Mission impossible: Aim for 4

Illustration by Alyssa Dunning
Illustration by Alyssa Dunning

Whenever I think of graduating within four years, I feel like the lovechild of Indiana Jones and Tom Cruise from “Mission: Impossible.”

I’ve managed to fight my way through the massive and dangerous jungle that is the general education program at Chico State: scooting around the sinkholes of waitlisting, trying to avoid the snake that is the Pathway program and attempting to dodge the poison-arrow traps of class availability.

And now, after making my way out of that jungle, I only have to face the impossible task of also fulfilling my major and minor requirements as student debt trails behind me like a gigantic, rolling boulder.

So, as I was aimlessly searching the Chico State website in between missions, I came across a page called Aim 4 Four. You can only imagine how shocked I was when I read that it was a campuswide initiative for freshman to complete their degree within four years.

Sure, the Aim 4 Four initiative sounds like a great idea, but with the way school has been going, this mission seems destined for failure.

Have no fear. This Orionite has a few gadgets up her sleeves to help make this goal a little more feasible:

1. I always make sure that I have a good team, aka advisers. I try to visit my major, minor and general education advisers once every semester. Remember, an agent is only as good as their team.

2. Have a major academic plan. The MAP that was offered for my major was completely useless. Sure, it tells me that I need to go to the swamp for my A1 requirement, but it doesn’t account for sudden changes like a wild and rare major course appearing that may never be offered again. So I made my own MAP that includes the exact courses I want to take and what requirements I need to fulfill in order to graduate.

Of course, either of these gadgets can be rendered completely useless if I can’t get into the classes I need (I’m looking at you, general education). I shouldn’t be the only one out in the jungle sinking in quicksand and being stuck with poison arrows. Chico State needs to grab its snazzy hat and whip and make some policy changes that will help students to fulfill this goal that they are imposing on us.

After all, gadgets will only get you so far when the mission is already impossible.

Megan Mann can be reached at [email protected] or @meganisthemann on Twitter.