Alma Mater: Western Illinois University
Major/Degree: B.A., History
What advice do you have for future students? Don't be afraid to approach your professors for help in class or just to discuss your interests. Northern is an outstanding research institution, and while many of its professors are leading experts in their fields, they are also approachable and interested in helping students. Cultivating relationships with your professors helps you to feel more connected to the NIU community and is a great way to discover research opportunities, internships, and jobs.
Most importantly, be purposeful in how you spend your college years. The four to five years that you spend at NIU will pass in a blink, and it's all too easy to float aimlessly through them. Give yourself purpose by setting small, attainable goals during your first semester on campus. You college experience will be much more valuable and fulfilling if you commit to actively engaging in your academic, career, and personal development.
What are 3 things you love about NIU? First, as much as I complain about living in a small town, DeKalb really is an ideal college town. It has cute independent stores like Moxie and the DeKalb Confectionary, affordable off-campus housing, and easy accessibility to Chicago and the suburbs. Second, I love the students, faculty, and staff at NIU. The Huskie community is an incredibly welcoming and supportive, diverse, and talented group. And finally, I'm constantly impressed by the endless array of opportunities available to students outside the classroom: collaborative research, internships, study abroad trips, student organizations, and much more.
What is your favorite place on campus? My favorite place on campus is the NIU Observatory. Many people don't know that the Physics Department has an observatory in Davis Hall, and that it's open to the public on Thursday and Friday nights. I'm fascinated by astonomy, so I think it's pretty amazing that NIU has a professional telescope that I can use.
Ashley's Favorite NIU YouTube Videos