A year ago, we could have never predicted what a “COVID year” was. Today, 5th-year college athletes and “taking your COVID year” are the new normal. As a super-super senior, I am a huge advocate for extending your time in college as long as you can. Below are a few reasons why:
Opportunities that I didn’t have before
I realized taking my redshirt year and COVID years helped me discover new opportunities. For example, I would have never been able to network with my teammate to receive my first digital marketing internship. This led me to discover my passions and really pinpoint what I wanted to do as a career. Without that internship, I would have never found 2aDays or gotten my job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All of these opportunities helped me create a network that will set me up for success.
More time for you to find out who you want to be
The personal growth you have during your time in college is insightful. You discover your likes and dislikes, and you have the opportunity to interact with a variety of people. Having patience helped me develop not only myself but my future. I now have a guided plan to pursue my career and actually have an answer to the age-old question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” During this time, you should discover your passions and what makes you happy. This will help you figure out where you are and where you want to go.
The best years of your life
Everyone says that college is the best 4 years of your life, so why would you want to leave? You get to live with your best friends, have food at your disposal, and believe it or not, have very little responsibility. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so you should cherish it as long as you can. Who said that you need your life perfectly planned out in your early twenties? There is no need to rush into life if you don’t have a plan. If you can stay in college while figuring out your future, why wouldn’t you?
The real world is scary
Being in college for 6 years, I have quite a few friends who have come, graduated, and gone. Whenever I catch back up with them, they emphasize how much they miss college and how different the real world is. I know it’s probably obvious that the real world and college don’t really parallel, but I think the lesson is that it will definitely be a reality check.
At the end of the day, you should make the decision that is best for you. Also, understand that there is nothing wrong with taking a little extra time, and there are even some benefits to it as well.