Jonas Arvin Sales is a nursing major from Rolling Meadows, IL
Hometown: Rolling Meadows, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2024
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 little, I wanted to be a chemist. Scientific television programs and videos always appealed to me. I wanted to engage with chemicals and do chemical research. In high school, I realized that chemistry was not as interesting as I thought it was and that it wasn't something I wanted to pursue as a profession. Instead, with my science interests at heart, I started to pursue a career in nursing.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is nursing. My mother, who is a registered nurse, played a substantial role in influencing what career I wanted to pursue. Also, during a vacation where I was around people my age from all over the world, I felt inspired by the idea that someone can have a big impact on your life, whether or not you ever see them again. I am thankful to have grown up in a supportive family. It's enabled me to create memorable experiences that shaped me into who I am and who I will become. A nurse cares for others so they can heal and create memories. I've had my own experiences with the hospital, and if it wasn't for the nurses who helped me, I wouldn’t have the memories I have to this day.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
What has been pleasantly surprising about my experience at NIU are the involvement opportunities the university has to offer, its diverse student body and the support from both faculty and students.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
As a freshman, I wanted to experience all the opportunities and events NIU has to offer. At the Week of Welcome (WOW), I got to meet new people and form friendships around campus. Joining clubs and organizations is another way I've connected with people with shared interests. I've also connected with other students and faculty through Blackboard and online meetings/webinars.
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?
One of the organizations/extracurricular activities I engage in is volleyball. I wanted to take up volleyball in college because I didn't have the chance to play it in high school. Volleyball requires me to move my body in ways I didn’t think were possible, which makes the sport fun and interesting. After watching an inspiring Japanese animation about it, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and play volleyball. It allows me to connect with other Huskies on and off the court.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Dr. Virgil Stoia has been one of my favorite professors, hands down! Dr. Stoia taught my BIOS 103 class, and the way he educates us about biology challenges me in and outside of class. Dr. Stoia was one of the first professors I had at NIU, and he showed me that learning can and should be fun and engaging.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is the East Lagoon. It's home to geese, squirrels and that one grey heron. I'm drawn to being outside and surrounded by nature; it allows me to detach from studies.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
Try something new. It's better to experience something new than to regret never trying.
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 to make the most of what I want to do on a day-to-day basis. Learning to prioritize my time while balancing my mental health is really important to reduce burnout and procrastination. Planning a flexible schedule for the week has helped me know what I should be doing and when. College allows for freedom and flexibility, and with this comes the responsibility to set goals and priorities.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I love going to the Recreation Center to exercise and recharge my brain. When it comes to relaxing, I enjoy reading self-help books and personal accounts. On warm days, I try to go for a walk to take a break from my studies.