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Oh, How the Times Have Changed: Honors 150

As we all know, St. Norbert College’s Honors Program has had a bit of work done over the past year, and this year’s first year class will be here to experience all these new changes, including the introduction of a new course for first years, Honors 150. Honors 150, also known as “Life at SNC,” has just wrapped up for the 2022-23 academic year, and I want to share some of the key takeaways from the course.

Honors 150 is now a required course for all first year Honors Program students. Honors 150 introduces students to the many opportunities which St. Norbert College offers. While Dr. Mann is listed as the primary instructor of the course, many days featured guest speakers explaining their roles within the college community and giving advice within their areas of expertise. These speakers ranged from Becky Lahti, who spoke on envisioning our vocation, to Danielle Gundrum from CAPD, who led a large group resume building presentation. Each of these guest speakers had something different to offer, but all shared the common goal of helping first year Honors students think about and plan for their futures.

One of my favorite aspects of the class was its differing meeting locations. I loved checking the syllabus the night before and finding out where class would be held the next morning. This aspect of the class always kept the environment fresh and gave me an opportunity to explore new buildings on campus.

Personally, my favorite class was one taught by Dr. Mann in Michels Ballroom. On February 7th, Dr. Mann gave a presentation on “Perfectionism and the Fear of Failure” based on the reading Authentic Excellence by Kelly and Robert Crace. It was during this class that I really connected with fellow Honors students. We all came to understand and realize that struggling with perfectionism and the fear of failure is fairly common. We all hold ourselves to such high standards, not only in academics, but in almost everything that we do. These feelings are undeniably taxing on our personal well-being and affect our relationships with others. However, I believe that that lecture period really brought all of Bergstrom together.

Following this class, we were tasked with recording a video journal for the following week. Many students took this as an opportunity to show off their creativity. I really liked this assignment (and the other assigned video journals) because it gave me an opportunity to spend more time doing something that I enjoy! As studious young adults, we often don’t allow ourselves enough time for pleasure and enjoyment. Even though these videos were technically “assignments,” they were very open-ended and allowed us to express ourselves in a way that typically is not encouraged in your everyday college course. Each student produced their own video, using their own style.

While not everyone was eager to share their videos with the rest of the Honors Program, it was clear through the videos of the ones who did that many students enjoyed this opportunity to really show off their creativity, communication skills, and technology skills. It was incredible to see all the different ways students chose to create their videos, highlighting the many talents and multitude of experiences of Honors students of different disciplines.

Overall, I think these new changes to St. Norbert’s Honors program have a lot to offer, and I am excited to be a part of the first graduating class to experience these changes. We shall see what “Life After SNC” brings in the coming academic year!

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