Why I’m not in a hurry to graduate (and why you shouldn’t either)

June 16, 2017
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One throws a cap in the air. Another does a Toyota jump. The obligatory graduation pics and Boomerangs grow in number as I keep tabs on what’s happening on the ‘gram.

As for me though, I just made it through another semester. To celebrate, my friend and I head to Ikea to scoff down meatballs, plus their cheeky cinnamon buns, because why the heck not.

While I’m in awe that my faves have successfully reached the green light, to paraphrase Lorde, a tiny part of me goes, “That could’ve been me,” all robed and capped up. But no! In fact, I’m happy doing this uni thing at my own pace, and so should you – here’s why.

Growing up can wait

As much as I’d love to nab the full-time job of my dreams, I’m not cut for the nine-to-five life – yet.

Any mention of the shitty office air-con, prepacked lunches and awkward elevator chit-chats with colleagues has got me like, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Experiencing the same sitch? Well, look at it this way: If you’re not ready to jump ship, the real world isn’t ready for your awesome talents either.

So, if you don’t want to leap straight into the great unknown, delay the graduation meltdown (if it’s allowable).

Making the most of #unilyf

To get out (leave) right now would be ace, but as one Reddit user asks, “How do you not know life in college is the easiest time of your life?”

Now, it might not be that easy, sure, but you defs have more freedom. I mean, name one other time where you have nine contact hours, a summer and winter break, plus the occasional free sausage sizzle. I AM WAITING.

And if you’re still studying while your friends have graduated, then that gives you the perfect opp to build another F.R.I.E.N.D.S-worthy tribe. Chicken schnitty and ciders, anyone?

Slow it down, people. Take advantage of the student life perks when you can.

Taking your time to find your thing

The year of realising things saw me defer more than halfway through second semester. I did three units and juggled one too many external commitments outside of academia – I was bound to crash, right?

Like Rory Gilmore in season four, I needed a break, just a slightly longer one. And boy did it do wonders.

While deferring meant I could no longer receive Youth Allowance from Centrelink, it saw me take up a Christmas casual job in retail – my work ethic levels went from a four to an eight. Even better, I got offered to stay as a casual sales assistant.

It also meant finding out what wasn’t working, the main one being balancing way too many volunteering activities – they don’t call it “volunteering” for a reason. As a result, I crossed extra-curriculars out and moved to part-time study.

Did I thrive this time? You bet your damn bottom I did.

Graduating later does not equal to being a failure

At the end of the day, graduating later doesn’t mean anything. You and your faves did the same degree and the same compulsory subjects, so you will all get that paper and shake hands with the Vice-Chancellor. The difference is, it may take you, say, four to five, maybe six, years, while it took the Usain Bolts of your social tribe three years tops.

If taking your time is what you need to do to get through your degree, then that’s what you should do. After all, graduating in your own time is good time.

I’ll raise my non-graduation cap to that.

Ryan Bautista

Ryan is an Arts (Media, Culture and Technology) student at the University of New South Wales. Don’t @ him but pineapple belongs on pizza.

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