People ask me all of the time why I decided to come to NIU. Well, ever since my senior year in high school I just knew I wanted to be a Huskie, but when I found out that the university offers American Sign Language courses it was a no brainer for me! I transferred in Spring 2013 and at the beginning I did not know how to adjust to being here. Not only was I a transfer student, but I also commuted an hour each way. Initially, I would wander over to the library and pick a quiet place to study alone. I went to my classes, but did not know who to talk to or even what to talk about. Everything changed when I began going to meetings for the student organization Deaf Pride.
During my remaining two and a half years as an undergraduate I completed a double major and minor as well as University Honors. I was also involved in many student organizations and honors societies. What would I say is the key to making the transition to a university easier? I think the most important is to find a study spot that a lot of work can be accomplished in. Like I said, during my first semester I would go to the library, but for future semesters I found a spot in Wirtz Hall that I really enjoyed studying in. Second, as a commuter student I found that if I spread my classes out over a few days and was practically forced/stuck on campus that I was more likely to complete my assignments. Personally I felt like since I lived so far away and was stranded, if you will, that I had no other distractions or choice but to do homework. Another component to my success was my involvement with student organizations. I learned a lot about leadership and teamwork as well as getting to know departments. In turn, I was able to get to know many of my faculty and was even able to conduct research.
Overall, I would say that in order to be successful, you have to put yourself out there. If there was one time that I did not stand up for a nomination in a group, send an email to a professor, or asked questions in person then I might not have the same story as I do now.