Andy Hernandez is a visual communication major from Sterling, IL
Hometown: Sterling, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Major: Visual communication
Transfer from: Sauk Valley Community College
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 growing up, I wanted to be a police officer because I wanted to help people and be a hero. I did not end up pursuing that major.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I am pursuing a visual communications major. I decided on this course because when I was little kid, I loved drawing and creating art. As I grew older, I began to develop a fascination with logos and the meaning and process behind them. I also came to appreciate marketing and the creativity that companies have with their brand name and logo.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I found out that the community at NIU is very welcoming to other students. Staff and students are nice and friendly and make you feel comfortable and at home.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
When it comes to staying connected and interacting with fellow classmates, my classmates and I have created different Discord servers where we talk about assignments and life in general. It's an amazing way of interacting with your classmates during this awful pandemic.
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?
Unfortunately, I am not part of any organizations, but I'm hoping that in the future I can become more involved in the community at NIU.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
To be fair, all my instructors have been amazing. They are all attentive and make class so much fun for me and my fellow classmates. They always make sure to ask us how we are doing and how they can help us succeed in class. If I truly have to name an instructor, I would have to say Gina Garza and Wendy Tritt. Gina Garza is the instructor for my visual communications class and Wendy Tritt is the instructor for my typography class.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
At this moment, I do not have a favorite spot on campus or in the community, as I have not been able to be on campus that much. With COVID-19, I've been stuck at home doing online courses. I am hoping that in the near future, everything can go back to normal and I can be more on campus and enjoy the college life.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
My biggest advice would be to not procrastinate. It is easy to say, "I'll do it later." I've done this plenty of times, and let me tell you, it is not a good habit to have. Another piece of advice would be to not be afraid to ask questions. If you're not sure about something, ask. It's okay to ask for help.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
Coming to college, I had to learn to manage my time more efficiently. College classes move at a rapid pace, and there is a high chance that you will have lots of homework, so managing your time will help you succeed.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
When I want to relax or recharge, I like to listen to music or work out.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I would like to say that transferring from a community college to a four-year college, I was very nervous about the workload and if I was going to fit in. I quickly learned that at NIU, it doesn't matter where you come from or who you are you are, you will be welcomed with open arms. I was also afraid that I wasn't going to be good enough to succeed, but I want to assure you that you are good enough. The Huskie community will be there to let you know that you are good enough and that you belong here.
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