A farewell to Northwestern

It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent four years of my life in Orange City, Iowa, and even harder to comprehend that my time at Northwestern has come to an end. They say that college can change a person and I believe that whole-heartedly. I am definitely not the same person I was on my very first move-in day, and I’m forever grateful to Northwestern for that. 

As a homebody, I was at initially resistant to fully call this small campus “home,” but now, 208 8th Street SW in Orange City is programmed into my phone just as that – home.

But what does that really mean, calling a college home?

2019-05-23_Eversman.jpg

For me, it was (dare I say it) the community. Though all NW students use this word a lot, it’s honestly true. The deep, serious relationships I made with friends throughout my years truly transformed me into being a more open-minded person and granted me the ability to see the world from different perspectives other than my own.

Living in Fern Smith Hall all four years also helped. Coming back from classes to the warm, welcoming faces of my friends was one of the favorite parts of my days. Those ladies heard all my frustrations, fears, complaints, doubts and anxieties with open arms and shoulders to cry on. They also celebrated accomplishments, encouraged dreams and prayed. Wing dinners happened regularly and almost always ended with laughter. My wing mates were my family, to the point that I wasn’t embarrassed by how loud or weird we were.

The professors, just like parents, pushed me too – hard, I might add, for my benefit. NW academics aren’t easy. Though they are difficult, they really do prepare you for your future. My writing has only improved since my first day and my ecological classes have provided me with hands-on learning of what my future in conservation work has in store for me. Overall, the courses here have opened many doors for me while my professors offered insights and perspectives I would have never considered. Plus, small classes mean more time to ask your professors questions or grab a cup of coffee with them. Most professors here love to talk with you about more than just your academic load, but also your life and passions.

My spiritual growth was the biggest transformation I went through at NW. It wasn’t a smooth one either. I went through many sleepless nights, difficult conversations and many moments of doubt to reach the point I’m at today. My faith was challenged every year, if not every day, and I’m very thankful for my friends, professors and chapel speakers for that. And the best part about it? I’m still growing. The opportunities and individuals at NW made sure of that, providing conversations, testimonies and safe places to continually grow, learn and experience God more. 

So, why do I call NW home? Well because it has been a place where I could truly express and be myself while still growing and learning. It’s a place where I found my identity in Christ and my call as a follower of Jesus. The campus also provided me with lifelong friends and professors that have both challenged and shaped me. And finally, like my home in Fairmont, Minnesota, I’m sad to leave this place for new experiences and adventures. But, there will be a soft spot in my heart for this place–this community–for the rest of my life.


Alyson Eversman is a 2019 graduate of Northwestern College.  While a student, she double majored in ecological science and writing and rhetoric and spent most of her free time outside walking on the Puddle Jumper, playing Spikeball on the campus green or hammocking. Alyson was involved in many activities outside classroom hours, which included being a writing tutor in the Peer Learning Center; the arts and cultural editor of the Beacon; and the layout editor for Spectrum, Northwestern’s literacy magazine. When not studying or working, Alyson enjoyed spending quality time participating in wing events, having coffee with friends and participating in spontaneous activities. Alyson now resides in Bemidji, Minnesota, where she works as a seasonal crew member for Conservation Corps.

Thank you, Northwestern!

Before coming to Northwestern, one of my friends, a Northwestern alum, sent me a postcard that said something like, “I went to Northwestern, and all I got was a great degree, lifelong friends, a foundation of faith, and this t-shirt.” As I reflect on my time at NWC, it’s true that I’ve gained all of these things and more.

Looking back, there’s so much to be grateful for, and I can’t thank Northwestern enough for providing me with the tools I need to be a real adult, even if I’m still a little apprehensive of what real life might hold.

Here are some of the things I’m most thankful for about my four years at NWC:

2019-05-01_Perrenoud.jpg
  • My fellow public relations majors. We had so much fun together in our classes, and continue to support each other as we look for jobs in our field.

  • My golf teammates. It was easy to become close to my teammates over the years as we bonded over the difficulty of golf and tried to stay warm during our cold spring practices.

  • NWC dining services. It’s just hitting me now that there will be no cafeteria or Hub next year…it’s time to hone my cooking skills.

  • My professors. I definitely underestimated how nice it is to have professors who care about you, know you by name, and know what your goals and dreams are. The support system at Northwestern is incredible, and I’m going to miss having trusted mentors who are available at every turn to give support.

  • The tools for faith. Northwestern’s campus ministry gives students so many opportunities to grow in their faith, and having things like Praise & Worship in a safe environment like NWC will be something I miss.

  • The friendly faces. It’s so fun to walk from place to place on campus and see familiar, friendly faces.

There are so many small details about the community at Northwestern that I’ll miss, but are hard to put into words. It’s a great place to be while you figure out your hopes for the future, earn the degree to get you there, and are surrounded by people who help you become the type of person you want to be.

Thanks for everything, Northwestern!

Three things I will miss about Northwestern when I graduate

In a few weeks I will finish my junior year at Northwestern and I will only have one semester left on campus. As the semester has been coming to a close, I have been reflecting on my time here and all I have loved about it. I want to make sure I invest in the time I have left here and spend as much time as I can appreciating the things that I love about this place. So, here are the top three things I will miss about Northwestern when I graduate:

2019-04-20_Vander Ploeg.jpeg

Community. This word gets used quite a bit at Northwestern, but it really is true of this campus. The people in my major have become more than just my classmates. They have become my dear friends. There is a true sense of community within the courses and we have so much fun together in class. The same is true in the dorms. I can’t imagine leaving college and not having a constant sense of community among the people I am around every day, and I can’t imagine what it will be like not having my friends across the hall or across campus. I am very thankful for Northwestern’s sense of community and will miss it greatly.

Professors. I’m grateful for each and every one of my professors. They are all so kind, quirky, fun, wise, intelligent, and gracious. And they love what they do. It is such a privilege to be able to spend each day learning from such amazing people. I have learned so much, and my love for literature and writing has grown extensively in my time here at Northwestern because my professors have helped feed my passion. I will really miss my professors when I graduate.

Classes. Yes, classes. Maybe it’s because I love learning, or maybe it’s because Northwestern has such wonderful academic programs, but I love going to class. Each day is a new adventure, packed full of learning new things. In each class I get to have really awesome conversations about books and writing that I love–with other people who love books and writing. Even though it is a lot of work and homework can be stressful, class can be so fun. I will miss being in an environment where I truly do learn something new every day.

I could go on for a long time talking about all the things that I will miss when I graduate, but these are the top three. Northwestern really is a wonderful school and I am so grateful for the time that I have had here and I’m looking forward to one last semester.

Fun in Orange City

When meeting and talking with prospective students, a question I am often asked is “What is there to do for fun in Orange City on the weekends?” While Orange City may be considered a small town compared to Des Moines, Sioux City or Sioux Falls, it still has fun activities to offer Northwestern students. Below is a list of activities students can do in Orange City, including some that are free and some that require some spending.

2019-04-12_Wheeler.jpg

Free:

  • Hanging out on the campus green while playing Spikeball, disc golf, or gennis (Northwestern’s very own combination of golf and tennis); lounging in a hammock or relaxing on a blanket

  • Taking a bike ride around Orange City. The Learning Commons on campus has bikes that students can check out for free. There are even tandem bikes for you to ride with a friend!

  • Going on a walk or run through Orange City or down the Puddle Jumper Trail

  • Playing board games with friends

  • Hosting movie nights with movies you already own, movies provided by media streaming services or movies available at the library

  • Having a bonfire in the campus fire pit

Fee:

  • Going to see a movie at Orange City’s Holland Plaza Theatre. On Tuesdays, admission is reduced to $5 with $2 beverages and popcorn!

  • Eating out with friends is always an option with Orange City’s variety of restaurants

  • Having coffee with a friend or studying at the coffee shop

  • Going to the bakery at midnight for donuts that cost only $1 on Fridays

There is always the option of traveling to bigger cities such as Sioux City or Sioux Falls for more options, but Orange City is a town that is worth getting to know. My friends and I often find ourselves coming up with our own ways to have fun on the weekends whether it is in our dorm, around campus or throughout Orange City.

Meaningful relationships

One of my favorite things about Northwestern College is the relationships you develop. It’s an exciting but daunting time going into college not knowing anyone. But it’s also an awesome opportunity to meet new people and expand your horizons to different perspectives on life from the people you meet. I am so grateful for the relationships I have formed so far here at Northwestern.

One of the best things that has occurred since arriving here has been meeting my roommate. We have helped each other grow so much spiritually this year. I am so appreciative of our friendship and I know that he has my back when I fall, and I have his when he falls. We have discussed our adversity, times of doubt, testimonies, and life in general. That’s the thing about the friendships and relationships you’ll have here– they’re going to go to a deeper level and they’re going to have meaning that will last well into the future.

I am so grateful for the close friendships I have formed this year and that I have a group of people that I can go to to share anything that is going on in my life. We get to go through life together and learn more about ourselves as we learn more about each other.

As you’re nearing the time to narrow down a final decision on a college to attend, I want to ensure that you know that here at Northwestern, you won’t feel alone. You can count on that.