Sarah Fane is a transfer psychology major from Dixon, IL
Hometown: Dixon, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
When I was a little kid, I knew I wanted to go into a field where I would be directly helping people. To me, the best way to help people was to be a physical therapist. I am no longer pursuing this career, as I have learned that what I truly want to do is help children with disabilities. As a result, I decided to pursue a degree in school psychology.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major as of right now is psychology; however, I am planning on adding another major in rehabilitation and disability services. My minor is rehabilitation counseling. I chose this path after working in the life-skills classroom at my high school. Through that course I learned that I have a true passion for helping children with disabilities. By pursuing these degrees and eventually obtaining my master's in school psychology, I hope to make an impact on not only individuals with disabilities, but any individual in the school system with social, emotional or behavioral problems.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something surprising to me was finding out that the professors and faculty truly do want to give the best resources and opportunities to each individual so they can succeed once they graduate. Everyone seems to go above and beyond what is expected from them in order to ensure we have the best chance of finding a job, or getting an internship, or even getting into a research program or extracurricular activities.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Coming into NIU as a transfer student this year, it's been difficult to reach out and meet new people. All of my classes this year have been online, so the little chances I get to meet someone through a breakout room, I try my best to make those connections.
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 currently am not involved in any extracurricular activities, as I decided to let this be a year where I figure out online school and how to balance that with work. However, I am hoping to join some programs soon.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
My favorite professor was Katja Wiemer, who is the professor for Psych 345. I absolutely loved her as a professor. She loved what she was teaching and knew what she was teaching, but didn't make it overwhelming for her students, who may not have known this part of psychology yet. She also is one of the professors I've gotten to talk to outside of class and has been very helpful in letting me know about different opportunities, writing recommendation letters and also just ensuring I am getting the best experience while I'm at NIU.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the lagoon. I think I'm drawn to it because of the calmness it brings. It's the perfect place to read a book, especially with this nice weather coming up!
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
My advice to a student who's applying to colleges would be to keep your options open. Do your research on different schools that interest you, learn about the programs they have and if they have the program you're specifically interested in studying. Look for the different opportunities they may have, whether that's an extracurricular you may want to join or if you want to study abroad! Tour the campuses; the one that feels like home is going to be your best choice. Don't be afraid or ashamed of going to a community college first. If you don't know what you want to do or money is tight, community college is always a good choice!
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I've had to learn how to motivate myself to do my schoolwork. One big setback for me with school being online and most of my classes being asynchronous was to find the motivation to actually sit down and do my schoolwork. I've had to learn to set out a certain schedule for myself in order to do my homework efficiently. Not being able to actually go to class made me lose my motivation; however, it quickly came back!
What do you do to relax or recharge?
After a long day of school and work, it can be hard to relax and recharge for the next day. Some of my favorite ways to do this are to go to the gym, go on a bike ride or do a puzzle. Depending on whether I need to relax or recharge dictates what I actually do.