Kirsten Sonnier: making a home in NSU


Zach Breaux

Kirsten Sonnier shows her freshman biology major sister, Camrynn Sonnier, around campus.

Vic’s in the Friedman Student Union is quiet as the lunch rush dies down, the commotion hardly more than a few passersby and the overhead televisions,.

Kirsten Sonnier approaches, a small cup of sorbet in hand, having just come from Purple Palooza on the Kyser Hall brickway. She smiles and explains that she just finished working her shift at the event, and jokes that she’s grateful for the air conditioning.

Kirsten Sonnier is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing, and is a self-described storyteller. Sonnier explains that she always knew that she wanted to tell stories and share her experiences with other people.

As a kid, the first story that Sonnier can remember reading aloud is Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat.”

“That was really the first thing I remember reading aloud and sharing. I’ve always loved to read and write, and that book was the beginning of it,” Sonnier said.

Sonnier states that in the English department, she wasn’t anticipating to feel so welcomed.

“I really didn’t expect such a close-knit environment. Everyone knows everyone in the English department. You take different classes with the same people,” Sonnier said. “With professors and other students and everyone is just interwoven, regardless of their major.”

Simply attending Northwestern State University has also helped Sonnier feel comfortable and at home. The most fun and inclusive parts of campus living, for her are the small events peppered through the semester.

“I especially love the poetry reads, and presentations where we’re encouraged to do our best,” Sonnier said. “There’s lots of opportunities for students.”

One of these on-campus opportunities includes being a Resident Assistant in the residence halls.
Sonnier has been a Resident Assistant at University Place I since the beginning of her sophomore year.

“The experience is really so rewarding. It gives me the chance to get to know my community and make real relationships with people, while giving them an opportunity to get to know Northwestern,” Sonnier said.

Sonnier states that being a Resident Assistant has helped her find her home away from home, and she works towards helping other students finding the same.

Although Sonnier initially came to Northwestern State with intentions to be a psychology major, Sonnier says that she found a home in NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies.

Sonnier states that the English department’s faculty and staff have the students’ best interests at heart, and that students are always encouraged to actively participate, rather than just attending class to graduate.

The experience of college, to Sonnier, is less about the earned credits and more about the memories made.
Sonnier has also changed career paths multiple times, shifting from psychologist to editor before finally settling on setting her sights on becoming an attorney.

After graduating in the Spring of 2022, Sonnier has dreams of going to law school to study copyright law to, one day, help other artists. Sonnier is a poet, and an avid fan of many different films.

Northwestern State was Sonnier’s first choice in school and the very first place she applied to her senior year of high school.

“I never imagined that Northwestern would be so supportive and inclusive,” Sonnier said. “I am so glad that I decided to come to Northwestern.”