Michael Archambault is a biological sciences and psychology major from Glen Ellyn, IL
Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Transfer from: College of DuPage
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
I have no idea, but life has taught me that your path is not set in stone. The journey is yours to take, in whichever direction you choose. At this point in my life, I have found that helping and impacting others' lives is my passion, so I am pursuing a career in health care.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am currently a double major in biological sciences and psychology with a minor in chemistry. I originally was only a psych major, but I fell in love with the sciences and the idea of studying medicine. So here I am, so is life.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I was intimidated returning to a college campus after a 20-year hiatus, but the faculty and students at NIU made me feel welcome and included from the very first day of class.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Virtual learning has been the only platform I have experienced since beginning at NIU. With social restrictions in place, it has been hard to form new relationships with my peers. I look forward to the fall and all the new connections I will be making.
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 involved in the University Honors Program and look forward to getting involved in mentoring this fall. I will also begin my involvement in on-campus research this fall.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Dr. Linh Nguyen and Dr. Narayan Hosmane, both chemistry professors, were inspirational and extraordinarily engaging with their students. Simply the best professors I have had in my academic experience thus far.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
Walking along the Kishwaukee River on a sunny day with my pup, Beaux. She and I love the peacefulness of the flowing water.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
To the older, nontraditional prospective student deciding whether to take the academic plunge, I say go for it! You can only benefit from furthering your education, and the task is not as overwhelming as it may seem. Ask for help and advice on how to get the ball rolling.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
As a former carpenter and bartender, I had little use for Excel, doc sharing platforms, etc. Let's just say prior to university, the only Google applications I was familiar with were Maps and the search engine. With a little practice and all the helpful online tutorials and instructions provided by my instructors, the transition was smooth overall.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I spend most of my free time with my rescue dog, Beaux. She is amazing. We do everything together, from outdoor fires at night to daytime dog parks and studying outside. I am also passionate about cooking and creating (woodworking, oil painting). These activities help ground me and are an escape for my mind.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
It is never too late to follow your passions. We all face unforeseeable obstacles in life that can derail us from academia, but that derailment can be temporary if you choose it to be. My story is a culmination of trials and tribulations that made me stronger and gave me the courage to challenge myself. The challenge of shaping my own future and my own outcome in life has been worth the sacrifices I have had to make in order to follow my passion of graduating from college and attending medical school.