Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Over onsFaculteit der LetterenOrganisatieBestuur, afdelingen en medewerkersAfdelingenDepartment of American Studies
Header image American Studies Department (Blog)

AS Students in Arizona: The First Weeks (by Lotte Twaalfhoven)

Datum:05 oktober 2016
First weeks in Arizona
First weeks in Arizona

For the past few weeks Saskia, Kas, and I have been able to call Northern Arizona University our home. The first day we arrived on campus we already met people who we now call family. Our NAU family consists of Kas, Saskia, Amy, Lucie, Sandra and I and we go on many adventures together.

The first night we all went out for dinner and planned our outing for the next weekend. We decided that we would go visit national parks and so the first real weekend in Flagstaff we set out in our minivan and went to Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, and Wupatki National Monument. On our way to these national parks we managed to take a five-hour detour and accidentally ended up in the Hopi Reservation.

After this little adventure we were able to start our first week of classes. The first week was really easy. We met our professors and classmates and went over the syllabus. This gave us ample time outside of classes to explore campus and the amazing facilities they have here. We all fell in love with the gym, which most of us go to daily. Kas and I also fell in love with the climbing wall and got our belaying certificate. We went to the Olympic size swimming pool with 10 meter high diving boards and a Jacuzzi. It was heaven.

Then the next weekend was Labor Day weekend, so we decided to make another outing. This time, since the weather was really nice, we decided to find a spot to go swimming. We went to Wet Beaver Creek and had to hike 14 miles round trip to get to the Crack, which is an amazing place where you can jump off cliffs. We all jumped and swam. Then Kas and I decided to climb up the bigger cliff that was there, which took us about 10 minutes, and then jumped off. After the hike back we drove to a nice diner and had some well-deserved burgers. On Labor Day itself, Kas’s Flag Friends, Joan and Stan, now kind of our Arizona grandparents, took us to Bearizona. It’s like a Zoo for rescued animals and you can drive through it with your car or with the tour bus. We got to see lots of bears but other amazing animals too.

Then we had another week of classes, this time with more homework, and we went to the gym a lot. But the next weekend we went camping near the border with Utah. On Friday we drove out to Horseshoe Bend, which was absolutely beautiful, and then stayed at Lee Ferry’s Campground in Marble Canyon. We spent the night star gazing and we were able to see the milky way and a lot of shooting stars. The next morning we took a little dip in the freezing Colorado River, which was next to our camp ground and then made our way to Antelope Canyon. Then we went back to Flagstaff. The next day we took a little walking tour of Flagstaff and learnt some of its history.

The following weekend was the first home game for the NAU football team. So Saskia, Amy, and I decided to go. The first home game is known for the running of the freshman. We were able to join the running of the freshman, which was one of the coolest  experiences of my life. We had never seen the inside of the Skydome (the football arena) and the first time we saw it was when we were running in with 6,000 other freshman and it was an unreal experience. After the running, we watched NAU defeat the New Mexico Highlands 73-3.

Then Kas, Amy, and I got jobs at NAU Athletics. We are event/usher staff, which means we will be working at all football home games and other sport games. So, in between classes, we had to get all our work authorization done and get a social security number. We will be working weekends, but will still go hiking and take advantage  of the good Flagstaff weather while it lasts.