Lumberjack Life and Advice from an NAU Freshman

Welcome Lumberjacks! Northern Arizona University has so much to offer for any and all students. But for first-year students, it can take some warming up to the whole new environment. Transitioning to life as a college student can be a bumpy ride.

My first year here so far has definitely been something I won’t ever forget.

Living on campus is always exciting with events and activities being hosted every week.

My Notable Favorite Activities

  • Movie Nights: There are movie nights being hosted every semester by the NAU LAB (Lumberjack Activities Board). I always have a blast going to these movies with friends and I don’t even spend a penny.
  • RA Hosted Events: Since I live in a traditional dorm, some of the event nights that the RAs put on are really fun. I definitely have some core memories with friends during paint nights and cookie decorating.
  • Wingo: Wingo is a great group outing that my friends and I went out to. Wingo is all about wings and bingo! Who doesn’t like wings and some competitive fun and really cool prizes, (seriously, they gave away Squishmallows, a Keurig, a muscle massager, and penny boards!).
  • Homecoming Week: Homecoming weekend is a big deal here. We have a bonfire, a parade just before the tailgate, a carnival (and axe throwing!!), and the homecoming game. It’s just a good time with good vibes.
  • Concerts: The concerts put on by the LAB are also a great event for concert and music lovers. During my first weekend in Flagstaff, we had Tai Verdes performing. Highly recommend.
  • Plant Parties: And for those with a green thumb or a love of plants, there are plant parties where you can decorate a pot and take home a new little plant friend. My roommate and I are always excited for those days.

Did I mention that all of these are free for students?

Free Time Activities

If I didn’t go out to campus-hosted events, I would enjoy a few hours out in nature or utilize the freedom of being on campus.

There are plenty of green fields scattered all over campus where I love to enjoy the scenery and sun, take a few hours to have a picnic and people-watch. I know my roommate and I have enjoyed it and plan on doing it more in the future. I see people hammocking and playing spike ball all the time.

When it didn’t feel like the time for a picnic, I would utilize the gym available for students, and enjoy a smoothie at Essential Blends, the smoothie spot by the gym, or Jamba Juice after a good workout.

As for dorm life, it has been an interesting time living in a tradition-style dorm building. At least I’ve made some really good friends from bonding over the disturbance of our upstairs neighbors. I’ve definitely had a first-year dorm experience, to say the least.

Tips for First-Year Students

With all of this being said as a student who is just finishing their first year, here’s some of my best first-year tips.

  • Say yes to as much as you can! If it’s something you are interested in but are iffy about doing it, just do it! Bring a friend or several along and have a good time out. Get out and do things. There’s a lot to explore instead of being cooped up in your room.
  • You don’t need a car for everything (I’m not kidding). There are so many alternative modes of transportation. NAU has the Yellow Bike Program where you can rent a yellow bike, free of charge. There are campus shuttles available, also free to students, that take you all over campus. The Mountain Line bus, the Flagstaff city bus, goes from Downtown Flagstaff to Walmart with various stops on campus (and other routes to different parts of Flagstaff). And if you do need a car, there is always Uber and Lyft, or you might befriend someone who owns a car.
  • Explore areas outside of your comfort zone. You have a whole new place to make adventurous memories. It doesn’t have to be a big new thing. It can be something as simple as going for a walk, and that’s still exploring. Also, downtown is just a short walk from campus. It’s a great chance to eat at some good restaurants or shop at some unique stores.

These were only a few of many of my experiences and tips that I have from my first year.

And I can only hope that any incoming student can take this advice and learn from it during their time as a new student.

Thanks for reading and good luck Lumberjacks!

~ Suzanna

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