What is your passion? Is it music? How about art? Maybe even sports or your major? When I was welcomed onto the volleyball team at Northwestern College as a sophomore transfer student, I was welcomed into an experience much larger than myself. This characteristic of volleyball, sports, and extra curriculars in general is one thing I have always loved about a team environment. It’s always bigger than you and about much more than yourself. There is a certain rush that thrives in a team environment. When winning a game, putting on a show, or creating music together takes a team, the results are always a work of art. Whatever your craft, whether it be athletics, music, theatre, or otherwise, you will find that same rush at Northwestern. And it is here that, amidst all the complexity and business of college life, your passions will direct you to your Northwestern family.
At this school, you’re going to be welcomed into a family. For me, volleyball helped me make instant friends at my new college and feel like I was part of the community. But more than just making friends, I was welcomed into a family. This is something special about Northwestern, considering I was not only a transfer student but I came from out of state as well. I had no connections arriving at the college my first year, besides a few people my parents know and a few people who knew my sister when she played volleyball at NWC before me. But in one year, I was keenly aware of the fact that I was making connections to other people, and faster than I had initially anticipated.
As I reached out to more groups on campus like the International Club, Student Government, and more, I began to know more people and was quickly accepted into new campus families. When I decided after sophomore year to end my volleyball career and take up track and field again, the transition could not have been easier. I was surrounded by great friends and teammates who were intentional about getting to know me, and I was interested in getting to know them too. That kind of intentionality is a way of life here at Northwestern College, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
I remember well the transition period between leaving volleyball and joining track and field. It was strange, to say the least. I had dedicated eight years of my life to being a volleyball player and only about a year-and-a-half to being a track and field athlete. I remember feeling slightly nervous about transitioning from one team to another, and hoping that I would not lose the relationships I had built in volleyball as I created new ones in track. But one afternoon put such concerns to rest in my heart. I was in the Fern lobby, walking past the large glass windows of the cafeteria with a friend from track when it happened. My new teammate and I were talking to someone we knew, when through the glass windows I saw my former volleyball teammates and “family” members. They were enjoying a pre-game meal together–like the kind that I used to take part in alongside them. Then, suddenly, several of them looked up to smile and wave at me from afar. Those who weren’t facing me turned to look at what was going on, and upon seeing me, smiled and waved too. And in that moment, my heart swelled as I waved and returned a grin.
I switched after my sophomore year of college from my passion for volleyball to my appetite for track and field–and I have loved my experiences in both sports at Northwestern so far. Here, you’ll find talented theatre students having dinner together at a round table most nights of the week. You will see dedicated chemistry students reserving a private room in the library for studying and leaving their complicated markings all over the whiteboard. You will see the track and field team rush into the cafeteria together after practice, just five minutes before it closes, to eat dinner as friends. I’ll stop my list there, but rest assured there are more “families” to discover here! Whatever your passion, there is a family of students waiting for you here at Northwestern College. You can take my word for it.