Maddie Mackey is a sport management major from Geneseo, IL
Hometown: Geneseo, IL
Year: Anticipated graduation year: 2022
Major: Sport Management
Transfer from: Heartland Community College in Normal, IL
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received an athletic scholarship from the NIU Softball team. Having this scholarship has allowed me to be able to focus on my academics and athletics, solely, instead of having to have a job on top of all of that. Also, due to the pandemic hitting in the beginning of my softball season last year I gained another year of eligibility to play, so I will be staying another year here at NIU while playing softball.
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 knew that I always wanted to work in the sports field, but did not know what specific role I would play in doing so. At first, I wanted to be a sport performance coach, then a softball coach, and now I am looking into the sport psychology end of things.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is Sport Management and I decided on this major because there are a vast number of options I can go with in this major. I transferred the first year that Sport Management was an undergraduate major, so in some ways I knew it was meant to be.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something I have found pleasantly surprising about my experience at NIU is how inclusive my professors have been with me. I have been involved in luncheons with faculty interviewing a candidate to fill a spot in their department. In that process I was able to ask the candidate questions and learn for my own sake what an interview process may look like in the future for me.
How have you connected with other students at NIU?
I have connected with other students at NIU through the athletics end of things. All the athletes and students support each other well here and it is nice to see a gym, stadium or field packed with Huskies cheering on fellow Huskies.
Are you involved in any student organizations or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am involved with the softball team here, as well as the Athletes in Action group that meets once a week. This year has been a little different getting involved due to the social distancing rules, but hopefully we can get back to in-person things soon.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Assistant Professor Jenn Jacobs is one of my favorite professors because she made me love a course that I did not know anything about prior to meeting her. The class was Psychology of Sport and Exercise, and not only did I learn a lot of information about why athletes act the way that they do at times, the course helped me better understand myself as an athlete. It validated my feelings and mental health so much that I am now looking into going into a career in that field. Professor Jacobs cares about all her students and makes her classes fun to be in.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
The Lagoon is one of my favorite spots on campus because that is where my friends and I go fishing and hammock. It is a spot where I can go and relax while getting some fresh air.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
I would tell that student to go visit that college in person. Once you are on campus the feelings you will get will validate the school you want to go to. There is a right fit for everyone, so do not feel pressured to go somewhere because that is where you "think" you should go.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
Something I have had to learn to do differently is manage my time efficiently. Waking up and going to practice, lifting, and then going to class can be overwhelming if you are not organized. I have found it helpful for myself to write out a semester-long planner. I do that so I know what I am supposed to do each and every day.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
If I need to relax or recharge I will go for a walk. I find it helpful and relaxing to be out on a trail walking and think about anything that makes me happy. Fresh air and cornfields help remind me of home and my family and that can help me get through anything.
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