Why is graduating ‘on time’ an expectation?

Jessica Stewart, Columnist

Anyone who has ever met with an adviser has probably heard the phrase “graduating on time,” especially if they’ve changed their major. Why is it an expectation to graduate “on time,” and why is four years the expectation?

While I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, I stumbled across a post by a writer named Savannah Locke. She wrote about different examples of people doing things at their own pace.

Locke’s writing really supported my opinion on graduating “on time” and that we shouldn’t push the idea that it means graduating in four years. However long it takes you to graduate is right on track for you. Pushing the idea that people have to graduate in four years or they’ve failed limits the amount of creativity students can have.

If someone has to graduate in four years, they may not be able to do everything they want to do while in college. They may not be able to study abroad or do an internship. They may not be able to hold a job or volunteer. They may not be able to take as many electives as they would like to. For example, did you know Eastern offers dance classes? You can also learn to play an instrument. If you’ve always wanted to play piano, you could take a couple of classes and learn. Although, if you’re trying to graduate in four years and you’re on a tight schedule, you might not have time for these extra classes.

I understand money may be an issue for a lot of people, myself included. The way I see it, though, is how many chances are we going to get in life to be this young and have this many opportunities? How many chances are we going to get to travel the world on a scholarship? Not many.

We have a world of opportunity at our fingertips right now. We shouldn’t be so concerned with meeting a fictional deadline of graduating “on time.” We should take advantage of all of the chances we have right now to explore and to grow. Our path is determined by our passion, not by a universal timeline.

If you want to read all of Savannah’s writing, or if you want to read more of her writing, you can follow her on Instagram at @savannah_locke.

Jessica Stewart is a sophomore English education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].