Four Years later

Getting Lost, Finding my Voice and Myself

By Karringtan Bell, Class of 2020

The past four years at NAU have been a real adventure.

My walk through memory lane starting with Year 1.

First up — Freshman Year

It feels like just yesterday it was the first day of orientation — I was moving into McConnell, and being on my own.

I remember being very excited to move into my dorm and anxious to see what this new chapter of my life would be like.

When I started college I worried about:

  • What my classes were going to be
  • If I was going to make any friends
  • If going to get along with my roommate?

As someone who just graduated in May I can say with confidence that it all worked out.

Freshman year definitely wasn’t perfect.

It was difficult living in a new environment. I remember all the slips on the ice once the snow came along and having to live in such a small space at times.

Getting along with my roommate — There were definitely times when I wish I had more space. But I learned to alway treat my roommate with respect. We got to know each other and became really good friends. She definitely helped me get through my freshman year and I will always be grateful for her.

I did get lost, I did lock myself out of my dorm room multiple times, some of my classes were very hard, but I got through all of.

No matter how difficult things got with classes or my personal life, reminding myself that I could get through this was what got me through that year. Along with the positivity and support from my family too!

The Middle Years

Next up, we have sophomore and junior year. I moved into a new apartment, l had new roommates, and was ready to conquer.

I can definitely say I learned more about college (and life in general) during my sophomore year than I did my freshman year. Even though I was still trying to figure out college life I felt more in control and not all over the place I was getting lost less, and only locked myself out of my apartment once that year.

My sophomore and junior year were my blossoming years. I started making more friends and going to more events.

Definitely don’t miss out on Wingo Wednesdays (Wings + Bingo) and Paws your Stress (hang out with therapy dogs) events.

I also started to become more confident and social. I felt like I was actually beginning to enjoy my college experience to the fullest. I joined a few clubs, started an internship with NAU Social. I started to find out where I belonged and it was a great feeling.

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My note taking skill became on point during my sophomore year, which was the main reason I survived my junior year COM 300 class. I also learned how to take advantage of the academic resources NAU has to offer. College is difficult at times so whatever help you can get take it!

#LumberjackTip Go to your nearest writing lab and let them help you. Look into the free tutoring that is available in the Academic Success Center (there’s one on both north and south campus). If you are having trouble passing a difficult course — ask your professor for help as soon as you start to struggle. Creating study groups and talking to classmates can really help too.

🎓 Senior Year 🎓

I’m in the final stretch — my senior year. I can’t believe the 2:00am library sessions, late night dutch runs, and eating at The Coope are coming to a close.

I’ve made so many wonderful memories and learned so many lessons while being here that if I tried to fit them all in this blog it would be 15 pages long. I have always imagined what I would be like when I reached this point.

Like many seniors I was really looking forward to walking across the stage in the dome to get my diploma, but due to COVID-19 I won’t be able to do that.

Not walking across a stage doesn’t take away from the fact that I will have a degree. It doesn’t take away from all the hard work put in. It doesn’t take away how proud I am of myself.

I will always have the memories from the past 4 years that will warm my heart forever.

This isn’t the end, but the beginning of a new chapter for me and the rest of the Class of 2020.

So for all those starting their college journey, here are my three major tips.

  • Get involved on campus
  • Take advantage of the resources NAU has to offer
  • Take in every moment of college because it truly is a once in a life time experience.

Go, Jacks!

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It’s always a great day to be a Lumberjack! Join the conversation and share your #NAU story.

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