NW is a "New World"

As an MOC-FV student, a key question for you might be: Do I really want to attend college close to home? To help you answer that question, we contacted MOC-FV alumni who are now students at Northwestern and asked them: What’s it like, attending college in your hometown?

It feels good to be around people who value relationships as much as I do. I hear my friends at state schools talk about how they have just a few friends, and no one seems to care about how they're really doing. At Northwestern I can't go a day without someone genuinely asking how I am. It feels good to be loved, and I feel loved at Northwestern." Teagan Hill-Norby MOC '15 | Spanish

The best perk of going to Northwestern as a local student is not having to be so responsible. Don’t feel like doing laundry? Bring it home to Mom. Fridge is empty and you’re broke? Text Grandma if she’s free to get groceries with you. Need a break from the caf’? Ask Dad if he wants to go out and grab a burger. Roommate snores? Rest at home for a night. The list goes on and on. Personally, I am so happy I chose to go to Northwestern because it’s so close to home. I can’t count the number of times that being two minutes away from home has come in handy. Shay Kamstra MOC '16 | Biology

You see things differently when you go to college here. It's like living in your own little community. Even when I go for a run, the routes I run in college are different, and I do it with all different people. Living with and being with different people than you were with in high school makes a huge difference. You are making all new memories. Jaycee Vander Berg MOC '15 | Criminal justice

Going to college all on your own can be scary. Going to college where there are a few familiar people can make the transition much more comforting. For me it meant that I could remain friends with those who I already knew, and make new friends along the way. And the new students look to you, as a local, for places to go or tips to get around. This is a great way to meet people. Additionally, it’s nice to be able to go home if you need to (and having your mom do your laundry is a huge plus). Joe Vander Stelt MOC '13 | Business administration

When I came to Northwestern I wanted the opportunity to get out of northwest Iowa, and NW provides multiple opportunities to do this. I spent last summer living and working as an intern at a mission in Dublin, Ireland. Last year I spent my spring break in Grand Portage, Minnesota, working with the youth of a church and building relationships there. I have been on band tours: My freshman year I spent spring break in New Orleans and this year I will have the opportunity to go to New York. Next year I have applied to study abroad in Romania. Northwestern really works so all students are aware of these opportunities as well as how to fund them. Dani Duistermars MOC '14 | Sociology

I thought NW would be like high school again, but on my wing my freshman year, there was only one girl that went to my high school and she was the grade above me. I am not close friends with anyone who went to my high school; none of my close friends are even from Orange City. I am friends with people from Sioux Falls, Council Bluffs, Akron, California and New Mexico. Samantha Wielenga MOC '13 | Athletic training

One of the biggest advantages of going to Northwestern as a local student is that I can continue to invest in my family and my younger siblings. Even though I no longer see them on a regular basis, I’m able to pop over for my sister’s volleyball games or my brother’s band concerts. Being close enables me to continue to pour into their lives and build close relationships with them, which has been amazing. Jessica Howe MOC '14 | Nursing

About five of my close high school friends ended up choosing to attend NW. I had thought we would remain close here, but in reality, I only remain close friends with one of them. The new friendships I have made have been great. Some of my close friends are from other places in Iowa, but others are from South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Arizona, and I have even gotten to know some international students! Andrew De Boer MOC '14 | History

Going to college in Orange City is very different than going to high school here. It is a whole different community of people and the atmosphere is completely different than high school. The college students are from all over, bringing new perspectives and various cultural experiences that change the atmosphere. Also, living in a dorm quickly lets you know you are not in high school anymore. Dorm life is one of my favorite parts of college! Victoria Stokes MOC '13 | Nursing

I was actually set on NOT going to Northwestern. I wanted to travel and explore. I looked at other colleges, but as much as I did not want to stay in Orange City, NW had something that the others didn't. I felt like this was a place where people would really care about me and my faith. It turns out that college can be as much as an adventure as you want it to be. You don't have to go away from home to grow. You just have to go to the place that fits you best. Laura Korver MOC '14 | Elementary education

It honestly doesn’t feel like I go to school in Orange City. Living on campus feels like a totally different city. In high school I was always bored and looking for something to do, and I just don’t have that feeling here. Parker Mulder MOC '14 | Physical education

There is so much more freedom that comes along with going to college. You still are in charge of deciding when you should do homework and go to bed. The independence is a huge difference, even if your parents are a block away. Living on a college campus, even Northwestern, is like being in your own world. I sometimes forget I am so close to home. Marissa Wiese MOC '14 | Elementary education

Northwestern feels like a totally different world. The people are different and you’re exposed to a whole new part of NW. While I still go to the same coffee shop and donut store, it’s who I’m with that matters. Joe Tolsma MOC '13 | Genetics, molecular biology, cellular biology

Going to college in Orange City, you definitely know more people outside of campus, which is a super nice aspect to have. Many times I have been able to get in contact with small businesses in Orange City to work with them as an internship or just to help them out with photography or graphic design. Ali Achterhof MOC '14 | Graphic design

In high school I had the perception that Orange City kids went to NW when they didn't know where else to go. WRONG. I've come to find that students come to Northwestern looking to grow in faith, community and understanding the world around them. NW is definitely not a fallback school. It's a place to grow. Jamie Jongerius MOC '15 | Public relations

It's a big advantage to be a local student at Northwestern because for one thing, you already know where everything is. You don't need to look up directions to go to Walmart. You can feel comfortable knowing your surroundings and helping others who are trying to learn the ins and outs of a small Iowa town. Nicole Opgenorth MOC '14 | Spanish

It seems like being so close to home is a disadvantage until you actually get here. That may sound funny, but hear me out. It means free laundry ($4 to $8 per week); you can go home to see your parents, siblings, pets whenever you want; HOME COOKED MEALS (the caf' is good, but there are times when you really just want Mom's cooking and you don't have to drive 3 hours to get it). Also, being sick away from home sucks. So it's nice to be close enough to home that if you have the flu, you can sleep it off in your own bed. Katie Landhuis MOC '14 | Exercise science

When you’re a student at NW, you live with college students who are from all over. You spend 99% of your time on campus, so you aren’t really going around Orange City like you would in high school. Ryan Christy MOC '13 | Business administration

I think a lot of high school students look at Northwestern as boring, too small or not “college-y” enough. But after attending a state school for a year and coming back to NWC, I couldn’t be happier. The things I thought about NW as a high school student aren’t even close to the reality. The students here are so fun, welcoming and outgoing. You’re not unnoticed here like my state university experience. Northwestern is like a mini-town inside of Orange City. It doesn’t really feel like you’re still in your hometown. Josie De Wit MOC '16 | Elementary education

I visited four other colleges because it was always my plan to get out of Orange City. However, when I stayed overnight in Northwestern’s dorms and compared the kind of people who go here to the people I met at other schools—I experienced a warm hospitality that assured me I could grow a lot as a person by learning from Christ-like people like them. And I’ve had many chances to see the world through internships in Texas and Portland along with my choir trip to Taiwan. Bethany Dykstra MOC '14 | Christian education/youth ministry

My biggest concern about becoming a college student in my hometown was that I would have a hard time working through any preconceived notions others had about me. But there are so many people at Northwestern who’ve never met me, so college was a fresh start. I occasionally hang out with my friends from high school, but I spend more time with new friends I’ve met at Northwestern. Christian Korver MOC '16 | History

You can make Northwestern feel as close to or far from home as you want it to be. It’s a separate community so you have a chance to try new things and live differently than you did in high school. Being a local student also has great advantages, like free laundry and occasional home-cooked meals. One of my favorite things has been showing my college friends the ins and outs of Orange City, like the Dutch Bakery, poffertjes and all the other wonderful charms of northwest Iowa. Bre Harmelink MOC '14 | Business administration

I visited Bethel, Dordt and Wartburg, but after my overnight experience at Northwestern, I decided this was the place with the best sense of community. I felt included right away and loved my future track teammates. Rebekah Muilenburg MOC '15 | Psychology