Nolan Kroha column: Only regret not transferring sooner


The Winter 2021 semester is coming to a close, meaning that graduation is right around the corner. Soon students will don their caps and gowns, signaling the end of their college careers and launching them into the world as accomplished adults.

The graduation season brings a flurry of emotions – the happiness of receiving a diploma and the sadness of seeing friends return home. But after the celebrations and congratulations have passed, there is nothing left to do but to reflect on the experiences, memories and good times that college brought.

As graduation looms, I find myself already reflecting on my time at Detroit Mercy. It's hard to think that just two-and-half years ago I transferred from Wayne State University to Detroit Mercy.

Transferring for me was nerve-racking. I was in a whole new environment and far from my comfort zone. But I pushed back my nervousness and went ahead anyway, and by the end of the first day, I was thoroughly surprised.

The class sizes were smaller than what I was used to.

Instead of 100-plus students in a room, there were twenty or so.

The class felt more personal as I saw some of the same students in my other classes.

The professors were also keen on knowing you as an individual rather than a name on an assigned seating chart.

It was a breath of fresh air.

July 2019 brought a plethora of new experiences and memories – more in one week – than the summer did in its entirety.

This was thanks to the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference, which Detroit Mercy hosted.

Throughout the week I volunteered to help with anything I could, meeting new people and discovering a new part of the campus every day.

I decided to live on campus after that and campus life was great.

It would be the first time I was away from home for more than two weeks. My roommate was a high school friend who I reconnected with during NJSLC.

I finally felt I was living the university lifestyle that I had heard so much of from my parents and grandparents. I am a fourth-generation student here, after all.

I didn’t join many clubs on campus but I did join The Varsity News and did have the opportunity to travel to New York City for a journalism convention in March 2020.

We got to see Times Square, the 9/11 memorial and the Statue of Liberty. Unfortunately, Covid-19 shut down the convention, most of the city and Detroit Mercy while we were there.

The rest of the semester and the two that followed were spent at my desk at home.

Even though it may seem like a sad end to a happy experience, it’s not.

I don’t have any regrets about coming to Detroit Mercy and the events that followed during the pandemic. The only regret that I do have is not transferring sooner.

In the end, I can say that I am glad to be graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy and my advice to those who are graduating is this: Look back at this experience and see it as a good one.

The people you have met, the skills you have learned and the fun times you had formed you into the person you are today in only four short years.

It's only once that you get to experience college like this.

Don’t let it go to waste.