NMU’s awkward phase finally pays off


Kat Torreano

When I first arrived as a freshman, my home became West Hall. Immediately, I was thrown into all that NMU residence life has to offer. I joined House Government, and along with my housemates, participated in most on-campus events.

During the first month of school, I made several awesome friendships I still maintain today. However, because of the inconvenience of being far from down campus, a handful of my West Hall friends moved to the newer dorms. It’s hard to believe the “new dorms” are now the oldest dorms on campus. My roommate and I decided to follow the herd and move to Magers Hall. After this move, things really started to change into a momentous flow.
The NMU marketing department established a new rebranding campaign. The building of new lodge-styled dorms was announced, and soon after, everyone was waking up to the sound of loud construction equipment instead of chirping birds. The well-beaten trail to the then-Marketplace was completely rerouted and our route to class was detoured.

Next, they closed and sold the overflow lot on Wright Street. The vast majority of students on campus were confused and frustrated with the constantly changing landscape. I remember we all felt a little disheartened that we were destined to live in a dusty construction zone for the rest of our two years in the dorms, while realizing we never would get the chance to take advantage of NMU’s new promised land.

I felt like it would never come. Changes continued when plans to renovate the UC were announced. This directly affected me as The North Wind office was located there. The staff office was pushed to a tiny, stuffy room in Gries Hall. By this time I was living off campus, and I resolved myself to ignore any more changes to the university.

Living off campus made me feel very disconnected and as if my first few years of undergraduate were now a distant memory. I realized my feelings of disconnectivity stemmed not only from where my physical living situation had moved but also that the social dynamic on campus had changed. Things just felt… different… when I would venture to campus. I was shocked when I made my first visit to the Lodge and I had to ask for directions.
My attitude grew more resistant and less hopeful to all this change that had come about. You see, NMU walked into a bit of uncertainty whilst tearing up the campus environment. I got to experience NMU evolving in this era through its self-induced awkward phase. The result was a successful glow up.

The campus not only physically evolved, but the social atmosphere and even some class curriculums have changed. Now that the renovation program is reaching completion, as is my academic career, I am able to look back in favor of these changes and see myself as a person who grew with these changes. Campus is beautiful as ever as it continues fully maturing into a truly wonderful university. Growing pains are always tough. But, the turbulent and uncomfortable growing stages have finally paid off.