Class of ’26 | Niah Sanchez

Niah Sanchez | Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

The pandemic caused Jezaniah Sanchez to miss out on the “true high school experience.” Virtual classes made learning more difficult, her learning experience wasn’t “hands on,” and her social life suffered during those two years.

She hopes her next four years at Campbell will make up for what she missed out on.

“I want to be a part of the community here,” she says, “and explore what’s out there.”

Sanchez will study nursing at Campbell, and she hopes to become part of the ROTC program and one day become a military nurse or medic. She hopes college can get her to that career, and she’s excited about her future.

“I’m still very dependent on my family right now, so in four years, I’d love to be financially stable enough to just be fully independent. I’d love that freedom.”

Digital Edition

These stories are only the beginning. For this edition of Campbell Magazine, they’re an introduction to 12 students —chosen randomly during the third of four summer orientations hosted on the main campus this year — and a documentation of expectations heading into a four-year college journey.

All 12 agreed to give us more than just the 20 minutes it took to talk and take a few photos back in June. They’re allowing us to check in over the next four years to help chronicle their Campbell experience. And they’ve all agreed to sit down with us again in May 2026 to share their updated stories (and take a few more photos). In order to tell a story of growth and maturation, it’s best to start at the very beginning.

These interviews revealed a heightened sense of hope for a group whose high school careers were defined and marred by a global pandemic. Online classes became the norm, and many of their gatherings and social events were masked or socially distanced. Proms, athletic events and milestone ceremonies were either canceled, altered or virtual.

“Man is, by nature, a social animal,” Aristotle once wrote. Second to earning a degree and starting a career, this class is eager to connect socially with their peers and become part of an “experience” and a community that they mostly missed out on in high school.

It’s our hope that all 12 of these students join us again in four years to tell us all about their Campbell experience. We’re confident that those who do will return older, wiser, more confident and ready to take on the world.

We’re excited to tell these stories. See you in 2026.