Linda Smith, News Editor
‘I’m fully committed to party planning. No joke.’
Much of the senior class is breathing a sigh of relief as seniors of many majors finish their oral and written comprehensive exams. With the bulk of collegiate worry out of the way, seniors are now beginning to focus on graduation, grad school and enjoying their last few months at the University of Dallas.
“When I found out that I passed the other day, I literally wanted to jump for joy,” senior math major Ngoc Nho said. “Before the results came back, I had been feeling kind of hopeless, and I think many of the math majors were feeling similarly. We just felt like studying was useless because our efforts didn’t seem to make any difference on the test. But apparently they did, and that was a huge relief.”
Senior theology major Paul Crnkovich felt similarly relieved at the end of his comps, as he asked himself “where is the nearest facility that sells bloody meat and fermented wheat?”
Senior theology major Paige Hryszko expressed – or felt like expressing – her relief in a slightly different way.
“I felt a bit like letting out one of those primal screams that happens at the end of the Rome Semester. But I stopped myself. After all, not everyone was done with comps.
“There’s currently a stack of old notebooks in my room from every theology class I’ve ever taken. Part of me wants to hold a bonfire and burn them all,” Hryszko said. “The other part of me (the part that will win over, I’m sure) is just going to neatly put them in a box in the closet and never, ever, ever look at them again – or at least not for the next few months.”
Senior business major Megan O’Brien celebrated theend of comps with a spontaneous trip.
“The craziest thing I planned to do after comps: road trip to Louisiana for Mardi Gras,” O’Brien said. “An hour after I finished my comps last Saturday, a group of us headed down to Louisiana to embrace our newfound freedom … and eat some crawfish.”
Others, like senior English major Michael Walker, found confidence in the midst of their comps.
“This is the best in-class essay I have ever written,” said Walker, reflecting on the English essays he had written earlier that Saturday afternoon for parts III and IV of English comps. “I really felt people’s prayers. I really feel for the first time that I am a better writer for having gone here. Being an English major is BA, not BS.”
Some students, to keep from thinking about the possibility that they had failed comps, immediately immersed themselves in non-scholastic activities.
“Right after completion my first thought was that the test really wasn’t that bad, but then I started to think that maybe it was that bad and I just messed up too much to realize it,” senior chemistry major Peter O’Brien said. “I then decided that done is done and it would do no good to worry about it, and immediately immersed myself in a competetive strategy boardgame with some friends. I spend most of my time playing any strategy boardgame available. If you try to find me I will most likely be attempting to conquer the world somewhere.”
For these seniors, it would seem like their years at UD have come to a close. However, they are also aware of the rest of the semester that lies ahead.
“I want to do well in my classes; this is my last semester at UD, so I should make the best of it,” senior English major Elizabeth Lynch said. “And why am I here? To learn. So why should I squander my last semester of education at UD?”
“Believe it or not, passing comps was really motivating for me,” Nho said. “I still have a lot of work ahead of me, especially since I’m planning to go to grad school, and passing comps is an affirmation that I can do it. I’m not planning to quit yet; I’m still trying to avoid senioritis like the plague.”
Some seniors are looking for a semester with equal portions of fun and work, leading many to try things for the first time in their last few months of college. Megan is focusing on completing a huge project while being motivated by YOHOS – You Only Have One Semester.
“I’m fully committed to party-planning. No joke,” Megan said. “As the SPUD Socials Coordinator, I am putting my heart and soul into making Spring Formal 2013 amazing. Everyone, save the date!”
“Post-comps, I feel like I’ve been given a license to go out multiple times a week and make irresponsible YOHOS-esque choices,” Hryszko said. “After all, what else am I supposed to do this semester? I don’t have anything to study for anymore.”
Walker is acting in a senior studio for the first time, and is hoping to actively participate in other facets of UD life.
“Writing a Senior Novel essay that will hopefully be a genuine contribution to the critical literature, and speaking with others of cultural matters of pressing importance are on my to-do list,” Walker said. In these final months, he also wants “to live the life that this university has to offer to the fullest!”
Nho has not only joined one of the chamber ensembles on campus, but is also determined to have fun with friends while meeting the demands of schoolwork.
“I still want to learn and do well in my classes this semester, but since it’s my last semester, I also want to take the time to hang out with friends before we all go our separate ways,” Nho said. “I haven’t done that much in the past, especially last semester, so I really want to have a lot of fun this semester. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a good balance … we’ll see at the end of the semester.”
Some seniors have advice for undergraduates, whether it be Megan’s warning “to take their required science classes before their last semester” or Walker’s observation that “God wants your love put into your work, not your stress,” that they find rings especially true in retrospect.
“The experience is definitely not to be had elsewhere, so cherish it,” Walker said. Ending with a split infinitive, he also encourages students “to never let the perfect get in the way of the good on any assignment.”