Keep Calm and Just Graduate …Whenever You Can

May 2015 – the long anticipated date that I have been waiting for since the first day of freshman year.

This is the date that I have been writing for almost three whole years on every job, internship, and summer program application.

May 2015 is my expected graduation date. The word, “expected” scares me because expected does not mean definite, it is more like your graduation date is an estimate of when you’ll finally complete all of the credits the school requires you to fulfill. What if May 2015 comes along and I’m not walking across that long stage with the rest of my classmates?

When I entered the University as a freshman, I never gave second guessed when I would be graduating, it was always May 2015. But now with being only a little over a year away from the actual date, I find myself stressing out more than I ever have.

My major never changed, so luckily my sequence chart is successfully being filled, but my life plans have changed and unfortunately there is no sequence chart for that.

When I started off as a chemistry major I wanted to graduate, go onto obtaining my master’s degree, and eventually work for a big cosmetics company, working my way up to making five-digit figures. Is that my plan now? Not so much.

Last year I realized that I want to do more with chemistry, and wanted to pursue more than just my masters. I decided that I want to go to pharmacy school. Unfortunately, pharmacy does require some biological knowledge; something you do not get any of as a chemistry major.

That is where my dilemma comes in. I have two years to finish my bachelor’s degree and fulfill all the biology requirements pharmacy school is asking for and that is without a guarantee that I’ll actually get in. So that makes me question, why is when you actually graduate so significant? Honestly, it is not. Who cares if it takes you four or five years to graduate. What matters is that you did it. If your goal is to graduate in four years because that’s what works for you, then that is great. But if you suddenly wake up one morning and realize that you need more time, to get you act together and successfully graduate, then so be it.

Sure, cost does play a large factor into how long it actually takes you to graduate. The longer you’re here, the further in debt you put yourself in. Yet, at the same time, do not put yourself through traumatic stress to get out in four years if it is hurting you rather than helping.

So when I apply to all these jobs and internships and fill out that graduation box, yes I write May 2015. Who knows, it will probably be such, but that does not mean it’s what has to be done.

That does not mean that in May of next year I will be for sure be walking across stage ready to take on life with a sequence chart set up for the next stage of my life.

No one knows where life will take us. Life unfortunately does not come with a manual or a calendar instructing us on exactly what to do, how to do it and how long to take to do it.

The beauty of life is its unexpected twists and turns, and all we can do is embrace that fact and live the best possible life we can. Remember don’t let a predetermined date define you or stress you.