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Students prepare for second senior year

'Super' seniors discuss why they're spending another year on campus

Ashlee+Elder%2C+a+senior+in+the+College+of+Communication%2C+took+a+semester+off+for+personal+reasons.+She+will+return+in+the+fall+to+finish+her+degree.
Ashlee Elder, a senior in the College of Communication, took a semester off for personal reasons. She will return in the fall to finish her degree.

Ashlee Elder, a senior in the College of Communication, took a semester off for personal reasons. She will return in the fall to finish her degree.

Photo by Stacy Mellantine stacy.mellantine@marquette.edu

Photo by Stacy Mellantine stacy.mellantine@marquette.edu

Ashlee Elder, a senior in the College of Communication, took a semester off for personal reasons. She will return in the fall to finish her degree.

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Allison Cook, a senior in the College of Communication, was diagnosed with mono before the fall semester of 2015. It was two weeks before she planned to study abroad in Dublin, something she had been wanting to do since she was sixteen. Instead, she had to take a semester of medical leave.

Her trip to Dublin was postponed until the spring after her time off. Cook will be a “super senior” in the fall, alongside her persistent peers, who will stay on campus a semester to a few years beyond the typical four-year undergraduate track to complete their degrees.

Cook said there’s comfort in having a little extra time to get one’s life together, but it isn’t easy.

“The hardest thing for me is having (my boyfriend) Josh getting a real job and moving up in the world while I’m still in school. But I’ve made peace with it all,” Cook said.

Another College of Communication senior, Ashlee Elder, took a semester off for personal reasons. She said it was very difficult coming back to school as the social life and class trajectory she had built up were suddenly out of sync.

However, it got better. “I made sure to pay attention to the people who kept in contact with me even though I wasn’t in school,” Elder said.

She also changed her minor from corporate communication to philosophy. Catching up on required classes means she’ll be here all of next year.

“It makes me sad that I won’t be able to graduate with my friends, but it’s in my best interest to stay the full year. In the end, I feel like I’ll be a better artist and I’ll be better prepared to enter the workforce,” Elder said.

Sometimes internships, co-ops and jobs can delay graduation time. Justin Prom, a senior in the College of Engineering, went the route of many of his classmates. He will be staying an extra year due to his time working on a co-op.

This is a year-long, full-time internship to support what students are learning in the classroom. While many engineers take the opportunity, it is not required.

Prom split up his time at the Medical College of Wisconsin and his Marquette academic terms by working in the fall of 2015, the summer of 2016 and this spring of 2017, with regular classes in between. He said going between work and classes required a lot of adjusting, but was worth the experience.

“If I’ve learned anything in my time working, it’s that I have so much still to learn and there are so many possibilities that I really have to take things one day at a time and follow my heart,” Prom said.

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