Arianna Alba

Arianna Alba

Arianna Alba is a chemistry major from Northlake, IL

Hometown: Northlake, IL

Year: Expected graduation: 2024

Major: Chemistry

What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I have a merit scholarship, and I was recently awarded the Noyce Scholarship. I have received both of these scholarships due to my academic achievements. I was awarded the Noyce Scholarship for demonstrating my passion to teach and showing potential to be successful in my career. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to afford my last two years at NIU, and it has helped significantly with other living expenses.

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
Growing up I wanted to be anything that involved working and helping others, and being a teacher was at the top of the list. Now, I am majoring in chemistry and am currently going through the excellent licensure program here at NIU.

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
As stated before, I am majoring in chemistry. I decided to choose chemistry as my major because it became my favorite subject in high school, and I found out I had a talent for teaching it to others.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something that I have found pleasantly surprising is how comfortable I am at just about any part of campus. I can pick any spot to sit and work on things, and I won't have any issues doing so.

How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Oftentimes for classes, a group chat is made or numbers are shared amongst lab partners. Other ways I have met new people and made new friends were by having a roommate and going to clubs. 

Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am currently an officer for the Philosophy Club. I have found the Philosophy Club to be the best thing to get back into meeting new people and interacting with others after quarantine happened. It's a great place to talk about a variety of topics and hear a wide range of thoughts and beliefs.

What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
So far, my best resource is Founders Library. I continue to use it many times for papers and lab reports.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One of my favorite instructors was Ms. Hightower. She taught COMS 100 during my fall semester as a freshman. She was incredibly kind and encouraged us to explore any topics that interested us for our speeches. She gave us amazing feedback, and I really felt like I had greatly improved on my public speaking skills.

How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Yes, attending class regularly is the best thing I do for myself. I know sometimes my bed just calls to me, but I just have to ignore it.

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite place on campus is the lagoon behind Davis and Faraday. I think it is a beautiful and peaceful place.

What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
My advice would be to take advantage of any and all resources given to you. Also, make sure to give yourself time to think about what you are writing and how you want to convey those thoughts. 

Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I have had to learn how to manage my time differently. In high school, there was a lot more structure and it was much easier to plan things out. Now, I have to also take into account things like grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking, etc., that I didn't have to think about before.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I am chronically online. I often scroll through social media or watch streams and YouTube videos. Every once in a while, when I have a whole day to myself, I love to paint. On even rarer occasions, I play video games. I usually play Animal Crossing, and a couple of months back I played the entire Bioshock trilogy.

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