The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

How NKU changed my life

Stephen+Wilder
Stephen Wilder

Stephen Wilder

Kody Kahle

Kody Kahle

Stephen Wilder

Stephen Wilder, Managing/copy editor

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I have always dreaded writing my farewell to NKU and The Northerner because I knew it meant this amazing era in my life would come to an end. Although saying goodbye is inevitably sad, I am ready to focus on my career.

Prior to becoming a Norse

Many years ago when I was a student at Latonia Elementary, I always dreamed of going to the University of Kentucky, solely because of the basketball program. However, during my time spent at Holmes High School, I must have lost hope of ever attending college.

I’ve always had ambition, but my life seemed to be going nowhere. Luckily for me, I eventually wandered upon a group of influential characters when I chose to sell a piece of my soul to the mighty Red Lobster, located in Florence, Ky. A co-worker — and great friend — recommended that I join him and become a Norse. It ended up being the best decision of my entire life. (Special thanks to John, Ian, Nikki, Danielle and many more — you know who you are)

The Northerner

When I came to NKU, I had no idea that I would end up being a journalist. I only knew that I wanted to work in sports. After attempting to major in sports business, I realized that my strengths and passion were with written words and technology, not numbers or public speaking. I decided to try my luck in journalism with an English minor.

That, my friends, is how I ended up joining The Northerner. My initial plans were to build a resume and portfolio while gaining experience, however, I am leaving a changed man.

Besides the massive amount of experience, I have been lucky to establish so many significant relationships with co-workers, students, faculty members and professionals.

I have been fortunate enough to be involved with The Northerner during its major change of becoming “digital first,” as well as being the main sports writer during NKU’s transition to Division I. It amazes me how much The Northerner has grown and evolved under the guidance of Michele Day. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been fun. I love how Michele pushes us to strive for greatness.

I always tell people that I love The Northerner and journalism for two main reasons: 1) I am constantly learning and 2) I regularly find myself doing things I never thought I would. I felt so important at times, from being a reporter at a law office press conference to having official meetings with the president of the university.

Reflecting back

I am definitely more cultured after “Throwing my Norse up” for over five years. I went from being close-minded about music, art and education, to seeing the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Music Hall, attending theatre performances and a jazz concert, viewing art galleries and museums, as well as traveling across the country to professional media conferences. Somehow, I even ended up leading multiple organizations.

I have been blessed with help from others throughout my college career. For example, when the Sandy twins volunteered to be my unofficial NKU orientation leaders by showing me the basics of college and which awesome professors to take. Or when, Kody Kahle adjusted camera settings for me while we sat on the court at Rupp Arena as the No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats hosted the Norse. All of the love I have received influences me to give it back by helping others.

Since I am limited on space, I’ll refrain from naming everyone in my life, but I hope you all know that I appreciate and admire every single one of you. I have also sacrificed invaluable time with my family and friends that I will never get back, but I hope they understand why, and that there was never any love lost on my part.
I wouldn’t trade my time at NKU for anything. I’ll end my college career by quoting my favorite rap artist, T-Rock, who has motivated me to keep fighting through hard moments. “I’m ready for the world.”

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How NKU changed my life