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It is Okay to Finish/Graduate "Later"

Updated: May 10, 2022

Cover image : Sylvera Vision Photography #daennesjournal #therealdaennesjournal #itisokaytograduatelater #itisokaytofinishlater #youareunique #weareallunique #yourjourneyisimportant

Is there such thing as graduating on time?

As I was journaling, I wrote "I did it one semester later."

Yes, I stayed back one semester! Not many people know this or even realized it. That is my first time saying this publicly. If there is one thing I want Daenne's Journal to always be is to be transparent. So, I thought I would share that part of my story with you too.

When I was at Miami Dade College, I had a goal to finish in exactly 2 years, NO MATTER WHAT. There was a semester that I took 18 credits, so I could hit my 2 years mark. Hum, I never tried that again. Mind you, I was working while I was taking those 18 credits. That semester, my grades suffered. Lesson learned!

I learned that my well being is way more important than meeting the expectations of society. Sometimes we are our worst enemy. If you know me well, you know that I have high standards for myself. Some even say my standards are too high, but is there such thing? That is a whole other piece within itself. I put so much pressure on myself, and showcase myself in such a way that people always expect so much of me. I do not like to "look bad", who does? I do not like to disappoint, so I fell in that same trap again at FIU. The only slight difference was that this time, I remembered somethings from my past experience at MDC.

When I got to FIU, I said I need to be there for two years, not one more semester. In Spring 2018 when I was getting ready to register for summer classes, I realized that I would need to be full time in the summer and pay out of pocket if I want to graduate in Fall of 2018 to hit that exact 2 years mark. The funds that I had at that moment were funds I was thinking about paying my MCAT prep course with. I started to evaluate myself; I really had to think about what was important at the moment. Around that same time, there was the opportunity for me to run for an Executive Board position in Tau Sigma National Honor Society which required a year long commitment. After lots of thinking and evaluation, I decided that I would stay an extra semester, take things slow, save the money for my MCAT prep courses and run for that position. I became the President of Tau Sigma which wouldn’t happen if I hit my exact two years mark. Click here to learn a little bit about TS. In my article “ There is No Straight Road to Life”, I talk a little bit more about some other setbacks I’ve had due to language barriers. Click here to learn more.

A very driven actiophil, a genuine person who loves to take action towards a purposeful outcome, Jefferson Noel attended Miami Dade College after High School and did not graduate "on time" because he dropped out which to some may be equal to total failure. Jeff went back to school and finished later with an Associates in Arts degree at Valencia College. He didn't stop there. He recently graduated with a Masters degree in Global Strategic Communications and is the author of two books: Powerful Presenting and his newest book, GO: How To Cross the Starting Line, is ready for preorder NOW! Click here to preorder your copy today! Jeff has been imp acting so many lives including mine because he didn’t let his setbacks stop him.

I could have used some celebrity stories who have had some setbacks in life, but I decided to share mine and Jeff’s with you because it is closer to home, and more relatable. All this is to remind you that just because you fail or have any setbacks do not mean that you will not make it. Even if I see that everything is a race/competition these days, you do not have to follow the trend. It is okay to graduate later. No matter what you are working on school related or not, it is okay to finish later. We are all different individuals with unique stories, why should we try to be like everyone else? Yes, we can want the best for ourselves, but at what cost?

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not at all encouraging laziness! If you are able to do it now, why wait for later? But, if you are not able, why kill yourself to get “there” at a certain time because others are getting there at that time.

Life is a very interesting journey as I like to call it. If only we could predict all our outcomes, then everything would be easier. Since we cannot, let’s embrace our own journey while doing the best we can to fulfill our own callings.

If everyone was graduating in two years and do everything the exact same way, what would happen to diversity? What would happen to storytelling? What would happen to society?

You may not be finishing things at the “expected time”, but that doesn’t mean that you are not finishing on time. We don’t all have the same time because we don’t all have the same opportunities, and that is okay. You are stronger than you think! I know some college students who go through some major life crisis while working full time to make ends meet. When students like this graduate a few semesters later, I applaud their courage to even stick through it. I know students who take less credit and graduate later on because they are international students and the cost is higher. When I see those students graduate, it brings joy to my heart. I know some people who go through major losses in their businesses and the only people that had believed in them is themselves, but somehow they stick through it and start over. When I see people like that winning, it amazes me and I applaud them.

You might not be in any of the categories above, but I still want you to know the following:

You are unique and precious!

Your Journey is IMPORTANT!

Your story is Unique, and worth telling!

Your journey is unique, and it is YOURS, EMBRACE IT!

Your setbacks do not define you!

Most importantly, You Must Celebrate your journey!!!

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