Everyone graduated except you. Now what?

While not graduating when you thought you would can be tricky, there are a variety of reasons why a lot of people find themselves in this situation. Some people choose to take a gap year, while others might adjust their study load for various reasons. Alternatively, some people miss a subject or two along the way (like me) or others have the ‘fun’ of having to repeat a course.

Regardless of how you got here, being a uni student for a little longer isn’t all doom and gloom. While it’s easy to lose your motivation when you see others progressing more quickly than you, it’s important you keep the end in sight. After all, the joys of a full-time job and proper adult wages are only a few subjects away.

So, what are the benefits of taking a little longer to complete your program?

Lighter workload

Dropping down from a full-time study load can be the reward you didn’t know you needed. If you only have one or two pesky little subjects left or you’ve studied part-time instead of full time, having a smaller workload can mean more time for study, work and extracurricular activities. We all know trying to juggle uni, work and some type of a social life can seem harder than the Honey Badger trying to pick a girlfriend, but having a smaller study load can really make the difference in making commitments manageable.

More opportunity for valuable work experience and placements 

You may not think work experience is that valuable or worth your time, but coming from someone trying to enter the media industry IT REALLY IS. This is what distinguishes you from every other person graduating with the same degree as you. Having that little bit of extra experience and industry know-how can mean the difference between graduating with a full-time job and working at BP for the rest of your life (also me).

Student Perks

As the Backstreet Boys said, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Or was that someone else…

Student perks are honestly the best part of being a struggling university student for three to five years. Half-price public transport, payments from the government and who could forget cheap drinks on a Wednesday night? Honestly, is it really that bad if you get these little pick-me-ups for another year or so?

A fellow student in the same boat as myself, Marissa Alexiou, found a delayed graduation presented more perks than negatives.

Marissa’s graduation from her Bachelor of Communication has been delayed one year due to having missed one core subject.

“I’ve had more time to explore, try out new things, and work in different part-time jobs and volunteer positions whilst at uni. Had I graduated, I would have rushed into full-time work.”

“I still don’t know what I want to do so it’s been good for me,” said Marissa.

So what have we learnt from all of this?

While it is totally fine to enjoy your university days and study at your own pace, for those of you wanting to graduate by a specific time it is so vitally important that you confirm this is possible. Always consult your program advisor, even if you think you’re on the right track to graduation. Degrees have a maximum time for completion and it’s important to keep this in mind.

Program Advisor Teegan Robertson says “students should use their unofficial transcript downloaded from myHub to check what courses they have completed and use the Program Handbook and the Program Plan to check what courses they have left to complete”.

“Students can also email programadvice@newcastle.edu.au so that we can check what they plan to enrol in.”

Coming from someone who has been in this situation, there is nothing worse than thinking you’re on track only to find out you’re not. Checking you have satisfied all course components and confirming your ceremony date is one of the most important things to do throughout your degree. Believe me, you don’t want to be rocking up to grad in a gown and having no certificate at the end.