The first semester of school is a whirlwind. Move-in, orientation, the expectation of making new friends right off the bat, adjusting to being in college, realizing you’re actually in college; the list is endless. The most common questions I got were: what my major is, what my minor is (if I even had one), which dorm building I lived in, and finally, where I’m from. That last question was always a fun one to answer, since I’m from North Dakota and most people from New York have never met a person from North Dakota. Along with that question came the usual follow up: Why Naz? During the first few months of school, I got really good at answering that second question. I chose Naz not only for my career, as music therapy isn’t as big back home as it is here in Rochester, but for myself. I’m a firm believer in removing yourself from what’s comfortable in order to grow, and what a better way to grow than to move to a city that’s 1,200 miles away!
To be honest, Naz wasn’t even on my radar until my junior year of highschool. I had my heart set on another school, but, when I realized it was risky of me to only apply to that one school, I took my blinders off and decided to do some more research. I went on BigFuture, which is a subpage of the College Board’s website, and used their College Search tool to help me see what I really cared about and needed in a college. Using this tool or one like it helps you see and prioritize aspects of the college search like the size of the college, location, cost, and the types of majors they offer.
Once I took the necessary steps to learn more about it and apply, committing to Naz was probably the easiest part of my process. This was my dream school; everything I wanted in a school manifested itself into Naz. I hadn’t stopped thinking about this place since I had my campus tour last August. Being on campus really helped with the commitment aspect of my journey to Nazareth, just imagining myself being a part of the atmosphere that Naz has created and being a part of the music department was a dream come true.
So those are a few of the many reasons I chose to apply and commit to Nazareth, but the main reason I’ve decided to stay is definitely the community. I’m not necessarily a shy or introverted person, but one of the biggest anxieties I had coming into college was the fear of not being able to make friends the way I did back home. Those worries were gone the minute I stepped on campus and I got a smile or a “hello” no matter who I walked past. Along with my fellow classmates, the faculty here is one of a kind. My professors are extremely understanding, and the attention and care they give each of their students is so wonderful. During the first few weeks of school, I was insecure about my place within the music department, but when I went to Kristen Shiner-McGuire, the Coordinator of Percussion Studies, we had a heart to heart talk that reassured me that I was at Nazareth for a reason.
I know I’m very lucky to be a part of the Golden Flyer family here at Nazareth, and I hope you all find your family here someday.
If you want to see the Nazareth Community for yourself, schedule a tour!