This academic year at Northwestern State University has been anything but ordinary. Seniors graduating this spring look back on their past years at NSU from dealing with a solar eclipse in 2017 to the snow days this semester.
“Throughout all of the ups and downs during my collegiate years here at NSU, I have gained a new sense of perseverance,” said Rylea Sepulvado is a senior communications major who started at NSU in the fall of 2015.
“I have been faced with a lot of challenges, but I feel that this has prepared me to be a better professional in my career,” Sepulvado said.
Taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic has made a significant impact, though it is not the only obstacle students have overcome.
Louisiana endured five major hurricanes, with Hurricane Laura causing the most damage and leaving the city of Natchitoches without power for days.
Bryce Irving, a senior graphic and fine arts major said, “In my final year as a senior it was tough and stressful during all major catastrophes but managed to stay focused, rise up, and be strong.”
Snow fell in Natchitoches and across Louisiana twice, canceling classes until roads were safe enough to travel on.
Alisha Bolton, senior biology and applied microbiology major said, “It’s been a struggle going through school this past year. Not seeing friends, test online, and online classes are really hard.”
“However, it did push me to try harder and accomplish my goals and graduate even in a pandemic. Without a great support system, I don’t think I would have been able to do it,” Bolton said.
Willie Gosey III, a senior music business major said that being a senior in this semester alone has been a wild ride.
“Trying to balance classes, wind symphony, work, and the stress of applying for graduate studies has been tiresome, especially with the crazy weather in the beginning of the semester as well as the current pandemic. I’ve come too far now though to let any of that stop me,” Gosey said.
Towards the end of the spring semester, the COVID-19 vaccine was provided to students, faculty and staff.
“We saw hurricanes, an eclipse, a global pandemic, snow, and heat,” senior communications major Taylor Burnett said. Burnett started in the fall of 2016.
“One thing I can say about this senior class of NSU is that we fought to get here, and I’m confident that we’re ready for anything,” Burnett said.
“Freshman year I came in not knowing what path to take and choosing communications was probably the best decision I have ever made,” senior communications major Jaci Jones said.
“I can say that because of my time here at NSU, I truly believe my future holds great success,” Jones said.