From One Lumberjack to Another

NAU
NAU
Apr 8, 2019 · 5 min read

Senior year can be overwhelming and difficult, here’s now to navigate!

Lumberjack life is an unforgettable experience — from long nights in the library to weekends on the slopes — and it can be difficult seeing it come to an end. As a senior, you aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed and even a little scared at the changes that lie ahead! Current #NAU senior, Halie Rocco, shares her experience and advice, from one Lumberjack to another 💙

It’s 12:25pm: Class just let out and outside of the Union is bustling with people. I look around and there are people scrolling through Instagram, couples grasping each other’s hands, and the infamous skateboarders showing off their skills on the pedway. My headphones are blaring with my favorite music as I make my way to my next class.

I suddenly stop in my tracks as someone hands me a flyer for a new housing development starting to lease apartments. My mind goes straight to the fact that that I am graduating this semester and won’t need to think about my housing for next semester — It got me thinking; have I fulfilled my four years here at NAU?

Freshman year was a whirlwind, for me and for most others as well. I walked into the wrong classroom (multiple times), stood in line for the Wedge at 2am for that mouth-watering pizza, and spent the morning eating at the Hot Spot while cramming for exams. Before I knew it, it’s now senior year and all of these memories are starting to fade. The time we spend at NAU can sometimes make the days feel long but the years feel so short!

If I could go back four years, I would change a few things…

I went into college declaring a different major than what I am finishing my Bachelor’s degree in. I started out thinking I had my whole life planned out, studying something I thought I had a passion for. I quickly realized that my grades reflected differently. I became lost and thought my whole life was never going to turn around.

I started exploring new majors and found one that instantly spoke to me. As excited as I was, I was torn down, told this major was a joke, and I would never go anywhere. I took it as a challenge and went for it anyway. That first semester in my new major, my grades went from C’s to A’s and I instantly fell in love. It felt different and I could tell this was where I was supposed to be.

My first piece of advice is to follow your heart when picking a major. Trust me, the heart knows what it wants.

Do not let anyone sway you into not picking a career path that you are infatuated by. At the end of the day, when we’ve all graduated and moved onto the real world, you will be the only one that cares where you end up.

My second piece of advice is to find friends who care and love you for you during your time at college. These people could end up at your wedding or the ones who arrange play dates with your kids on the weekends.

Take the people you associate yourself with seriously. High school is done and over with and it’s time to be mature about the people we meet. I learned first hand that living with your best friend only works for some. It’s important to take precautions when picking a roommate, because true colors show when you live with someone in a 10x10 residence hall room. Its also important to remember that friend groups shift and change throughout college and its okay if you find yourself outgrowing your friends you made at freshman orientation. There are 4 years of friends out there just waiting to meet you!

The transition from high school college was something that was also a challenge for me, and everyone else! As a slight introvert, it was difficult for me to open up and step out of my comfort zone to join clubs/groups on campus. But I will tell you that it was one of the best decisions I made in college — thus my last piece of advice, never be afraid to put yourself out there. I challenged myself to “go Greek”, snagged an on-campus internship, and did everything possible to get as involved as I could.

Participating in on-campus clubs and activities made my experience more impactful then I could ever imagine — not to mention it jump-started many of the connections I have made at NAU. I’ve gotten homework help, letters of recommendation and life-long friends from pushing myself to step out of my comfort zone.

Before you know it, one day it will be graduation day. You will be walking across that stage in your blue cap and gown with a diploma in your hand, not looking back. The memories made with your roommates, the late-night pizza runs, and the early mornings spent at the dining hall will all be over before you know it — so soak it in and live it up!

Take it from one Lumberjack to another; learn from your mistakes. Don’t dwell on the past and just keep moving forward. Call your parents. Laugh at yourself. Get involved with any and all things on campus. Make an impact on somebody. And get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

People say college is the best four years of your life but how are we supposed to know that unless we put everything out there and experience our lives like never before? Enjoy your time and take advantage of everything NAU and the town of Flagstaff has to offer before it’s all over and you’re ready to move on!

Have any tips or advice to share with your fellow lumberjacks as graduation approaches? Share them with us at social@nau.edu and remember to soak it all in! #GoJacks

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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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