The race to graduate is on

DSC_0777By Courtney Cox |

As the spring semester quietly comes to a close, the massacre of frantic class scheduling begins.

From the freshmen to the upper-classmen, the heightened stress of planning out our college careers never seems to let up. The fear of surpassing our plotted graduation date becomes more and more haunting as classes rapidly begin to fill up.

As a junior, I’ve found myself in an unwanted predicament. And through working with professors and advisers since transferring to Flagler in the fall, it’s beginning to seem as though my two-year stay at Flagler is becoming more of a dream than a reality.

I have found, however, that I am not the only one who has been attacked by this stressful, heart-wrenching, bank-account drainer of a reality. It seems as though the more students I talk to about my own unfortunate situation, the more students I find to be experiencing the same issue.

Before talking to my adviser or professors in the communication department, I asked myself a series of questions–questions that hurt like hell when I thought about the amount of work and money I’ve put in to be here:

  1. Why would Flagler College set me up to not meet my graduation date?
  2. Do they just want to keep me here for money?
  3. Doesn’t it reflect poorly on the school if students don’t graduate on time?
  4. What was the point of attending a community college to save money when now I’m going to be forced to pay for extra semesters to finish school?
  5. Why are they scheduling all the classes I need at the same times or not offering them at all?
  6. Why is this happening to me when I’ve done everything I’ve been told to do, I’ve played by the books, I’ve maintained the GPA, I’ve put in the time in and outside the classroom–So why? Why am I being punished for doing what I’ve been told to do?

These questions, on top of all the other stressors in my life, stress me out like nothing else can. Although not all of those questions have a precise answer, it is safe to assume the only thing that truly works against us is time.

For transfer students like myself, it can be harder to cram in all the required courses in a two-year span. The freshmen, although taking general education courses in the first couple years, are able to sprinkle a class or two for their major into their schedules in their first semesters. So, it is presented as somewhat easier to finish on time if you attended Flagler for all four years, as opposed to coming in as a transfer student.

It’s hard though to come to terms with something that works against all the plans we’ve had in store for ourselves. I spent two years at a community college thinking that was the best move for me financially, and now this.

That’s why I have refused to “come to terms.” I intend to walk across that stage in April 2018 with my college career in one hand and my future in the other. We just need our voices to be heard and our mentors to listen so that we can go on to be the journalists, the environmentalists, the business men and women, the artists, the politicians and the super heroes this world needs that Flagler College helped create.

My professors and adviser have all shown compassion to my situation and others like it, and they’re actually trying to make schedule and course adjustments to accommodate students, myself included, going through this problem.

They remind me though, that because we attend a small private school, there are fewer teachers and therefore fewer variations in time and classes offered per semester. However, their willingness to help gives me hope.

For anyone experiencing the stress that comes in the form of class scheduling, I strongly advise you to talk amongst your classmates, talk to your specific department and do any and everything you can to make your graduation dreams a reality.

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