Four years ago I cringed at the fact that I was going to be attending Northwest Christian University. Everybody from Harrisburg attends NCU and I didn’t want to be another Harrisburgian at NCU. I wanted to be in SoCal at Hope International, soaking up the sun on the beach, and spending my weekends at Disney. Yet, here I was, checking the “I will attend” box on my admission packet for NCU and not HIU. I was bitter the remainder of my senior year, all summer, and partially through my freshman year at NCU. I contemplated transferring schools numerous times, yet every time, something fell through and didn’t work out, so I stayed at NCU.
Fast forward four years and I just walked across the stage at NCU, earning my Bachelor’s of Science in psychology, and while my time at NCU wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, I’m so happy to call myself a Beacon.
I declared my major as a Bachelor’s of Arts in psychology before arriving on move in day, later changed to a Bachelor’s of Science, still in psychology. I switched roommates halfway through my freshman year, living in two different residence halls, and worked in the school’s coffee shop, the Beacon Beanery. My sophomore year, I worked again in the Beacon Beanery, started working at Max Porter’s, lived in the campus apartments, and fell in love with all of the communications classes that I was taking, so I declared a minor in communications (one of the best decisions I made while in school). My junior year I continued working at the Beanery, but left my job at Max’s to become a Resident Assistant in the dorms of NCU. That was quite the experience. I’ll leave it at that. Then came my senior year, the grand finale. This last year, I quit the Beanery, returned to work at Max’s, was elected to work with NCU’s student government as the VP of Environment, finished my minor during my first semester, and ended up finishing my degree with honors. Oh, not to mention I got engaged.
Throughout my four years I learned a MASSIVE amount about the brain which has sparked my interest in graduate school. I changed career goals many times, moving from clinical/mental health counseling to school counseling to not knowing what the heck I want to do with my life other than watch Netflix in my yoga pants while eating hot Cheetos. I cried a few times over my communication papers. Those things were pure EVIL. I screamed in the cafeteria with my classmates over passing grades (generally regarding communications papers). I made friendships that I know will last a lifetime and I learned a lot about God, myself, and what I believe (all as a result of attending a Christian liberal arts university in the heart of downtown Eugene).
It wasn’t easy, in fact, it was super hard at times. There were numerous times where I wanted to give up, drop out, cry for days, not get out of bed, not do my assignments, swear at my professors out loud rather than just in my head, transfer schools, quit my jobs on campus, and yell “SHUT UP!” to everyone treating the library like it was the cafeteria. Yet, here I am. I made it through. I still got 99 problems but a degree aint one.
In the past four years, I also accomplished some pretty big things! I managed to watch all 16 seasons of Law and Order SVU, all 10 seasons of Criminal Minds, Breaking Bad, and One Tree Hill. Alright, well, I thought that was pretty awesome to do. I won ACE Day for my communications class. That is pretty rad. I passed college math with a B! Go me! (I’m the worst at math. Literally. The. Worst). I finished both my major and minor with honors, graduating Cum Laude (yup, thats right, that 2.4 GPA in high school aint got nothin’ on me now), and I managed to burp and sneeze and fart in front of a guy and he didn’t run, in fact, he proposed! What a keeper.
So, whats next? Well, that is a mighty fine question. For as long as I can remember since arriving on NCU’s campus, I’ve had the dream to get my Master’s degree. I want that hood. At the same time, I am burnt out. I’ve spent the past four years working two jobs and going to school full-time. Quite frankly, I need a break. So, for now, the plan is to take a gap year, enjoy my first year of marriage, see what is out there, explore graduate programs, and have fun. I just spent $48,000 and have a Bachelor’s degree, which only 22% of the country can say!
I’m so thankful for the time I’ve had at NCU, the relationships that I’ve formed with not only my peers but my incredible professors (shout out to Dr. Nani Skaggs, you are my spirit animal and every woman in the psychology department at NCU wants to be you. #goals). I’ve been blessed by the incredible experiences and opportunities that I had while at NCU, I learned so much that my brain couldn’t handle it all and forgot most of it already (Whoops. Just kidding, that doesn’t happen..trust me, I’m a psych major, I know these things), and I found a place to call home for four years. Although it wasn’t HIU, the beach, and Disney, it was so much better. It was NCU, community, faith, and service, which was exactly what I needed.