to grow, fail, succeed, and train in order to enter into the ring of adulthood. To achieve so much in such a short period of time, students have to constantly make sure that their priorities are in order.

Why? Well, the worst case scenario is that you won’t be walking with the rest of your peers.

There are a few things that can help to make sure students are satisfying his or her requirements for graduation. Among them include daily visits to academic advisors.

Round 1:

These professors are meant to be a student’s “go-to” throughout their college careers. Ultimately it is your responsibility as a student to make sure you are taking the correct classes for your area of interest. However, advisors are there to do just that—advise. According to senior University of Maryland student Ashley Ajayi, they are meant to guide students and to confirm their class choices, answer questions about minors and to push them when they want to stop challenging themselves.

“They are a support system,” Ajayi said. “They can catch any mistake you missed and they’re helpful. Why not take advantage of them?”

The other half of this suggestion is up to the student. Along with picking classes and asking plentiful questions, one of them needs to be “Am I on track to graduate?” Although students have an advisor, it is their responsibility to make sure that they are asking the right questions and at the right time. Don’t wait until a few weeks before the anticipated graduation date to make sure that all of your credits have been met. Start early and plan accordingly.

Round 2:

The next step is to make sure you are taking the necessary classes. Every student needs to take a few elective classes along with those required for majors. So, keep it interesting. After all, you deserve it. Make your class schedule diverse. The more interested you are in the classes you are taking, the more willing you’ll be in doing the work.

But, don’t take too many electives without checking with an advisor or your degree progress report first. Morgan State University Vice President of Student Affairs Kevin Banks suggests that this is the best way for students to stay on track along with staying connected to academic advisors. The last thing any student would want is to take a class that isn’t required for their major or doesn’t fulfill the necessary prerequisites for graduation.

“Many institutions now have online degree audits that keep the students informed of their academic progress,” said Banks.

Also, make sure that the class you are taking has the right amount of credits. If you three more credits to graduate, don’t absentmindedly take a class that is only two credits. Play it smart, guys.

Round 3:

The most important part is making sure that grades are up to par. The last couple of semesters can make or break graduation for a college student. Crunch time is crucial. Now is not the time to slack off, so continue to push through until the end. A college student’s dream is to walk across a huge stage and grasp that degree they worked so hard for. So do just that. Don’t let grades jeopardize your future. College is too expensive to not give your all. 


Junior > Journalism and Mass Communication > Towson University

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