Seniors and soon-to-be alumni reflect on their Rockhurst experience


Graphic created by Kori Hines on CANVA

The Sentinel surveyed the graduating class of 2019 about their experience throughout the past few years. The Sentinel accumulated responses from about fifty participants. Each response received offered insight into the Rockhurst student experience. The questions included:

1) What did you feel like you did well during your academic career at Rockhurst?

2) What do you feel like you could have improved on either personally or academically?

3) Any advice to incoming students?

4) Is there anything you wish Rockhurst would change or improve?

5) Looking back on the past four years at Rockhurst University how do you feel like you’ve changed? What helped with that change that ultimately made you in the graduate-to-be, ready to take on the world? Where do you feel like you fell short?

6) What was the good that happened throughout the years, what was frustrating?

The Sentinel wanted to know the good, the bad and the salty.

Reflecting on the past

The results showed that many students came to Rockhurst with academics as the priority and are happy with the results that mindset has provided them. Students pushed themselves harder than they ever before in order to reach, and exceed, university standards.

Not only did many of these students excel in their classes, but they grew as individuals—with many saying they pushed themselves academically and socially, growing their networks and friend groups.

Among others, Brandon Hernandez credits Rockhurst for his growth and for putting him in contact with other wonderful people who helped campus feel like home. Many graduating seniors recognize how the Rockhurst community has contributed to their ability to overcome challenges over the years.

In recognizing their tremendous growth, graduates-to-be are also aware of points in their collegiate careers wherein they wish they had behaved differently and faced other circumstances.

Some students wish that they had not been so set on one career at the beginning and had instead sought out other potential paths. Others wish they could turn back time and be more social, caring less about what others would think of them and just having fun, instead of trying to obtain a certain persona.

As academically strong as Rockhurst students are, some seniors believe the rigor helped them learn to manage time or and when to ask for help.

Advice for the future

The outgoing class has plenty of advice to offer incoming students—showing how much they care about incoming Rockhurst students. Much of the advice involved putting oneself out there and trying the hardest at everything attempted.

Senior and editor of The Sentinel Kori Hines wrote, “Cherish the memories: everything from late night trips to Andy’s Frozen Custard, to basking in the dreams of your future, and on and off campus experiences. Those are the moments of bliss as a young adult in college.”

Others advise newcomers to not over-exerting themselves at the start of their college careers.

Rockhurst pushes involvement in every organization, which is good, but new students should know that high participation and attendance in one or two organizations is more meaningful and fulfilling than being sparsely active in several organizations at once.

What could the campus change?

There is no doubt that Rockhurst is a special place—but there is always room for improvement.

When asked what they wish Rockhurst would improve, graduating seniors offered a range of answers, reflecting the differing and specific obstacles students had to overcome.


Some wish Rockhurst would provide greater help to those graduating by either aiding in career searches or by providing advice on how to apply for jobs within their field. While other seniors expressed similar concern, throughout their responses, there was no offer of a specific solution for Rockhurst to consider.

Political conversations can be touchy, especially considering the atmosphere concerning the 2016 election and the two years since—an environment that has affected Rockhurst students too.


“I often felt isolated due to my political beliefs. While Rockhurst talks about inclusion, I feel like they don’t practice it well,” wrote one senior.

In all, not just at Rockhurst, people could benefit from being understanding of the beliefs of others, even if those ideas are opposed to what is personally believed. There is something to be said about a conversation between two parties that is not about who is right or wrong, politically or otherwise.


The most frequent responses, however, were about parking.

Rockhurst has recently deconstructed one of its few parking lots for the health and wellness center.

While some students are excited about the new building, many are annoyed by the amplification of an existing problem of a lack of campus parking.

One student wrote about feeling cheated by paying a parking fee, only to not be able to park on campus, relegating them to the distanced parking garage or street parking. Many of the seniors agree that with a growing student population, many of whom are commuters, Rockhurst should focus on providing enough parking for those who live on and off campus.

Waving Goodbye

Overall, the survey revealed that graduating students are proud of themselves for their Rockhurst accomplishments and want to see others grow just as they have during their time in college.

As one senior wrote, “Enjoy it! It’ll be over before you know it.”

Interested in joining the Sentinel staff? Contact our Editor, Kori Hines, at [email protected] to see how you can get involved.