Northern Arizona University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Jennifer

College (noun)- an institution of learning at the highest level (dictionary.com). This is the true definition of college; a place where you learn in order to succeed in a future career. However, for me, college has been so much more than an institution of learning. In only one semester at Northern Arizona University, I have experienced more than I imagined possible. I started the year off with classes that will be a positive attribute to the rest of my college experience. I had teachers that offered valuable input and lessons that will be meaningful in shaping the rest of my time here. Not only have I been in classes that were enjoyable and important, I have become a part of Greek life. I participated in sorority recruitment and pledged to be in Pi Beta Phi. Joining a sorority has helped to make college an incredible experience. I have met girls I can forever be friends with and these “sisters” will always be there to support me, whether it be in life or school. Making these positive decisions have helped me to begin a new chapter in my life and I know these college experiences will guide me forever.

Sala

Throughout my first year as a college student, I have realized that I am dedicated to my work, whatever that work may be. I might not always like what I have to do, but I know that I have to get it done. I've also gotten a sense of who I truely am and what really matters to me. I have realized that I am a very family oriented person who likes to solve problems and be in a city environment where there is always something to do. My personal relationships and my professional relationship (as in school) have really stood out to me this year. I have close friends who I love spending time with and I enjoy meeting people who have the same interests as me. I find it easier to work with people who I get along with, and college has exposed me to many types of people. Being a college student has opened up the real world where I understand that it is up to me to either fail or succeed.

Kimberly

I am a mother of four and I work fulltime at the local hospital. I am sometimes overwhelmed by all my responsibilities. I have found that if I apply myself, I can accomplish anything! Northern Arizona University feels like a big extended family to me. My classmates and my professors are an incredible resource of support and encouragement! I have learned to appreciate my beautiful surroundings, manage my time, expand my horizons, question my preconceived ideas, believe in myself, and create lasting relationships. Out of all these incredible life experiences, the most important thing that college has instilled in me is a love of learning. The value of these experiences are priceless! I can not begin to fathom how far reaching their effects will be for me. I am more confident in my personal and professional life. My future can be whatever I want it to be! I hope that my desire for constant growth and learning will be infectious to all those around me.

Laura

There are a few things that I most value about my undergrad experience. First, education is a bit like traveling; it makes you realize that the world is exponentially wider than your own personal experience and perspective. I think this is a crucial realization to have to become right -sized and to understand that there will always be alternate view points to your own. Second, education helps you find your place in this world and helps you to see how you can contribute to it. My undergad work helped me to understand and embrace the idea that I could do good work for my fellows. Finally, I met professors who really cared about their fields (education, history, humanities, and others) and wanted to share their passion with the next generation of scholars. Ultimately, my undergraduate experience motivated me to grow up and jump into a life focused, at least in part, on helping others.

Paige

I have learned a lot about Zoology which is nice. But the best thing is that I have been allowed to find myself and what I want to do and who I want to be. It took awhile, but it was all worth it. And without NAU I wouldnt be the person that I am today.

Courtney

I met some of my closest friends in Flagstaff, and I met my husband while working on campus. I was given many opportunities to learn more about myself and other cultures. I learned to be an adult while I was in college. I had to learn how to drive in the pouring rain and in snow storms, I learned to manage my money, and I was successfully transitioned from living on campus to an apartment in town without negatively impacting my GPA. NAU was a place I liked to be, and I still visit. It is a very comforting place, I think because it is smaller and feels safe. The campus is so beautiful and the locals are very friendly- my husband and I have talked many times about making a permanent move to Flagstaff. I definitely believe that I became my best self while I was in college.

Darlene

When I first started high school, college seemed like something I could only dream about. For me, it didn't seem obtainable. That is, until I received my first acceptance to the school I am currently attending- Northern Arizona University. Having lived in Los Angeles, California my whole life, I didn’t expect to leave such a familiar environment and transfer to one in Flagstaff, Arizona. But when I arrived there I was in awe of its beauty and the people. From the very first week I had encountered some really great people and made friends fast. My RA is super friendly and is easy to talk to along with my roommates. Each class I had offered something new and different. The courses there challenge me intellectually and the people range from many ethnicities and personal background to likes and interests. The college experience is greatly valued by me because I know it will open up many opportunities in my future, ones I don't want to pass me by. This experience has helped me see that college is something I can do.; it doesn't just have to be a dream, it can be a reality.

Catalina

Out of my college experience I feel that I have matured and have become more responsible. I have learned to socialise with other people from different places and ethnicity. I feel that its very valuable to me because its something that I can take with me in my future career. It prepairs us to be a more professional person over all.

Shelby

I’ve attend McHenry County Community College now for the last year and a half and I’ve done really well. I’ve taken basic general education classes to help me transfer to a four-year college. I’ve improved my study skills and my learning skills immensely. I think going to a community college before attending a four-year university was a great idea and has actually benefitted me.

Dallas

It has reawakened a desire to learn and to share what I have already learned with others. As someone who is working to become a teacher I am also able to evaluate my professors as to what makes a good teacher. What types of things do they do that make it easier to grasp the multitude of new material presented every class. This experience is also helping me work on keeping my life prioritized. This has been a time of interspection and making sure that what I am spending my time on has long term value.

Brianna

Attending Northern Arizona University is possibly one of the best life choices I have ever made. If I had gone to my hometown college it would have set me right back into high school. And who wants that? I sure didn't and I have noticed that by going to school at NAU I have grown up in a way that would never have been possible if I went to any other school. The atmosphere surrounding NAU is just incredible. The campus is safe, every single person I have met has been friendly to me, Flagstaff community and students alike, and the NAU faculty members are the most well rounded and thoughtful people. NAU and Flagstaff have taught me how to spread my wings and fly, allowing me ample opportunities for employment and student activities. If you are thinking about attending NAU, think no more. Just do it. NAU wants you.

Katie

I have gained a respect for the students who try hard to earn their grade and actually suceed in school. I've also gained more of a sense of responsibility for my own actions, and an appreciation for money. I never knew everyday items were so expensive and how hard it is to keep yourself out of debt.

Brandi

College has taught me that education is more than getting a degree and a career. Education is about valuing our own growth and knowledge as individuals. I have become passionate about my own learning experiences and the future learning of my students and my children. I am a mother to two and I want to act as a role model for my children and my future students. I believe that education is our purpose in life because it is clear that none of us are here to stay the same; we are meant to be constantly changing and learning new things every day. College has taught me that education should be on a lifelong scale, not a two or four year one, and we should all be working to grow and expand with every new experience. College will offer me the opportunity to be a better teacher, parent, and person. It has given me the skills I need to make the revolutionary difference I want to make for the world around me. Eventually, I want to open my own school and use this knowledge to radically improve the education of thousands of children.

Kathryn

I have gotten a new sense not only of my own self worth but of the value of and education. As a teenager I spent most of my time worrying about what I was going to do after the school day was over. Now I spend my time worrying about what I am going to do when college is over. I know that although nothing is ever a given, I have a better shot at a good career with a degree under my belt as opposed to walking away right now with only a high school diploma. I have learned to put more value in the effort put on to attempt and less on the number at the top of a paper. I have learned that it takes time and consideration to make a life or career choice. I have been given priceless advice from some excellent professors and the most valuable gift they could have given me is the joy I have gotten from pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. Were it not for the time I have spent in so many lecture halls and classrooms, I may never have discovered this joy.

Samantha

Attending college has given me the chance to mature a lot and experience living on my own. Since i have been in college I have had to learn to rely on myself and not my parents.

Megan

I have learned more about myself and the person I want to be in my first semester at college than I have in my nineteen years of life. I have seen, heard and even experienced things I had only heard or dreamed about. I learned what it is like to pull an all-nighter, something I hope I never have to repeat. I learned how to deal with people I don't like, even if they are living in the same room as me. I learned how to make healthy choices, avoiding the dreaded freshman fifteen. But, overall I have learned who I am and where I want to be going. For the first time I feel confident about my future, not uncertainty. I take pride in what I do and who I have become. I know that I am going somewhere, and that I am making a difference with my education. I truely cannot wait to continue on my journey of self discovery and pursue never ending dreams.

Alexander

I chose Northern Arizona University because of its close proximity to my home. Naturally, this college was the choice of many of my companions from highschool. Going into the school year, I expected to cling tightly to my old friends and suffer my way through my first semester of this new education. Since leaving for break, I have had time to reflect on the last few months, and I realized that it was new friends that I had made that helped me through the first seventeen credits. I have gained more understanding from these new friends in 3 months than I have learned in years before. Furthermore as an athlete, I took advantage of Flagstaff's high altitude for my physical training. I didn't have the talent to make the varsity teams on campus, but the intramural sports were open for my benefit. I jumped quickly at the opportunity to play ultimate frisbee, and since joining the club, I have made great friends and I've grown so much both physically and mentally. Before my college experience began I was rather introverted, but being asked what I've gotten out of my college experience, my answer would be confidence.

Kelly

I have gotten so much out of attending a university. It was very surprising to me to find that the professors at a university really now how to make sure that their students learn the information and take a lot away from the classes. There is so much less emphasis on tests from class to class, it is more about the understanding of the information. Also, the best part is meeting people who are more unique than you could imagine. My best friends at school are unlike anybody that I have ever met before. Meeting people like this really makes a person understand the world better and be less judgemental. People from different areas, with different experiences have different quirks and it makes a person be more understanding towards other people and themselves as well.

Allison

I have gotten so much out of the college experience. I have grown up so much and learned so much about living on my own. I have met many great people that have helped me grow as a person and become much stronger. College is such an important thing, it helps people get more comfortable and more adjusted to living on your own and more prepared for the future, as well as preparing for your future dream career. College was the best decision I've ever made and I encourage everyone to attend and grow.

Carol

I have made long-term friends and I have also discovered more about myself. My likes, and dislikes. I have applied myself the most I have ever applied myself in the past two years of college. I intend on graduating early and so far, it's coming along well. I am set in my goals and set in my aspirations. I have learned more than I have ever learned so far.

Haley

What I got out of my college experience is that a good school will try to help you succeed. It's valuable to attend if you want to become something great. If I had never chose to attend college I would not only be losing out on an education but I would be losing out on an experience only a few get to achieve. I would not grow as a person because I would never have to depend on myself. College, if anything, has taught me how to become more responsible for my actions.

Elizabeth

I have learned so much in the past 2 years. I have understood what to put first in my life and it is, of course, college. College has made me to understand more about different subjects and why they are needed in our everyday life. I have learned more and more every single day i enter a class and I gain so much knowledge and information. I'ts very valuable to me in so many ways. It makes my parents proud and It helps me accomplish so much by attending so that I may go on and do what I love to do!

Jessica

I remember the fresh air stinging my face, as the breeze gently hugged my shoulders. I was silent for a while, taking in the campus under a warm blanket of sun. This was where I needed to be. With that realization resonating within me, I chose to attend Northern Arizona University. Because of that one decision, I’ve had a college experience unlike any other. On this campus, you’re an individual with your own major and your own lifestyle. You’ve chosen to be here; you want to be here. At the same time, you’re part of a greater community. On this campus, you’re surrounded by people who believe that success is attainable, and you have the tools to get there. You are a lumberjack, important and accomplished no matter what you do. With these characteristics, you can go far. You can push past a simple degree into a realm of true experience. The opportunities here allow many to witness what they treasure most, and challenge what they don't understand. It’s because of these things that an education here, has proven to be valuable. This is lumberjack territory, and this is where I’ll stay.

Jennifer

Stepping off the stage with diploma in hand, what's next? Beginning a new school with fresh faces for the first time since kindergarten can be a bit intimidating. I have grown up in the same town and seen the same people year after year in school my entire life. The first year of college I was kind of shy not breaking out of my shell just quite yet. The second year though, I have learned to let loose and meet new people and face new challenges as they come. I was afraid before, to get out into the real world thinking that I would be unable to conquer the hardships that I was going to face. The biggest question of all now is what do I want to do? Truly? I want a job that is going to help people and make a difference in at least one person's life. I have chosen nursing to help me follow that path. College has been the greatest asset I've had in deciding my future. There is so much diversity and yet there are so many similarities between us and every person just needs a little bit of love.

Megan

I have learned to be an independent woman and to strive for my own success. I have grown up and learned to be who I am and to not hide that from anyone. I have also learned that not everything is easy. Registering for classes is not an easy thing, but from the difficulties I have learned a valuable lesson. Never give up at what you want to achieve in life. If everyone just gave up then life would be too easy. With all the obstacles that I face as a college freshman, I have learned to push through those obstacles, come out on top, and to create my own success.

Kristina

I've gotten a lot out of my college experience in this first semester. I'm learning how to be on my own without my parents and family around. I now make my own choices and have more options to pick from. I've learned that things are a lot different when being away from home, but not in a bad way. I am exploring more things and really finding out who I am as a person. It's valuable for me to attend college because I have a lot of goals for myself. I find it important to be able to take care of myself finacially, even if I do get married. Independence is something everyone should be able to have, and going to college is helping me to get that and learn what it really is all about.

colleen

so far, my college experience has been short. As my first semester is coming to a close, I'm realizing just how important the next few years of my life will be. I have made an effort to better my future, and have a hope for the family I will one day have. I am a first generation college student, and now that means more than it ever has before. My mother is not working and my father is in fear of losing his job. It is clear to see that if I do not find funding, I will have to drop out. My college experience has been valuable to me beacuse i have met some amazing people, and i am able to see that I have a drive to attend classes. In high school, I just thought college was what I was supposed to do next, but now that I'm here, I realize that it was where I was supposed to end up. I lovve me school, and my instructors, and I'm ready to continue my education.

MUQIAO

A sense of accomplishment that I haven't felt from anything else that I have done. Besides, I am a foreign student and English is my second language. Attending college at another country means enormous challenges. But once i made it, I'll feel more confident and a huge sense of achievement. A very good job with good pay. Job security. Some admiration from others. Use the skills learned to volunteer and help others. Knowing I can take care of myself and be on my own during college. Student loans were worth it and have since paid them off as planned. Friendships. Great memories.The greatest benefit was the completion of a long term plan/goal. Realizing because of college that there are a lot of things I can accomplish if I want to.

Rebecca

My college experience has been about much more than academics. Although they are important, I have been encouraged to get involved and be an active member of my department and my college community. I have made some of the best friends of my life and had some amazing experiences. My instructors have encouraged me to pursue my dreams and work hard to get there. I have never felt out of place on my campus. I have been challenged both academically and intellectually. I have always been allowed to speak my opinions and be heard, and I have been able to learn from those around me. Honestly I would never want to attend a different college then the one I am at now. I feel at home at NAU and, even though I am busy and stressed sometimes, I feel that this experience has been one of the most rewarding of my life.

Jack

I feel that attending college is important in today's world. By attending college I will be able to expand my knowledge of the world around me and enable me to advance in the job market. I am still undecided as to what I want to pursue while in college, but I understand the importance of continuing my education. I have a strong interest in business administration and have thought that I would lean that way as I enter into the college arena. Studying in the business field will help me in any area I may decided to major in.

Devon

As a film sutdent I have been able to show my academic, technical and artistic skills, both in the classroom and on set. Colorado Film School has allowed to become the best that I can be in this field, and with further training in more structured schools I can see myself becoming a great filmmaker.

Megan

What I got out of my college was finding out that it was difficult for me to live off island. I had to return home to continue my education on the Big Island. I find that attending college is beneficial to me because the economy is not at it's healthiest and one of the only ways to get a job is to have a college degree. None of my siblings have been able to attend college, due to financial difficulties, and my wish is for them to eventually attend. It has been hard for me to find the financial support that I needed and I had to take out loans in order to attend.

Trevor

I am from Houston, Texas, and just wanted to get away for college, so I am a freshman at Northern Arizona University. I am glad i had the chance to get away for a while, and learned more about myself from the experience, like for example that I do not get homesick, and also helped me gifure out what i want to do after college. While the college I attend is a great college, and has helped me greatly my freshman year, I would like to now return to Texas. After college, I plan to be a missionary in either Europe or Russia, and therefore would like to attend a private, Christian college to help me further along that path. My college experience away from home has taught me much about myself, and what i want to become in life, and in order to achieve my goal, it would greatly help to recieve a scholarship!

Michelle

I am attending Kaplan University for Criminal Justice. I hope that by obtaining this degree, I will be able to give back to my community. I hope to either work in Corrections or Homeland security.

tabetha

In my college experience- I have recieved enlightenment, overt verbal expressions and a advancement in abstract thinking/ reason/logic. I reflect on my culture and the different elements that conditioned me like being highly serious, , verbally introverted, burdened by unfortunate choices and conditions. Living without an education compared to attending school daily is signifacant to me because I can identify with the noticeable difference in my cognitive observations between what is clear concerning reification,my life, choices, and my future. Although, society sometimes position individuals for material and status success -I think college has given me something more. Attending college has given and continue to give me valuable perspective, position , common place, a substantial amount of poise, self-esteem, and powerful confirmation ,attending college has changed my whole life intrinsically , extrinsically, and it has given a new meaning to what is possible inside my world. The college culture provides valuable information that has shaped my life for better judgements in my everyday living. im not just existing- im learning. So far I have gotten a self identity, people skills, cultural understandings, and I unlimited myself from the bondage of ignorance that held me back in some areas of my lifestyle.

Sara

I have learned from my college experience so far is independance on not knowing anyone when arriving I learned to be able to do everything on my own and not have that friend there to also give her oppinion. I learned how to venture into differen't types of groups which will be great for my carree so I will be able to interact well with any type of person I work with. I also, got into new activities which is always a good experiance for me it was rugby I learned a lot about it and helped me understand how to interact as a team with girls I have never met before I went to the first practice. I have also, learned what hard work actually is, I mean yeah I went to high school but I can admit I was not the best student. I learned how much hard work can pay off and how much you do get when you put that hard work in. I have learned a lot from the differn't learning techniqes that I was not use to in high school.

Marcel

I havent graduated from college i attend Lincoln college Of Technology but being here so far has been a good experience the professors are nice and good at teaching. Whats been valuable about attending this school is that i am actually learning and i enjoy coming to school.

Cera

I have grown as a person and learned valuable lessons from college. I have made lasting friends and great connections.

Tarah

Attending college at a university is an experience in itself. A person learns how to live independently, but also learning with their peers who are all learning together. In the dorms, one has to learn respect for their neighbors and especially their roommate, which will come in handy in the "real world." College is valuable for the intense purpose of getting an education, not just in school, but in life.

Chris

College has been a good experience for me socially and academically. Going in to college I was not sure what I wanted to do but was able to take a variety of classes and have been able to decide on hotel and restaraunt management. And socially the university offers opportunites for the students to get together at least once or twice a month. I have gained a group of friends that i know will last for the rest of my life.

chi

because I can gain my knowlege and skills better

Cassandra

The most valuable thing I have gotten from my college experience so far is getting to see what college is really like. I have learned what is expected of me, and of course am still learning more with time. I have found that it is important to connect with your fellow students, and that extracurricular activities can really help to get you passionate about your studies. The more time that I spend in college, the more that I feel I am fitting in and understanding just what it take to succeed. More than anything it has all been valuable because each bit serves to motivate me to work harder and harder towards earning my degree.

Kevin

My college experience has been helpful in encouraging me to always strive for more. It has also given me the necessary knowledge to go out in the world and try things, try new things you've never tried before, or try old things again and become better at them each time. So why is that so valubale? Going to college has helped me start my own business, get a great job, and enjoy life. These are things that only college can do for you!

haley

I think I've learned that sometimes things don't go how you expected but as an adult you have to learn how to deal with it. I've had fun thus far taking classes that interest me and having more freedom, but I'm not sure that Flagstaff is the place for me. For now, I'm living and learning before I decide if I want to continue my studies at NAU. This experience has been valuable in that it has given me a chance to reflect on myself and where I see myself now and in the future.

Charlotte

Background: I attended Northern Arizona University in the Fall1991 and received my first bachelors’ degree in 2000. I got married and had two boys which explain the nine year difference. My most recent degree came in 2008, a masters in school counseling. My college experience was unique but was also very positive. I say unique because the first two years I was on campus, another year I commuted, and the next year was by satellite, and finally in a cohort program that was held at a statewide site. My positive experiences included but not limited to the beautiful campus with many places to study, caring and understanding professors, access to a variety of academic resources, and tremendous support programs. I grew up with my parents and five siblings. I was the only one who attained a post secondary education. It’s been a very valuable asset in my life. I am still married and now, have three kids. My college education has provided financial stability and allowed me to return to my community as a role model. I am a school counselor at my old high school. In all, I am very greatful for my college experience and education.

Wikota

Well, i learned how it is to be on my own . About how to be responsible and do what needs to be one, even if i dont want to. I've learned that being in college can get hard at times but to never give up because eventually you'll get it. Attending college has been very vauable..it has taught me alot.

Caitlin

Attending college has been one of my smartest decisions. It has opened my eyes to the benefits and advantages of pursuing a degree beyond high school. In college classes I listen and take notes, much like in high school, but I also look into material at a much deeper level. Professors aim to really make me think about things. There is no late work, no constant reminders about due assignments and a lot of material is covered in a short amount of time. College has taught me a lot about responsibility. I am required to finish all my assignments on time, attend class, pay bills, and study without anyone reminding me. I love the personal freedom that college offers. I feel like I’m becoming more of an adult through my studies and the life lessons I’m learning from living on my own.

Syia

Well so far it has been my third week into school so I can't really say much about my experience or what the college has offered. But being here so far has not been very great. I find it kind of hard to make friends and to get to know people because there are some people here who only feel comfortable hanging around with their own ethnicity. Being a Native American is a bit hard to make friends because people tend to judge right away. But the things the college has to offer is pretty great such as the clubs and the different activities the college has to offer such as yoga or kick boxing. There is a wide range of activities to attend and get involved with.

Kristin

The biggest thing I got out of my college experience was to let go. I was always paranoid and judgemental because I was scared of people, but being close to a diverse population of really nice people has opened me up. Not to say I am still paranoid, but I am not quick to judge anymore. I also learned to take responsibility for my own life. I have to do my own laundry, I have to make my own money, and I have to go to class without my mom getting mad at me (I don't skip class a lot in general, but it happened in High School). I am legally an adult and slowing maturing into a real adult.

THOMAS

Throughout high school I never really tried to apply myself. As a result I received low grades, an even lower self esteem, and just barely graduated. After high school I hopped from job to job, following in the footsteps of my parents (who did not graduate high school), and wasted a lot of time struggling to get from paycheck to paycheck. I had lived my entire life well below the poverty level and finally decided the only way to get out of my situation was to go to college. In college I have done (so far) extremely well compared to high school. My college experience has taught me that I, liek anyone else, can do anything that I set out to do if I just try to acheive my goals. I have learned that a person is better, and more, than the situation they were born into, and if they want to change their life the power to do so lies only in their hands. Everyone can benefit from education, and for most the only way to get out of poverty is to stay in school, get good grades, and graduate from college, but most importantly to strive for success.

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