Answer what year you really are

Ashley Brooke Boyd | Cartoonist

You’ve probably experienced it before — during a time you may have been worried about classes or wondering whether you will end up graduating on time. You ask a classmate what year they are at Baylor, and they give you the dreaded answer: “Well, I’m technically a freshman, but I’m actually a junior in credits.”

Interactions like this or similar ones happen all too often at Baylor. While students may be in the class of 2021, 2022 or 2023 socially, they feel the need to let you know immediately that they are, in fact, not in that same class academically. While this is a truthful statement, it can also be insensitive. It’s best to consider when it’s necessary to share that information with others.

A big part of this lies in the fact that a lot of people in college struggle to graduate on time. Whether it be because of financial reasons, switching a major, not getting credit from high school or summer classes, having to redo a class or simply being in an intensive program, students can run in to many difficulties when planning out their schedules and sticking to a graduation time.

Although you may be ahead and even graduating early, this isn’t information you need to share with people upon first meeting them, especially since it can be a sensitive topic for many struggling to fit in all of their classes.

When telling someone about your class credits, it’s also best to consider your motives for wanting to share extra information — are you trying to impress someone or prove a point? Or better yet, are you using the conversation as an opportunity to brag or one-up someone?

This isn’t always the case. In the right scenarios, it’s perfectly OK to convey information about your classes or credits. However, these particular situations usually involve friends or people you are close to. These people deserve to know about your life, especially parts of it you are excited about.

It’s also OK to share this information with people when directly asked about it. When someone asks if you’re graduating early or about something specific in your schedule, your answer would be a natural part of the conversation.

However, it is a different situation with someone that you don’t know well. If a person asks your year, they almost always just want to know how many years you have been at Baylor. They usually aren’t asking what your credits classify you as — bringing this up yourself can often have a condescending or cocky tone to it, even if not intended.

Being proud of your accomplishments, on top of your classes or graduating early are all things to strive for and appreciate. Just think twice before bringing up topics like graduation dates or class credits without being asked. Showing courtesy and sensitivity to people can go a long way, especially for those struggling to get it all done.