The four-year plan that never ends

MarchaŠ Grair

I am not one to play the victim, but as I get closer to my tentative graduation date, I cannot help but feel a little duped.

I do not take classes unless each counts toward my graduation requirements, and I make constant efforts to meet with university faculty to get advice so I can graduate in four years.

Despite my countless efforts to wear that cap and gown in 2010, I am facing the same dilemma as many of my collegiate peers nationwide.

Graduating in four years is increasingly difficult – if not impossible.

The four-year mark would not be so important except for all of the perks for those who graduate within that time.

Many scholarships extend for a four-year period, and students who depend on those funds for their education have to graduate within that time.

Graduate programs are also tailored for students who follow a traditional four-year program and graduate in the spring. Many graduate programs only accept applicants for the fall, so students who graduate in the spring wait an entire semester to apply to many graduate schools.

These inconveniences never occurred to me as I stumbled through scheduling efforts when I was an underclassman.

Now that I’m trying to get out of here, it’s another story. Afterthoughts about graduation are slowly becoming large-scale panic.

If I have one complaint about Kent State, it is the complications I experience with scheduling and advising. I go to a large school because I want the opportunity to take classes when I need them.

I guess it was naive of me to think required classes should actually be available for people who want to graduate on time.

Now that I am a junior, it is a little late for me to alter my graduation plans; however, I pity all of the optimistic freshmen and sophomores who don’t know what a pain it can be to graduate on time. With that said, I offer a few words of wisdom to those chasing the four-year dream:

n No one truly understands the KAPS report. It might as well be a really long scribble on FlashLine. If you need to find out how close you are to graduating on time, make an appointment with an adviser within your major.

n Certain classes required for your graduation are probably only taught once a year unless you belong to a large program. In other words, university scheduling can trap you in Kent if you don’t pay attention.

n Even prerequisites have prerequisites.

n There is nothing wrong with changing your major – if you don’t mind committing an extra semester or year to Kent State.

n The general advisers for entering freshmen may be really nice, but they also may be of little assistance. Their advice alone cannot get you through a four-year program that they’ve probably never taken.

MarchaŠ Grair is a junior electronic media management major. Contact her at [email protected].