The girl who is perpetually “graduating” – blogUT

… is who I currently feel I am. Let me explain my situation.

I have been an undergrad since 2005. I took a year off to do PEY (Professional Experience Year) and also switched my program four times (yes I am indecisive), which is why I have been university for 6 years and counting. Last semester, I took the last course I would ever have to take in university… or so I thought until this afternoon when I received the worst news I have received in a long time:

I went to my registrar’s office immediately after I read that because I could not sit around and wait for that damn letter to come in the mail.

My registrar confirmed that it was not a mistake; I simply did not read the fine print, to to speak. When I heard this I almost started to cry right there. I was so sure that I was able to graduate that I started to plan my life around that assumption.

I know that the same thing has happened to many before me — people who I know personally. It is a devastating experience and also humiliating to have to tell people “whoops I’m not graduating after all,” especially when you’ve already been in university for so long. I don’t want it to happen to anyone in the future, so here is what I want you to learn from me:

1. Before the beginning of what you think is going to be your final year of your undergrad, do two things:

  • get all of the departments of each of your POSts to confirm exactly what courses you still have to take to complete your POSt
  • get your registrar to confirm that you have all the general degree requirements

2. If anything changes, repeat step 1. For example, if you are not going to be taking the exact credits you were supposed to according to what all of those people said, ask them once again if things are still good to go.

What happened to me is that I got waivers for two courses in my program, which allowed me to substitute two other courses that I already took for them. I didn’t realize that this waiver would affect my general degree requirements.

I’m not sure how other colleges and departments work, but receiving the notification that I got today was pretty last minute, considering that:

  • classes for the new semester are already starting on Monday; if I had waited for the letter to come in the mail I would have missed the first week
  • a lot of courses have waiting lists
  • courses that I might have needed aren’t necessarily offered this semester

Not only that, but I never received any kind of program assessment from the math department.

I don’t know what is up with all of this last-minute business, which is a big WTF, but don’t learn this lesson the hard way. Take initiative to make sure that you don’t get screwed and that your plans play out as you expect.

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