Welcome Back



Northern Iowan Staff, Staff

Welcome back, Panthers! Whether this is your first semester on campus or your last, the editorial staff at the Northern Iowan would like to welcome you to the University of Northern Iowa. As you settle into your routines for the semester, each of our editorial staff members have answered some questions for you about UNI and college life in general. Happy reading, and we wish you all the best with this upcoming school year.

What is one piece of advice about college that you wish you could have given to your younger self?

Gabrielle Leitner, Executive Editor: My best piece of college advice is to try new things. It’s okay to try something and not like it. Some of the most fun events that I’ve been to at UNI were events that I don’t think I would have ever gone to on my own, but working at the NI and going out on assignments has opened me up to trying new things.

Gabriella Cummings, Art Director: There will be times where you are uncomfortable or don’t know what you’re doing; don’t let them scare you. Whether it’s classes, social events in your hall or even just eating by yourself between classes, often you just need to do it. Once you are more comfortable on campus, you can start to relax and enjoy the next four years a little more.

Elizabeth Kelsey, News Editor: It can be easier to make friends by going to activities or events based around topics you like, rather than just relying on your dorm floor. For me, it was campus ministry and dance, but there are countless clubs, orgs and intramurals. You’ll have at least one value in common with the people there (faith, soccer skills, a love of The Office, etc.), and shared values, rather than merely shared living spaces, make connection easier and spark more permanent friendships.

Sofia Legaspi, Campus Life Editor: Savor every moment. I remember lying in my dorm bed my first night as a freshman, scared and homesick, thinking “There’s no way I can do this for four years.” But here I am, starting my senior year, looking back on my college experience and wishing that those four years had lasted longer. For many people, this is the time of their life where they meet their closest friends, make their best memories, learn their most impactful life lessons, and discover who they are. The time flies by and it’s not going to last forever — enjoy it!

Jacob Potter, Sports Editor: The best advice I could give to my younger self coming into college is to get involved in clubs and organizations. Getting involved is the best way to meet new people. Making new friends will make UNI feel like a home away from home. There really is a club for everybody.

Cecilia Mitchell, Copy Editor: If I could give one piece of advice about college to my former self, it would be to relax and enjoy the ride. Yes, you may be swamped with homework and responsibilities at times during college, or you may go through some trials with life, but college is the only time where you can exist surrounded by so many friends and opportunities for advancement and growth.

What is your favorite thing about UNI?

GL: I don’t think I could pick just one thing that is my favorite! I love campus and taking walks and enjoying the architecture and foliage. I’ve met so many nice people through school and I’ve had a lot of great professors that make me excited about learning. And, of course, the Northern Iowan and everyone that works here hold a very special place in my heart.

GC: Living in the dorms may seem like a strange “favorite thing” to some people but I stand by it. Sharing the small room on the second floor of Rider with the random girl I met on Panther Picks led to me making my best friend at UNI along with so many other great memories and lots of naps.

EK: I always say it’s just enough but not too much. The campus size is just big enough to offer really great opportunities in terms of classes, internships, and other academic and professional experiences, but still small enough that you get to know so many students and professors by name. I also love hearing the Campanile play as I walk to class… and our campus squirrels are the best around!

SL: The people. Of all the universities I visited as a high school senior, UNI was by far the friendliest. The size of UNI’s student population is big enough that there is a wide variety of people for you to meet, but small enough that you get to develop meaningful relationships. I love walking across campus and running into people from my current and former residence halls, jobs, classes, and student organizations. It really feels like home!

JP: My favorite thing about UNI is the basketball team. I grew up in Cedar Falls watching the amazing run by the 2010 team, so I have fond memories of UNI basketball. I remember watching the Panthers take down the Jayhawks in dramatic fashion. The 2010 men’s basketball team made everyone proud to be a Panther.

CM: My favorite thing about UNI, aside from the Chicken Quesadilla Soup, would be Rod Library and its helpful staff and research tools.

What are you most excited about for this upcoming school year?

GL: I am most excited about being the executive editor at the NI and the classes I am taking this school year. I am finishing up my major classes and I get to take a bunch of fun classes to round things out. I always enjoy going to events around campus, like UNI athletics, TheatreUNI performances, Film Appreciation Club showings and the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show showing, just to name a few.

GC: I am most excited to be a part of the Northern Iowan and spend two nights a week in a windowless room in the basement of Maucker Union! I cannot wait to get to know the other staff members and see how much I can learn and grow in this position.

EK: I’ve taken on some more leadership roles this year in various campus activities, such as serving as the News Editor here at the Northern Iowan and a small group leader at St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center. Both are big steps for me, and I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone and see where the year takes me!

SL: I am excited to meet more people. Shameless plug: if you’re a new student and/or just looking to make friends, consider joining the IDT Dance Company, the Salt Company, or (hint hint) the Northern Iowan! I’ve had wonderful experiences and gotten to know some of my dearest friends through these organizations.

JP: I’m most excited for the upcoming basketball season. Losing to Bradley in the conference title game left Panther fans wanting more. The returning players will be motivated to make it to the NCAA tournament this year after falling just short. It would be great to see UNI make another run in March Madness to add to their tournament history.

CM: I’m excited to learn a lot and figure out the next steps in life.

As a staff, we hope everyone has an excellent first week back and school year!