Don’t rush graduation


Laquavia Smith/ Staff Writer

Four years and 8 months of deadlines, final exams, research papers and presentations. Four years and 8 months of commuting and not commuting. As a student among the graduating class of 2017, it has taken me an extra 8 months to officially graduate. These 8 months have not necessarily lingered a bad taste nor a negative energy, but have created friendships, networking, enlightenment and a diligent work ethic that I wasn’t aware that I could even produce.

On no level,  shape or form do I want to create this idea that one needs to graduate on time, or early. Knowledge, better yet the desire for education is a messy thing that can create conflict, a term in our society that we are constantly worried about. When it comes to FIU specifically, as a university, according to College Factuals, on average 23.6 percent of first-time/full-time students graduate on time (two or four years depending on the degree) and the university contains an overall graduation rate of 54.2 percent.

A segment on USA Today argued that according to a study performed by Complete College America, most American students are completing their 4-year Bachelor’s degree in six years.

Reasons for this stigmatized “set-back” included lack of clear plan/advising, change of majors, change of universities and unnecessary courses. I agree to disagree. On a personal level yes, I’ve changed my major — not to the extent of acquiring extra classes — and yes, I haven’t had the best advising, but I always had a clear plan.

When it comes to studies based on social norms or what is thought to be the “right way” to do something, it always gets a little bias. If I were to conduct my own study here at FIU, I’m pretty sure we would see many of our students saying that they didn’t do too well freshman year and that they took a break. Or maybe I’m just speaking from experience.

When we conduct research, studies and surveys at FIU, two factors play a huge role. Factor number one, we are a mass of minorities. We are an organization built of different cultures, customs and countries. Along with our minorities comes this factor of not only first-time generation students, but also collectivism cultures.

For anyone who hasn’t taken a communication or sociology class, collectivist cultures, briefly defined, is any culture that emphasizes family and work group goals above individual needs or desires. What I’m trying to get across is simply the fact that yes, school, education and graduating is important. One must learn to juggle their academic life with their social life and if you are like myself and work full-time as well, it can get a little challenging.

Family comes first in my world, and if for any reason I have to take a break from my “four-year” degree, I’d do it. Let’s stray away from this individualistic idea of time. Go at your own speed, behave in the way that makes you feel the most comfortable, but never too comfortable. In the words of my reverend father, “It does not matter how long it takes you to do it, as long as you do it.”  



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo taken from Flickr.

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