Featured Adult Learner: Caitlin Ekberg

Caitlin Ekberg is a first-year student at NIU and she’s currently majoring in pre-physical therapy. When she was in junior high she suffered from acute back pain which made it difficult for her to walk, run and do daily activities. She realized at a young age that the only thing that really seemed to help was physical therapy. She also spent time shadowing a physical therapist in Rockford, Illinois, which helped further her passion.

As a non-traditional student, Caitlin has a 30-45 minute commute to campus from her hometown. She enjoys being a commuter student because it allows her to still spend quality time with her family. As a commuter student, she said it was hard at first to find a community on campus. She mentioned that as a commuter student you’re not forced into a specific community, like students are who live in the dorms.

Despite this challenge, being able to commute to NIU was one of the main reasons she chose this university. She is able to commute with her sister who is also a Huskie. NIU was also one of the only local schools which had the program she is especially interested in. Her best experience, so far, at NIU was going on a hiking trip to Matthiessen State Park. She went on the trip with fellow pre-physical therapy students.

In her free time, she works as a swim coach back home at a sports club. By having this job, she is able to swim a lot which is something she enjoys. She also enjoys spending time with her family and her little brothers.

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