A student's guide on how to handle your favorite professor leaving by Jessica Fiasconaro
Let me start by informing you dear readers, that I am only a freshman here at ENC and I am not well equipped to handle the frequent changes that occur on this campus. Perhaps that will come with time.
Finishing up my first year of college is a “pat on the back” moment for me as I honestly questioned my ability to make it this far. As I look towards my future at ENC, the days ahead are bittersweet. Almost one year down, three more years to go. It’s exciting. It’s nerve wracking. There will be challenges. There will be achievements. There will be changes.
My first year here came with a plethora of them, changes as big as the person who is leading our country, to changes as small as the series “Thirteen Reasons Why” airing on Netflix. Some changes had a direct impact on the college, others did not. However, students from all different classifications and majors are being affected by the impending changes that will follow without the guidance of Dr. Ross, a beloved professor, adviser, colleague, and friend to many. Dr. Ross serves as the Department chair of the Psychology, and specializes in experimental cognitive psychology. She has been having a positive impact on her students since her arrival in 1997, and even those whom she hasn’t had the opportunity to teach can recognize and vouch for her outstanding ability. She also is a published author, which makes her kind of a big deal. So just in case like myself, you are having a difficult time grappling with the news that Dr. Ross will no longer be at ENC, I compiled some tips to hopefully help make the adjustment a little bit easier to accept.
1. Take some time to identify a support system.
If you’re someone like me, who went to Dr. Ross for just about ANYTHING, figure out who else you feel comfortable going to when you’re having trouble in school, work, personal life, or just want to talk.
2. Don’t be afraid to maintain connections
Just because Dr. Ross, or any prior ENC personnel may no longer be on this campus, doesn’t mean we can no longer share with them what’s going on in our lives and vice versa. I still have teachers in high school I talk to, which is why it can be so important to identify support systems and maintain connections simultaneously.
3. Express Gratitude
This one is important and healthy to do not just towards another individual who has helped you in some way, but to yourself. Thank yourself for being open to receiving and accepting the gift this person has given you. All too often we get caught up in the things that cause us stress and worry, and it may cause us to overlook the things right in front of us that are there to educate, inspire, and motivate us.
4. Pay It Forward
Take the qualities you are going to miss about this person, and instead of being sad about no longer having the qualities to enjoy and appreciate, embody them. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m advising you to go out and be a cognitive psychologist, I still can’t even calculate standard error. What I mean is to be aware of the qualities you admire, i.e patience, and begin to display more patience in your correspondence with others. Take what this person has taught you and use it for the greater good.
5. Say “Thanks.”
This doesn’t have to be long and drawn out, though it could be if that’s your style. A simple thank-you goes a long way, and allows the person to feel good about what they have done for you. And besides, let’s face the psychological facts here: It does us good to do good unto others.
6. Think on the bright side
It has helped me a lot to think about the students in Tyndale that may benefit from having Dr. Ross at their institution. Though she has been great to us, she has enough greatness in her to go around- we should share her wisdom and knowledge with all who may need it.
7. Believe in yourself
It’s hard to let go of somebody who has done so much to help you succeed, but remember that the potential has always been inside of you. It just needs to be unlocked. As Dr. Ross would tell me, “I’m just guiding you along the thought process.” Learn how to trust yourself, until it becomes second nature and you no longer need validation that your thought process is correct.
8. Be A Mentor
Incoming students will not have all had the opportunity to meet and build a relationship with Dr. Ross. Be there for them as they navigate college, it can be a tricky time. Without the wisdom of Dr. Ross, even trickier.
9. Continue to explore what interests you
If a certain staff or faculty member has evoked the love of a subject into you, continue to nurture that love and allow it to grow. Just because the person who originally sparked your interest in the subject may no longer be there, you still have materials at your fingertips such as textbooks,articles, videos, etc that you can use to dig deeper and discover your purpose.
10. Pray for the journey ahead
Change is not always an easy adventure to embark upon; Pray for this individual’s future as they dive head first into changes. Be an ear to listen and comfort them in their time of adjustment. Send them positive vibes and let them know they are loved. Pray that the spirit of God will work miracles in this person’s life, and use their gifts to inspire others, much like they have inspired you.
Jessica is a Freshman at ENC studying adolescent psychology. She enjoys writing, blogging, preforming, and Dunkin Donuts Coffee. Fun Facts: She can put her pants on two legs at a time, she can hear underwater and she likes to dip her french fries in mayonnaise. :) Ketchup is overrated