From Winston-Salem to Cullowhee, Kristie Watkins traveled a long way to become a Western Carolina Catamount. After fighting between a few schools, including North Carolina State University, Watkins chose Western Carolina University after visiting the campus for the first time.
Back home, Watkins has four siblings. She has a younger brother that also attends Western Carolina and two brothers adopted from Peru. She also as an older sister.
As a student, Watkins is a double major in Communication with a concentration in Broadcasting and Journalism and International Studies. Through a search on JobCat, the university’s career website, Watkins found an open staff writer position at The Western Carolinian and promptly applied. She has been writing for the newspaper since August of 2016.
She stated, “A lot of my journalism classes practice journalistic writing. So, I use this as an opportunity to practice and fill my résumé.”
Along with classes, Watkins is involved in Reformed University Fellowship. She is a C-Group leader, which is a small Bible study group, along with leading Wednesday large groups. This keeps her busy during the week.
Besides working for The Western Carolinian, Watkins also works at Hillside Grind Coffeehouse.
Western Carolina is the perfect outdoor school for her as her favorite hobby is skiing. She absolutely loves being outside and hanging with friends. A hope of hers is to travel internationally.
“I’ve always loved the mountains. Once I came here, it was my first choice,” she said. “I love just walking around campus and seeing the scenery. When I’m stressed, it’s just a wonderful feeling.”
Even though Watkins loves Western Carolina, she is a senior and is ready for the next step no matter where it takes her. After interning for a communications team, she hopes to work for a nonprofit organization.
Her main goal in life, however, is to work for a magazine writing feature stories, specifically focusing on the personal lives of others.
She stated, “I’m excited for a new life…The next year of my life could look like however I want it. It’s scary, yet exciting.”
Watkins aspires to be open to change, knowing that life can throw curve balls when you least expect it. Her goals in life are to make an impact on people, whether it is to help others through a tough situation or a simple smile.
Maybe one day she can travel the world doing what she loves.
For current and future students, she offers some advice: “Just say yes to everything. Don’t take any time here at Western for granted and don’t be afraid of awkward situations. College is all about new experiences.”
Be sure to look for a few of Watkins’ articles in this issue. To learn more about the staff, check back in the next issue for another staff spotlight!