Cole

20
From Perry, IA

I’m just a regular guy saved by God’s grace, living to share that with others.  I’m a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, loving my life in the residence halls!  I’m involved with the Navigators, a Christian ministry on campus which God has used to change my life.

I enjoy a large number of activities including reading, skating, dancing, playing games, making stuff, boomboxing, exploring, going on adventures, just bro-ing out, and trying new things!

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5 Good Reasons to be a “Super-senior”

I’ve finally made it to my last semester of college! While many of my classmates have already graduated, I’m still on campus for an extra semester. While some students are able to graduate in four years, it is very common to take an extra semester… or two… or three.

Here are five benefits to taking a little longer to graduate:

A chance to go abroad

For me, part of the reason I didn’t graduate in four years was because I spent some time (1.5 years total!)  abroad.  My experience abroad has really changed my perspective and influenced what I want to do with my life.  There are many study abroad experiences that will allow you to stay on track to graduate, but some study abroad programs may put you back. Either way, I highly recommend going abroad during your time in college because the opportunities after college will be fewer and typically for a shorter duration.

Find the best major for you

It’s not uncommon to come into college not knowing what you want to major in. If you decide quickly, you can often graduate in four years, but if it takes you some time to decide, it may mean taking an extra semester.  The benefit in taking the extra semester is that you can find a major that fits you better and will offer you a more enjoyable career path.

Add a minor or a second major

Part of my decision to delay graduation was to add a Chinese minor. For me this was a huge value-add to my skills set, opening up a lot of doors for me in the future, and was definitely worth it.  For most students one major is more than enough work, but if there is more than one field that you are interested in, it may be worth considering taking additional time to complete your schooling.

Gain extra work experience

Probably the most common reason, at least among engineering students, for taking longer to graduate is because of a taking a co-op. Typically, co-ops consist of a summer and a semester term working as an intern in a company. You may be able to take an online class or two during your co-op, but taking a co-op will often mean delaying graduation by one semester.  Some benefits to gaining work experience through a co-op are you are more qualified when looking for a full-time job, you gain a better idea of the work you want to go into, and you usually get paid to do it!

Many of your friends will have already found jobs

Because you have friends who have started working, you’re able get an inside perspective of their companies, and you may even have friends recruiting at the career fair! This has been very helpful to me in researching companies, as I can learn better from their first-hand experiences than I can from reading online or talking to other employees that I don’t have a personal connection with.

Whether you graduate in four years or a little more, I hope you make the most of your college experience!

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