Madison Shales is a pre-physical therapy major from Elgin, IL
Hometown: Elgin, IL
Year: Expected graduation: May 2023
Major: Pre-physical therapy
Transfer from: Elgin Community College
What scholarships did you receive and why did you receive them? How has the financial support impacted your experience at NIU?
I receive the transfer merit scholarship because of my GPA. The financial support has impacted my experience at NIU because it has eased my stress about student debt.
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 teacher. I changed my mind in high school and wanted to become a physical therapist. I am currently pursuing physical therapy as my major.
What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
My major is health sciences, pre-physical therapy emphasis, and my minor is kinesiology. I decided on this because growing up, I was either in physical therapy or in the athletic trainers' room due to injuries, and I quickly became interested in this field of study.
What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
I have found that all staff and teachers here are willing to help you out and want to see you succeed no matter what it takes.
How have you connected with other students virtually to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
I have connected with other students by having breakout groups in class and meeting new people that way, as well as discussion boards and connecting with people there.
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 in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and just entering it has already helped me by connecting me with different people who aren’t just at NIU. Without NIU, I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience this.
Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
One of my favorite professors is Professor Kennedy because she is always there to help you, whether you’re struggling in school or outside of school, and talk you through it. Professor Kennedy teaches psychology.
Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
My favorite spot on campus is anywhere that involves athletics because I like to watch sports.
What advice would you give to a student who is applying to colleges?
My advice to students applying to colleges is to do your research on different colleges and don’t apply to just one. Also, there’s nothing wrong with changing your major no matter how far into it you are, as long as it's something you enjoy doing.
Coming to college, what is something that you have had to learn to do differently?
One thing I had to learn to do differently is not waiting to do some things at the last minute. It's less stressful to space out your homework throughout the week, so you aren’t stressed at the end of the week trying to do it all.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
What I do to relax is watch a movie or hang out with my friends.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
Even though we've been online for most of my NIU experience so far, it doesn’t feel like I'm missing out on any of my college experience or falling behind, because the teachers I've had are doing such a good job.
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