Symptoms of senioritis: bluntness, withdrawal

I asked only a handful (maybe two handfuls) of seniors to choose their favorite professors.

Some of them found this question difficult to answer. Others answered without a moment’s hesitation.

Grades were not given, but the pressure was on to answer honestly.

A student’s answer could depend on interest in the subject, a professor’s approach or a professor’s respect for the class – or a student’s memory (since some had to be reminded of certain professors by fellow classmates). This is who they came up with in our admittedly unscientific survey:

Dr. Bruce Brorby (economics)

Dr. Don DiPaolo (education)

Dr. Mary-Catherine Harrison (English)

Dr. Andrea Kwasky (nursing)

Dr. Molly McClelland (nursing)

Dr. Beth Oljar (philosophy)

Jeff Renaud (former adjunct philosophy professor)

Many worthy professors are not on this list but in the hearts of those I did not ask. And we thank you.

Beyond playing favoritism, seniors had more to say.

Nahida Legu wanted to continue the honesty and expressed some disappointment with Detroit Mercy.

She thought it was going to be “better,” more challenging, since it was a private school.

She said she didn’t want to come across as a negative Nahida, but many of the classes seemed “useless” when considering the amount of money it cost to attend those classes.

If this “seems harsh,” as she suspects it will, we can attribute her being “blunt” as a good thing, for outspokenness is one of the significant changes she’s gone through since freshman year.

Also, math, science and English – all part of the core curriculum here – were “heavy” in high school and properly prepared her for college – any college, she said.

On the other hand, junior year was her most valued year because of the mentoring she received from a particular professor. In truth, she found it beneficial to go to teachers whenever conflicts arose.

Legu’s advice: “Take the time to study and read.”

Go to professors whenever you feel the need to validate your expectations. You may discover a favorite professor out of a pep talk.

Eddie Thomas has a different recommendation: “Stay on top of your credits.”

Unfortunately, Thomas was supposed to graduate last semester. But a couple of weeks before the semester ended, he received an email that he was short one class.

One class! Why did this happen?

He has a “W” which stands for WITHDRAW. No big deal.

Thomas withdrew from a class his first year. But, if one’s note careful, this can appear as a credit, because it still counts toward the total amount.

This could happen to you.

It almost happened to me. I even double-checked my unexpected extra number of credits with my counselor, and it seemed right. I could get away with three classes for the last semester (one less than the usual).

But before I locked it in, I went over my tricky summer classes (taking Summer 1 and Summer 2 classes can confuse matters) and my independent study class (that never involved a classroom but a poster presentation that is still on its way).

Finally, I discovered the extra credits came from my first online class from which I had withdrawn.

But this isn’t about me (anymore).

Thomas turned the negative into a positive (or, to be more accurate, the extra positive number of credits into an advantageous opportunity).

During his extra semester, he was able to acquire a minor in leadership. Good for him; good for his resume.

So, Thomas suggests, even though we have advisors and favorite mentors and intricately involved staff members and confidence about our study habits, “Stay on top of everything,” he said.