By Isaac Garcia
Oh Goodness, what have you done? You’ve tangled yourself in a web of UTS subject availabilities, inflexible work commitments and you even maybe, possibly failed that one subject you ‘accidentally’ missed all of your lectures for. Suddenly you find yourself in that dreaded position: extending your degree.
You quickly say goodbye to the dream of taking group grad-gown selfies with your handful of uni friends, and find yourself having to explain yourself to EVERYONE.
Your friend from that first uni subject: “So liiiiiiiikkkkkkkkeeee….Why didn’t you finish in time?”
Your acquaintance from that class last year: “What went wrong?”
Your frenemy from one of your first year core subjects: “How do you even fail ___insert subject here___??”
Your mate from last session’s elective: “You’re honestly gonna be in UTS forever”
Your mate from this session’s elective: “Enjoy that HECS debt”
That weird guy you never try to talk to in class but always get paired up with: “Did you not want to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking your degree?”
Well, as someone who has carried this very weight – basically the weight of the Tower Building – on their shoulders for a few extra years, it’s not easy being in this position.
But whether you’re here by choice or by circumstance, don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life. This is an opportunity.
And as a self-confessed veteran of degree extending, here are my top tips on surviving that extra year:
STEP 1) Focus on yourself
This is the best, easiest, potentially freest time you have to re-evaluate who you are and what you want to do. Ask yourself: “Am I happy doing the degree I am? Am I happy studying at all? What do I really want to be doing, right now, right this second?” For once, let go of the pressures of your peers and family and take a breath. Now take another one. #AnotherOne
Because, as my doctor once said, breathing is essential to survival. #UhOhImAsthmatic
STEP 2) Work on yourself
Treat this time like New Year’s (Lite). Make small, but drastic changes in your life. Maybe pick up that dreaded gym membership or take those girls’ hip-hop classes you’ve been too embarrassed to do. Maybe fix up that resume via the UTS Careers Drop-in service and snatch an internship or job you wouldn’t normally go for from CareerHub.
Because if you’re ever gonna work hard, work hard on YOU.
STEP 3) Find yourself
Take the time to travel. It doesn’t have to be far at all, but take a chance at something completely different. Go on an impromptu roadtrip to find the most northern point of Australia, or maybe take a UTS BUiLD trip to the Philippines and learn what innovation is in 3rd world countries. You could even go to Berry and eat the most delicious cinnamon doughnuts in EXISTENCE. Whatever adventure you choose, you’ll find ways to surprise yourself – and maybe even learn a lot more about who you are (and what doughnuts you like).
STEP 4) Be yourself
Own it. Take 5 years to do a 3 year degree and be PROUD. If you’re growing every single day and you’re learning with every step, why live your life according to a piece of paper? Treat yourself well, and next time somebody bombards you with one of those annoying questions, just remember: they’re graduating, so you never have to see them again #ByeFelicia
Isaac Garcia: Social Media Intern, amateur baker, hater of Sydney Public Transport, and a future star on the Bachelor. Isaac spends most of his working day sitting at his desk scrolling through Facebook. When not at work, he likes to spend most of his day sitting at his desk and scrolling through Facebook.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.