From left to right: John Londono, Kyle Wiggins, Adma Ortega, Manisha Howard
By: Celeste Simmons/ Published April 29
“Oh my God what are you still doing here?!”
“I thought you graduated?”
“Wow didn’t expect to see you here again.”
These are the statements that super seniors say can kill your semester, the ones that can hurt the depth of your soul and make you ready to crawl back into your car and hide.
A super senior is a student in an American four-year educational institution, who has not met the required time it takes to graduate or has more than the usual number of credits
needed to graduate without achieving a diploma or bachelor’s degree.
When most students think about super seniors they have the notion that they are lazy, not smart, don’t care about life, have no ambition and the list goes on.
As an underclassman your worst fear is becoming a super senior, not graduating on time. If you find out you’re going to be a super senior the feeling can be slightly devastating, but does it have to be a bad thing? Does the term mean you’re all of the things implied
with it? There are quite a few super seniors here at Kean what does it mean to them?
“It means I slacked,” said Adma Ortega, a super senior at Kean studying Public Relations. “Sometimes I feel like I should’ve put more effort in my studies but then it also means
I’m a bit more prepared.”
There are many reasons why someone is a super senior, and there is no wrong or right answer. Some of which include, financial or medical issues, student decided to change his or her major, take a few extra classes or have another year of eligibility left to play a sport.
Ortega said he earned an Associate Degree in Psychology, but by the end of her senior year she decided to pursue another career.
“I dropped out of school for a year,” said Ortega. “I told my parents I was going to school, when in reality I was only going to the local library.”
By this point you’re most likely still thinking of super seniors in a negative way, still thinking of yourself as the grandma or grandpa of the campus. Probably still on instagram looking at all the pictures of your friends who have already graduated traveling or working at their new full time jobs, but there are still many positives to that extra semester or year.
Regardless of how frustrating it is being a super senior, Charlee Dyroff in her article titled “A Super Senior Is A Blessing In Disguise”declared that being a super senior can be beneficial.
“Most of my friends who rushed into big-time jobs right after college ultimately regretted not taking a couple months to travel or to go home,” said Dyroff. “After I graduated, I
decided not to make that same mistake, and I had incredible experiences travelling through Europe.”
Dyroff said other benefits include making new friends and getting to know people outside of the core group you had for the past four years, taking some classes you really wanted to
take but didn’t have time for previously, and enjoying college without the pressure of graduating in a certain amount of time.
Despite these positives some still feel ashamed to graduate later and others refuse to walk across the stage when they are finally finish.
“It sucks,” said Mike, a Kean student who declined to use his full name, because he feared he will be recognized by his classmates. “It’s the worst feeling in the world. I always feel a
little shameful walking to class.”
Not every super senior feels that way. Some students said they will be walking across that stage proudly.
“I almost cry sometimes because I’ve worked so hard for this moment and I needed to feel accomplished,” said Ortega.
All super seniors should feel proud and excited. Whether it took you an extra year or three extra years, you worked hard for your degree. It’s something no one can take away from
you. Take pride in and walk across that stage with confidence knowing you’ve accomplished something not everyone can.
College is difficult, it changes you. Just because you didn’t finish in the four years everyone tells you it should take doesn’t make you a failure.
As Wiggins said, “who cares if it took a little longer then they say it should. Everybody has their own pace.”