The Best Advice from Professors, from Fourteen Students

Professor Relihan

  1. Professor Relihan once told me, “It’s okay not to aim for the horizon” when I said I felt like the gray sky outside. It is a nice reminder that I don’t have to be perfect or even happy every day. It really meant a lot to me and when people ask about taking his classes I always tell them about that phrase.

Professor John Bezis-Selfa 

  1. Professor John Bezis-Selfa (JBS) once told me, “What’s the point of not trying?” 

I have become very close to him, since my freshman year when I took “Caribbean Worlds.” During one of our last meetings that year, he told me that I should apply for a Fulbright Scholarship. I am currently applying right now, so he has profoundly impacted my life and truly made me believe in myself and abilities more than anyone else I know has. JBS has repeated this to me many times. One time, I had been nominated to apply for a scholarship, with only a few days to prepare and was debating whether I should do it, and he repeated the quote to me.          

When we discussed my honors thesis, he said, “You should wake up and want to write. That should be what you want to do. If that’s not how you feel, then you should not be doing any of the work or job you have.” I honestly take this to heart every day. 

I look at what I do and what is around me and I say, “Is this making me happy? Do I want to do this?” It has helped me make some of the most important decisions in my life from waiting to apply to grad school, to pushing through Fulbright apps, to even dealing with tough job situations that I was unhappy in. I have this fresh perspective on life now, from him. I am eternally grateful for his guidance and wisdom throughout my career at Wheaton. ~Amy Glover ’21 

Professor Staudinger

  1. Professor Staudinger spoke about being a “path person, not a track person”. I think about this all the time, being a senior there is a lot of pressure to know exactly what your plan is going to be for the rest of your life. She pointed out that you can be a path person, someone who takes twists and turns before arriving at your destination, it’s nice to know that even if you are on a set track, it’s still okay to look around, take detours, or decide all together to try a new path. ~Isabel Eggleston ’21

Professor DeCoste

  1. Professor DeCoste’s email in response to an apology I sent for missing class started off with some lovely advice, “Take care of yourself. That is the most important thing.” ~Eva Danielson ’22

Professor O’Brien

  1. “Life begins on the other side of our comfort zone,” is something my stats professor said to our class last semester. I cannot even remember why she said it, it was something to do with our class discussion I think, but it has not left my mind since I’ve heard it. ~Bridget Parkerson ’22

Professor Partridge

  1. “Sometimes you have to be happy where you are, and you can make a difference there,” is something Professor Partridge said to me when I found out I wouldn’t be able to study abroad. It was so kind and unexpected.  ~Eliza Browning ’22

Professor Meehan

  1. In Advanced Playwriting, last year, Charlotte Meehan said something along the lines of “sincerity is the new subversive” about a scene I’d written and I really liked that. I want to write things that make an impact but I also want to write things that make me happy, and hearing that was a really nice reminder that I can do both if I want to. ~Mazie Staratt ’21

Professor Daniels 

  1. My piece of advice from a professor is from Stephanie Daniels, and her infamous exhortation to “walk into the discomfort.” I’ve heard her say it in so many instances, but the one that sticks in my head is in relation to allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable with people, which is something I have always struggled with. Learning how to walk into that discomfort of speaking up, sharing my thoughts, and being vulnerable, has helped shape me as a student in academic settings, as well as a human being simply making her way through life, trying to connect with different people. ~Kayla Garabedian ’22

Professor Westfall 

  1. Professor Westfall once told me to stop caring about checking off boxes and to take classes I love, to worry less because letting your joy lead you will let things fall into place.  ~Aba Lypps ’21

Professor Marshall

  1.  The best advice a professor has ever given me was Professor Marshall telling me something along the lines of breathing through the panic to try to be able to find a voice within that fear and to be able to express it through my writing in a way that allowed me to be clear about what I was saying.  ~Rey Grubler ’22

Professor McCormack

  1. I was feeling quite disenfranchised with political elections in the United States, as it feels like they are riddled with corruption and that one vote isn’t going to cause systemic change. She said that when we vote, we are doing so not just for the president of the United States; instead, we are voting to upkeep the programs that help the most marginalized members of society, such as the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) and safe, legal abortions.  ~Rosie Hankes ’21

Professor Nick Dorzweiler (and Professor Werner)

  1. Professor Nick Dorzweiler, or Nicky D as I call him, was easily one of the most easy-going and kind professors that I had the pleasure of knowing while attending Wheaton College. I took two classes with him, but even when I didn’t have him as a professor he shared his office hours with me so that we could chat about life. He always used to tell me to be easier on myself and reminded me that I too deserved to relax even though I was frequently running around the campus like a crazy lady. I affectionately refer to him and Professor Werner as “The Power Couple of Wheaton College” because I truly believe that not only are they #relationshipgoals, but they are both more than capable of changing the world separately and together. Nicky D and Jade, if you’re reading this – thank you for making my 4 years at Wheaton just a little bit sunnier. 

Fun fact: When I was a sophomore I thought that I had to have an advisor for my WGS minor, and I chose Prof D. It took us a few days to figure out that this was not necessary, but regardless he told me that he would support me academically in any way that he could. 

Much love to these two fantastic humans! ~Gina Napolitano ’20

Professor Wilson Jr. 

  1. “I had control over being a good person,” said Professor Joe Wilson Jr., about using any platform you have to stand up for what you believe in. As well as admiring everything he stands for, his awareness of his place in the world and his commitment to doing what he can, really struck me during the conversation, and it continues to be an important statement to me.  ~Kavita Premkumar ’21

Professor Shaw

  1. When trying to take five classes in one semester to try and get ahead on my double major and my connection requirements, and struggling to attend all of those classes, Professor Kent Shaw as my advisor was very supportive and helped me go to the office to drop the fifth class, and was very empathetic to what I was trying to do, while also making sure I could actually handle what I was doing – he made sure I understood I still had plenty of time to finish everything. I was also taking Physics at the time and was really struggling with it. He shared his own experience of trying to study a really hard science while trying to take on a challenging writing class and assured me that everything would be okay. This really helped me to handle my workload and feel less panicked about everything and fulfilling my ambitions while also balancing self-care. ~Sydney Evans ’21
Image from ResourceSpace, Taken by Keith Nordstorm