What if I’m a few credits short of graduation?

Life is full of “what if”s. What if the sloths attack? What if the world runs out of cheesecake? What if a whimsical series of questions are a bad way to open an article? What if clumsily self-referential meta-humour is even worse?

I don’t think many people have to deal with these troubling issues (which I face on a daily basis). However, every year, a number of university students find themselves wondering: What if I’m a few credits short of graduation?

This is not a pleasant predicament, and there are a few ways to avoid it. At the start and end of every university semester, it’s a good practice to review your course plan, and ask a university course advisor to check it for you. I am yet to see documentation of course requirements (at any university) that doesn’t contain confusing fine print, and throw up a whole bunch of “what if” questions all by itself. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask an advisor – it’s their job to understand course requirements, and if anything goes wrong, you can always point out that they assured you that you had planned your course correctly.

Throughout a degree, plans change, people change, subjects are failed, and all kinds of things are tweaked and adjusted – that’s why it’s a good idea to check your plan with an advisor every semester. However, if you do find yourself at the end of your degree and missing some kind of credit requirement, the best thing to do is still consulting with course advisors. They’ll be able to tell you what you need to do to finish your course, and give you all the information you need to make a decision about what you want to do.

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Finishing immediately is not necessarily better – there are ┬ábenefits and disadvantages, both to leaving university and to staying there a bit longer.┬áSpending more time at university isn’t the end of the world. It might even give you more time to work on stocking an underground bunker with cheesecake in preparation for the day the sloths attack.

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