Natalie Barletta - Special to the Southern News
When we first enter college as freshmen, we are under the timeline that we are going to exit college in a cap and gown in a span of four years. However, as we journey through college we soon realize that it’s not going to be a case. That’s when we begin to realize that we’re going to be a fifth year senior, or a ‘super senior’.
There are many reasons why someone would become a fifth year senior. The first is because you didn’t get the enough credits (120) on time. How do we neglect to get that magic number? By taking less than the five classes throughout our eight semesters as college students, you can prolong your stay here. Taking five classes a semester helps us stay on track to graduate right on time.
The second is that they are going to become a teacher, whose program is at least four and a half years. The education program requires you to not have one major but two. This is more than the standard 120 credits, so therefore it takes longer to complete. Therefore, by being forced to double major you’re guaranteed to be there much longer, because you have dual programs to go through.
A third, and perhaps the most common reason is that you’ve changed paths throughout your college journey, whether it’s programs, or even colleges. Transferring schools can be tricky, because sometimes you lose credits. Or credits don’t end up counting toward the requirements that you need them to, instead transferring in as electives. This can force one to have to retake requirements, and make someone’s stay at school longer than needed.
In addition to transferring majors, so many of us switch our majors. How many of you have stuck with the same major that you had when you were a freshman? Well, switching majors can be a factor in staying later, because you have to fulfill requirements for a whole new program than you had before. This can be a LEP requirement, because certain majors require certain things for the tiers. For example, in the psychology program, you’re required to take PSY 100 for the mind and body tier. If you’ve already taken something in that tier, than you have to retake that tier to fulfill that requirement. However, the only good thing is that all of the credits that you’ve taken in your previous major do count as electives.
Alex Roberts, a senior journalism major at Southern Connecticut University can relate. Alex transferred from Post University to SCSU in the fall of his sophomore year. In addition to that, Alex switched his major a few times. As a result, Alex won’t be graduating with his class this upcoming spring. “It’s kind of awkward [that I’m going to be a super senior] to be honest. There’s the thought that I am not getting out with people [who are] my same age, and then there’s the pressure of getting out so I can move onto better things,” says Roberts.
Being a super senior can be annoying without no doubt. Many who are anxious to get out into their field are faced with another semester, or even year in the classrooms. After four years of cramming, term papers, and midterms, the thoughts of more time in the classroom could be annoying and frustration. It can feel like you’re stuck in school forever, and it’s never going to end.
However, being a super senior has some good things too. Even though you’re in college longer, you’re almost out. Walking the stage in December or May is only a year or less away, even though it seems far away when you’re walking the halls of Engleman for the ninth semester in a row. Graduation is going to happen for you, and when you get to the point, it’s that much sweeter because you deserved it. It’s very common to not graduate in the projected four years, so if you’re going to become one of these super seniors it’s not the biggest deal in the world. You’re going to graduate, and you’re almost there.
“I would say that to anyone in my situation to work as closely as they can with their advisors, and not be afraid to ask any questions,” says Roberts, who expects to graduate next spring. And, before you know it, you’ll be wearing the cap and gown and walking the stage at graduation.