Excerpts from Karena's 2016 Fellows Society Celebration
Good Evening to you all!
I am Karena Washington. I am from Watkinsville, Georgia, and I am a student at Nova Southeastern University studying music. I am currently a member of The Riff Tides, NSU’s only a cappella group; the Mako Band and NSU Pep Band; NSU MAKO Rangers; and NSU’s American Association of University Women; also known as AAUW. I also am the campus ambassador for The Recording Academy’s program, GrammyU, an Admissions Ambassador, and a member of President’s 64. Most importantly, I am a member of the Razor’s Edge Zeta Class and serve on the Razor’s Edge Leadership Council.
Although it is only my second year at Nova Southeastern University, I have learned several valuable lessons and have built some of my most treasured friendships through my organizational involvements. I have discovered what I am truly passionate about, developed relationships with staff that do all that they can to help me succeed, and figured out just how difficult, but rewarding great time management skills can truly be.
The transition from high school to college was anything but easy for me. I dreaded the thought of leaving home despite all of my teenage outbursts of 'I can’t wait to leave home' and 'I’ll be so excited when I can leave this place' during my senior year. I was simply terrified of living somewhere else without my family, and I feared the entire process of growing up. Throughout my freshman year, I suffered from anxiety and depression. It was easily one of the hardest years for me to make it through. I was faced with fighting the mental illness, deciding on a change in my major, and battling homesickness and questioning my faith. However, I was able to fight this insanely tough battle with the help of NSU faculty, services, organizations, and students. Fantastic opportunities such as free counseling for students at the Henderson Counseling Center, having the ability to make an appointment and meet with an academic advisor and career advisor, being offered the chance to join any of NSU’s 100+ student organizations, and something as simple as the rooming arrangements are all offered to help any student succeed and overcome any hardships.
The three most valuable qualities of NSU to me are the availability and helpfulness of our faculty, the close knit community amongst students, and the fact that students can make a change easily on campus. As I mentioned earlier, I switched majors last year. I originally came to NSU as a marine biology major; however I discovered that I have a passion for music and teaching. I was able to meet with a career advisor, faculty members of the Razor’s Edge program, and my academic advisor to strategically make a drastic change in my education. They were very cooperative and supportive during my decision, and I was able to make a smooth transition between majors. The faculty had access to excellent resources such as career assessments, the Student Success Office’s strategies, and information for each major and curricula offered. I am very thankful for the valuable resources that we are given access to at Nova Southeastern University. Because of this, I am able to pursue a career that I am passionate about and have no need to worry about my education.
Nova Southeastern University offers all resources and opportunities that are necessary for a student to succeed and flourish while going through the demanding and eventful years of college. I am forever thankful for all that NSU has provided. I do believe that Nova Southeastern University’s faculty, resources, and services have saved my life and are providing me with the best education possible.