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Reflecting on the Past 4 Years, Honors Style


The time has come. As we approach graduation, I wanted to take the time to reflect on our senior class, the class of 2023. While I will reflect on some memories, I would like to first do a very Honors thing: analyze the data. Our class started as a group of 80 first years, and we are now a cohort of 48. Of us 48, 11 of us started with double majors, 23 of us held minors, and 7 of us were double minors. Now, though, we have a whopping 17 double majors, have maintained our 23 minors, and have 3 double minors. We also have various certificate holders and program members. We are truly an impressive bunch and should be proud of ourselves!

While we have been working, growing, and exploring, many of us have changed majors and changed paths, which you can explore in the chart below.

I don’t know about you, but this breakdown is really interesting to me. It is amazing how much we’ve changed, how much we’ve explored, and how much we have learned. In that exploration, we see people branching out of the STEM fields, which are the fields most students are thought to major in. While much of the Honors population remains in STEM, we also see people doing amazing work in non-STEM fields, which shows the diversity of our program. In learning and growing, we have come to be a more varied group, as far as majors go. I hope that this means that we are a happier group, with people focusing on their own interests and passions, going into the fields that really light a spark in them.

That being said, we have learned a lot outside of the classroom as well; we are all so much more than our majors. As I think back to our time in Bergstrom, decorating Bartholemew on the third floor (the beautiful plastic skeleton that many of us rallied around, especially during those really stressful times), people going out for late night volley-ball games, and wandering around De Pere for that scavenger hunt. I think about angrily writing a letter to put in the Bergstrom ceiling as I was leaving for home during the pandemic. I reflect on movie nights in lounges, decisions to explore new housing, and going to Life Raft, hoping that my favorite professor would win a hypothetical spot on our hypothetical raft that would save us all from a hypothetical flood. I reflect on Honors courses (which always seemed to be extra early in the morning), and I think about how I still wave to my fellow Honors students around campus. 

Our majors were a big part of our time here, often impacting what we got involved in, what we thought about, and what we imagined our futures to look like. But they weren’t the biggest thing we did here, they weren’t the most important thing that we accomplished. Much more importantly, we built connections, memories, and friendships that will last a lifetime. We became more and began figuring out who we were. Look at how far we’ve come. I’m proud of us, and I am so glad that I got to roam this campus with all of you. Now, let’s finish this strong… or at least get it finished.

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