With graduation approaching, most seniors are able to reflect on their time at Northwestern and say, “I’d do it all over again.” That’s not to say there aren’t regrets.
Faculty and staff shared some of their biggest regrets from their college years and added with it their advice to graduating seniors.
Professor Mike Kugler’s example is pretty representative of typical college students from freshmen to seniors. Late-night studying and endless procrastination isn’t a good thing, let alone during finals week. Yet, we all do it.
“I had put off my biology homework until the very end of the course,” Kugler said, “It was a warm, sunny afternoon and my pals were about to start playing Frisbee on our green. The phone rang. It was my biology professor, the crazy Dr. Harris.” Dr. Harris asked Kugler where his biology homework was. “I stammered an excuse which she interrupted and then demanded that I immediately come over to the lab and finish the work.” Embarrassed and angry, he left his room, crossed the green through his friends playing and relaxing, then spent the next three hours completing his lab homework.
Professor Kugler’s story goes to show that, no matter how severe the senioritis, avoiding the inevitable homework always comes back to haunt the procrastinator.
Not all NW students procrastinate that badly, however, but a lack of social grace can be just as unforgettable as academic mistakes. Theatre professor Karen Barker has sound advice to NW students who may be under the ring-by-spring pressure. “My most regretted college memory is that I went out with my roommate’s boyfriend behind her back.” Dating a friend’s ex is one thing; doing so deceitfully is reason for remorse. And this is one mistake that has caused Barker plenty of guilty feelings. “It’s awful, isn’t it?” she said. “Truly, what can I say? He was a jerk. I was a jerk and an idiot.”
No matter how cutthroat the senior scramble, respect your friends. As the saying goes, “sisters before misters and bros before…” you know the rest of it.
With just one week left of NW life for graduating seniors, it may be too late to learn these collegiate lessons. The lessons don’t stop once the tassel is turned, though. Professor Ron Juffer gladly shared a more recent memory that still turns his stomach.
“I was teaching a section of Foundations of Education and I’d told the class that they should remember three primary points from the day’s presentation.” After proceeding to identify the first two points, Juffer drew a blank on the third. In an effort to stall, and hopefully remember this third item, he repeated the first two points. “Unfortunately I still wasn’t able to recall the third one, so I told them that this point was extremely important and that we would begin the next class period reviewing it.” As his students left the classroom, Juffer noticed a few students snickering, and one even mentioned that “Juffer forgot the 3rd point.”
Making mistakes is inevitable in college and in life. Learn from your mistakes, learn from others and own up to your faults; you’ll surely grow from them.