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Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

Rachel Bicksler

Rachel Bicksler

#PeopleofNIU Photo by Wade Duerkes/Creative Services

Hometown: Dakota, IL

Year: Second Year

Major: Elementary Education

Why NIU?
My mom is a teacher, and a lot of her teacher friends are NIU alumni. They suggested I just go tour NIU and see what it’s about. Then I came here, and I just kind of fell in love with it. As I was walking around I was like this is where I’m meant to be. It was just kind of that feeling of this is what I want to do. The elementary education program is well known, and NIU is known to be a teaching school so that pushed me to actually meet some of the faculty in the College of Education and get to know them and the program. I really love it.

What’s the most exciting thing about your major?
I’m just really excited to work with a lot of kids. I love kids. I love their different personalities and how they view the world and getting to learn from them as well. I’m working at the NIU campus child care, so I’m teaching them and being a teacher’s aide in that aspect, too. Kids see everything very differently than we do because we’ve had experiences that shape us and we’ve learned all the rules. Where they haven’t gotten experiences yet, so they’re more innocent. I think that’s what I really like. I want to help shape them and show them learning is what’s going to help you on your life journey. I know that there are some kids that being in school is what helps them throughout their life, and they learn a lot of life lessons. If I just get to be a small part of that in some little way, then that would be the most wonderful thing.

Why should other students choose NIU?
I would choose it because even though it’s a big campus, it’s also very small at the same time. You get that one-on-one with your professors, you get to meet a lot of different people and make friends, you get a lot of opportunities to get involved if you want. If you don’t, then you don’t have to. You get the choice of getting to know a lot of different people and making a tight knit group of friends. I think they should choose it because the professors are really great. I have always felt like if I ever had a question, I could always ask them; I could email them. They would be more than willing to help me. I’ve always just felt like this is a very safe place, too. I can be myself, and I can make a lot of different friends and have everybody have different majors and different personalities, but still click. I just feel like it’s a really good campus because it is really diverse, but everybody’s very similar, too. Everybody wants to succeed; everybody wants to help each other out, and I think that’s really great.

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