Getting a Four-Year Degree

Wow! This week has been crazy, with two exams, a paper and packing for my trip to Europe (yay!). But I wanted to take some time and give a little hope to those who don't think it's possible to graduate in four years.

Because if you stay on track and plan ahead, it IS possible!

Granted, I'm cutting it close with a two fully booked semesters my senior year. But in my career, I've transferred and added a second minor. I'm sure if you change your major a time or two, you'll have to work extra hard to get done in four years with 15+ credit hours per semester and summer classes.

College is all about exploration and there's no better place to do that than at IU. So once you've figured out what you want to major in, dig in!

Here's some advice on how to stay on track:

1.) Make sure you realize what general education credits you need. Whether they be math, foreign language or econ, be aware of what you have to do so you're not scrambling your last semester in college to find an intro-level gen ed class. I'd recommend getting all those out of the way as early as you can, but that's totally up to you.

2.) Meet with advisors regularly. They are there to help you! Ask them to clarify the requirements of your degree. They can inform you on study abroad opportunities and also direct you to career services, which can help you with internship searches. Even though this is new to you, it's not to them so they'll know what to do.

3.) Study hard so you don't have to drop classes. Chances are if you have to drop a class due to a grade, you'll just have to take it again later. Not only is that precious time but money being thrown away.

4.) Find ways to have fun within your degree path. Take classes that count for your program that you're interested in so you'll stay more focused and want to learn more. That leads to better grades!

And finally,

5.) Just relax and breathe! Putting pressure on yourself isn't going to help. You'll get your down time and you'll get sleep (eventually). Just know that all that hard work and effort you're putting in will get you an awesome degree, which will help you start your career. Do whatever you have to do now so that one day you'll look back and say, "I did that and I'm so proud of myself!"

About The Author
Jessica WilliamsClass of 2013

Hey guys! My name is Jessica and I'm a senior in the IU School of Journalism. I'm also earning minors in history and political science. After graduation -- May 2013! -- I hope to enter the newspaper industry.

I use "Musings of a Hoosier" to share my experiences as an IU student, which are different than other bloggers' experiences because not only was I born and raised in Indiana, but I'm also a transfer student. I hope I can teach you something about IU that you didn't know before.

Go Hoosiers!