From softball cleats to nursing shoes, N’Daya Jordan is determined to succeed in both athletics and academics. The Pasadena, California, native explains that she chose Tuskegee because of the consistent interest it showed in wanting her to attend and play softball.
BALANCING A BUSY LIFE
N’Daya, a sophomore pre-nursing major, begins her days by 9 a.m. with a standard routine that includes class, lunch, and then back to class — followed by two-hour practices, dinner, study time, then bedtime.
The idea of obtaining a nursing degree comes from her mother, who encouraged her with information about the array of avenues and lifestyle that N’Daya could have through a nursing career. While she is on the pre-nursing tract now, she eventually wants to obtain a minor in business administration.
“I would love to travel once I get into my nursing career,” N’Daya noted. “And, one day, I’d like to own my own clinic.”
For N’Daya to stay on top of all her responsibilities and commitments, which includes Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon practices when the team isn’t playing, she combines technology with carrying a planner with her at all times to take note of any new tasks.
“Balance,” N’Daya said of the secret to success while in college, especially for anyone juggling academics and sports. “You have to find what works for you. Find a schedule where you can fit in study time and still excel in your sports. It is about staying organized and being a step ahead.”
That balance, N’Daya notes, isn’t all work and no play. Even with a packed scheduled, she enjoys to DIY clothing projects — a hobby that dates back to her middle-school days.
TAKING A SWING AT TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY
N’Daya is a first-generation HBCU student. As a member of the Upward Bound Pasadena program during grade school, she participated in the Stepping in the Right Direction Black College Tour. The college tour exposed her to numerous HBCUs — including Tuskegee — for the first time.
“Tuskegee one stuck out the most for me,” N’Daya recalled of her first impression while touring the university. “I thought I could see myself here out of all places, and the nursing program was good.”
She credits those first impressions, along with her high school softball coach and Tuskegee’s softball coach, weighed heavily in her decision to attend Tuskegee.
BECOMING ACCUSTOMED TO DISTANCE
The 2,100-plus miles between where she grew up and where she’d go to school — especially since she would not have a car with her on campus — made the initial decision to attend Tuskegee a daunting one.
“I didn’t really know a lot of people here. It was a totally different environment. I was shell shocked when I first got here,” she remembered.
N’Daya typically returns home only during semester breaks, but she bridges the gap by talking with her parents every week. She also credits being open-minded about meeting new people, developing social networks and being involved in campus activities with making a cross-country move feel a little more like home.
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