Adelaide Parr is a communicative disorders major from Hanna City, IL
Hometown: Hanna City, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2024
Major: Communicative disorders with a speech-language pathology (SLP) emphasis
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I received a merit scholarship based on my high school GPA that is renewable each year if I maintain the requirements. I also received an Honors Excellence Award and the Ari and Ruth Kovacevich Distinguished Scholarship Fund award through the University Honors Program. I am so thankful for the financial support I have received. It has made paying for college a lighter burden and allowed me to prioritize my academics over work.
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 was never completely sure what I wanted my career path to look like. I had passing interests, but nothing ever really stood out to me. When I was in high school, I had some interest in being a teacher and also some interest in working in a health care field. My search for something that would combine both of those interests is what led me to discover speech-language pathology, which is what I am currently studying in school.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is communicative disorders with a speech-language pathology (SLP) emphasis. My minors are family and child studies and deafness. I decided to major in communicative disorders because becoming an SLP seemed to combine my interests in teaching, health care and working with children. I am very happy with my decision and have loved all of my classes so far. I chose the family and child studies minor to help me achieve my goal of working as a pediatric SLP, and I chose the deafness minor because I have always been interested in learning a second language.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
Something I enjoy about NIU that I found surprising is how caring all of my professors are. They put in so much effort to make sure I have the tools I need to do well in my classes, and they care about their students on a personal level, as well. Anytime I am struggling with an assignment or just need general advice, I know they will do their best to point me in the right direction.
How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Getting involved in various student organizations is the best way to meet new people. The biggest mistake you can make is to never get involved or to only get involved in clubs that relate to your major. I have met several of my closest friends through organizations that have nothing to do with the classes I take. I've also found that most of my classmates are willing to exchange contact information, which makes setting up study groups very easy. One more way I've connected with people is through my on-campus work experiences. The best part about working on campus is that your co-workers are also your peers.
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 Communicative Disorders Student Association (COMDSA), CRU, the University Honors Program and Signing Huskies. I am also taking a bowling class for fun this semester! Extracurricular activities add to my school experience by giving me opportunities to learn and meet new people I otherwise wouldn't have. They've helped me build a bigger community and give me something to look forward to outside of classwork.
What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you succeed? And how?
For me, the most helpful resources have been my professors. A lot of students think talking to their professors is scary, but at the end of the day they want to help you to succeed. Getting to know my professors has given me a lot of insight about what graduate school and my future career might look like. They've been able to connect me to new opportunities and experiences I never would have known about just from attending lectures.
What Honors Program opportunities or support have helped you get closer to your academic or career goals so far?
I am a part of a program that reserves a spot for me in NIU's speech-language pathology master’s degree program if I complete full honors. This has been a great opportunity for me because it takes away some of the stress of preparing for graduate school. It has also been beneficial because I have access to extra experiences and classes that non-honors students do not, and it has helped me get to know my professors better.
What do you enjoy the most about the Honors Program?
Something I enjoy most about the program is taking small, honors sections of normal classes. It's nice to be able to work alongside peers who have a similar mindset as myself. I've found I learn a lot more from these sections because I am working more closely with the professors and other honors students.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One of my favorite classes was Introduction to Audiology with Dr. Diane Schecklong. I like to tell people it is the only 8 a.m. class I willingly woke up for. It’s known to be one of the harder classes in my major, but Dr. Schecklong made the material so interesting and engaging. I enjoyed her class so much I temporarily considered switching to an audiology emphasis.
How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Attending every class ensures I don't miss out on important material or announcements because those things aren't always included in lecture slides. Going to class also allows me to ask questions and participate in discussions, which helps me learn new perspectives.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is Founders Memorial Library. It's a nice place to go if I need to focus on homework without distractions. There are also places in the library where you can meet up with friends to talk and study.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
My advice is to not be afraid of trying something new. Put yourself out there and make the most of the time and opportunities you have, because you're never going to have another experience quite like college.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
I had to learn how to manage my time well. In high school, most of your schedule is set for you, but in college you are responsible for running your own schedule. This was not something I was prepared for and I had to learn how to balance my time in order to get everything done.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I enjoy having movie and game nights with my friends. When I am on my own, I like to catch up on TV shows or work on my latest crochet project.