Harper College

Honors Program - Student Stories

Faustas's story -

At first, when I started my academic journey at Harper, I worried that going to a community college rather than a four-year university would have been a large mistake.  Fortunately, any of those doubts and worries were quickly crushed at the threshold of the Honors Program. I met new lifelong friends, experienced the power of humanity in action, and awoke to a plethora of information and understanding, all in only two short years. 

Brian Rosenberg

More specifically, the Honors classes showed the way the world works under our surface level understanding through a multitude of classes that spanned a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Therefore, since my departure from Harper, I have felt that I have been able to critically think about the world around me and the statements made within it. This is directly caused by the passionate Honors professors who are ultimately the paragons of their own professions.

However, it was not just what I was taught that stuck with me, it was what we all, as honors students, did in unison to combat the shortcomings and disadvantages that many feel throughout a day to day basis, with our involvement in food drives and volunteering outings.

Truly, in a community with so many bright scholars, I have never felt so at home with others and most importantly, with the person who I truly am.

If I had to poetically summarize my experience with the Honors Program, I would describe it as if I had gone on some sort of personal development/leadership retreat deep in the mountains of Patagonia. I left with a new understanding of the world around me, and likewise, I grew to become a better version of whatever I already was on the day I first joined.

Faustas Udrenas
University of Michigan

Kristin's story -

First things first, the Harper Honors Program opens doors and minds. Not only did the courses help me grow as a student, an individual, and a professional, they also enabled me to acquire enough scholarships at NIU that I am able to graduate this spring with NO LOANS! The Honors Program is also a great place to make friends and gain support. After all, you will see many of these same students in multiple courses.

Kristin Kowynia

The most rewarding course I took was the colloquium, HUM/HST 105. To me, this course didn't only focus on the "academic material," but it also taught skills in time management, organization, speaking, debate, and discussion. From day one to the final, I knew I had grown immensely as a person. I learned how to handle conflict and that differing opinions were something to work through and understand, not take sides and "try to fix." I learned that we are all different, and that two people, no matter how much they may disagree on some things, can still be great friends. This class taught understanding and diversity just as much as it taught the ideas of the great minds of history.

The glory of the Honors program is that it provides a community within Harper that allows you to make friendships. There may be 30,000+ students, no dorms to make friends, and always new people in your classes, but the Honors Program takes the community down to about 300 dedicated students that you can build friendships with and will have in multiple classes. I can say nothing other than that if you are reading these testimonials, you clearly belong in this program. JOIN! It can do you no harm.

And for those who are interested, nobody provoked me or scripted me on this testimonial. 

Kristin Kowynia
Northern Illinois University, Marketing major

Mirja's story -

An “Honors student,” I? 

I would never be able to keep up with those extraordinarily smart and knowledgeable people, those who are constantly having strong, well-founded opinions, and those who never hesitate to reinforce their great egos with rhetorical predominance.

Mirja Lorenz

I rather find myself torn back and forth between ideas because I hardly ever feel knowledgeable enough to nestle in one opinion. As soon as I find answers which wrongly promise calmness for my uneasy mind, my brain starts pestering, dastardly pulling away my seemingly stable ground, making me fall back into uncertainty. 

But he kicked me into the Honors Society anyway. Who? Mr. Wilson of course. Well, he didn’t literally kick me, obviously, but he did give me a little push to my mind. I’m glad he did. 

How happy I was when I learned that nobody urged me to keep up with anything. Honors students are simply a motley bunch of students who share the drive to discuss, to think, and to challenge their minds, just like me. 

In my first Honors class, I was quite irritated, but certainly delighted, when I noticed that I did not earn “the look” anymore for raising my hand too often. Here, showing interest was just normal. Henceforth, I picked as many Honors classes as I could fit into my schedule. 

One day, I was hanging out with a fairly amusing group of students. But after three hours, I became weary of talking about nothing but hickeys. I couldn’t help feeling old and also a little bit alone. Luckily, at the same day in the Honors Society, an inspiring discussion about something essential propitiated me. The Honors Society at Harper College has become an intellectual oasis to me, and I certainly miss it. 

Mirja Lorenz

Last Updated: 12/14/23