Spring 2022 is the final semester for many seniors, and with that comes complicated emotions.
The end of school years, from kindergarten to college, often leave students feeling this way. Some are happy and ready to move on, while others feel that there was more they could have done.
Information security and intelligence senior Trey Laven belongs to the first group. For him, studying and learning on his own time has been more satisfying than being given instruction in a classroom.
“I find that teaching topics and concepts to myself is much more enjoyable most of the time,” Laven said. “I have had some of the best teachers and classes here, but also some of the worst too.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an end to many aspects of socialization and learning that people enjoyed in college. Laven was no exception in feeling that the virus made things harder to enjoy, both on campus and in class. For him, the instruction felt lacking, which made him want to quickly move on from college.
Laven, however, is looking forward to what comes after college, specifically in the summer. As someone with a deep respect for Japanese culture and some fluency in the language, Laven plans to find employment abroad in Japan in the information field. This lifelong passion for the location and culture came from gaming as a child. Now he has the opportunity to pursue his dream while advancing his career.
“I am hoping to find employment or a language school opportunity in Japan, but COVID is making this seem impossible,” Laven said. “I will likely be looking for a job in my field for a company with a Japanese location or the U.S. military, which also has bases in Japan.”
Overall, Laven’s assessment of his time at Ferris would be considered positive. With both educational and social difficulties, he still feels his time spent could have been improved, but he believes he made the most of what was given to him during the semester.
Plastics engineering senior Ethan Kowelchuk feels differently about his time. This semester has been positive for him so far, and his thoughts on his time at Ferris are aligned with that. To him, his view of the campus has not changed much since the pandemic, and has enjoyed his time, despite the restrictions.
“I personally didn’t care about COVID changing the college experience, since I didn’t do much on or off-campus,” Cowelchuk said.
Cowelchuk’s desire to get into plastics came from learning about the program early on in school and declaring for it. Plastics is a varied field that has many applications, and it fit his skill set well. This versatility gives him a lot to work with in the professional field.
This has also led to Cowelchuk pursuing different things in the summer. With jobs for plastics being everywhere, he plans on getting a job after finishing the semester, but figuring out what to do after school isn’t always set in stone.
“I’m not pursuing grad school, but Ferris has set me up well to continue learning post-graduation if I went down that route later on,” Cowelchuk said.
Cowelchuk’s view of Ferris as a whole comes off as being upbeat and happy with what was provided, even in the face of a pandemic. His view of moving forward is one of optimism, since he feels that his time on campus was worth the effort he put in for his major and professional career.
“Besides COVID, I had a positive experience at Ferris,” Cowelchuk said. “I could not have imagined who I would be without the people I’ve met and the memories I made.”
Cowelchuk’s attitude towards the future is hopeful, but his feelings on what he wishes he could have done differently have a different tone. He says he wants to make sure he spends more time with the people that he cares about and enjoy good memories while they happen, instead of putting these moments aside for his education or other things on campus.
“The one thing I wish I could have done differently was spend more time hanging out with my friends,” Cowelchuk said. “I’ll be working for the next 45 years or so, but I won’t have the time to hang out with the people that mattered to me most.”