People of Central – Brenden Benoit

Story by Danielle Patrick

Photo courtesy of Ahmed Dabas

Being a senior at Central Michigan University during the coronavirus outbreak has seniors experiencing many emotions. No one would have thought that the week leading up to spring break would be the last time seniors would walk campus. Some seniors may love being at home, but others may miss their friends.

Senior Brenden Benoit, majoring in engineering and minoring in mathematics, shares his thoughts on the pandemic effecting his senior year.

“Doing class online is not the same. I sit to watch a lecture video and 90% of the time I don’t pay attention,” Benoit said. “Professors know that I can read it off their powerpoint and some don’t post lecture videos now, just notes.”

By having classes switch to online, it has made Benoit realize that his last in-class lecture was about a month ago.

“It was weird because I had my last in-class lecture and then the coronavirus happened. I don’t even get to be in a class ever again,” Benoit said.

Benoit recalled that his last moment at CMU was taking an exam for his 500 level engineering class. He’s thankful that some of his professors are not posting exams, so being at home has its perks.

“I miss being able to work in the engineering building. We have a senior design for one semester and then a second semester,” Benoit said. “We have a project we have to build second semester, but now we can’t build it at all. It got turned into paperwork now.”

Despite graduation being postponed to August 15, Benoit is excited to be able to celebrate his graduation with his family. Since he is the first person in his family to go to a major university, he is excited to walk across the stage and receive his diploma.

Outside of school, Benoit does fundraising and he helped raised $4,000 for research for Crohn’s disease. On his 18th birthday, Benoit got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in which he is limited to eating certain foods.

“I can’t have fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, seeds or nuts. It’s weird because those foods are supposed to be healthy for you,” Benoit said.

For Benoit’s future, he hopes to get a job in lab testing in Michigan. Despite the crisis, there is hope for the graduating seniors at CMU.