COLUMN: Finding my passion through experinces


Rob Le Cates

Katja Benz is a senior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Katja Benz, Columnist

I do not know if I have mentioned this before, but I want to work at a university. 

I have known since high school after my guidance counselor told me to take physics and then got mad at me when I needed to drop down a level.  

I was an eighteen-year-old college first-year student when something similar happened.  

Picture this: it is my first appointment with my college advisor. I thought I might bring in what classes I wanted and thought I needed to have the times that worked for my schedule.  

She comes to get me and asks how to pronounce my name and tells me her name in return.  

After that, she asked what I wanted to major in (which has since changed). 

I told her, she looked down at the mock schedule I brought in and said ‘Everything looks great. You are right on track,” after five minutes in her office.  

That is something I will never forget: the confusion in my eyes when she shooed me out shortly after.  

That was one of the few appointments I had with her before she got a promotion (congrats by the way).  

Then I got another advisor and had no idea where her office was. She was much more friendly, and thought we had the same career goals (given at the time, she was correct).  

I then changed my mind sophomore year and told her I wanted to change my major. I then showed her the classes I wanted to take, like I did with my previous advisor, and left.  

Little did I know that my advisor would forget, and I would be left to figure it out myself. I saw her once more before she went on maternity leave right before break.  

I saw the third advisor once prior to the pandemic, and never again.  

This was just to make sure everything was on track for EIU, only for a pandemic to hit and for me to take a few classes towards a certificate that I may never end up getting or being able to put on a resume.  

Then I got to EIU, where I was told what classes to take if I wanted to graduate on time. 

My advisor expects me not to have questions because I usually figure this out myself; she just double checks that I meet all the other requirements set by the university for which I am grateful.  

My point is that I know I want to be an advisor as a career. This was the first time I saw what worked and what did not.  

I know no two college experiences are the same, and it is my job to make a student’s experience better.  

I just hope I can.  

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.