Zachary Juan Villegas
Zachary Juan Villegas is a special education major from Algonquin, IL
Hometown: Algonquin, IL
Year: Expected graduation: 2022
Major: Special Education
What is your major, and why did you choose your field of study?
My major is in Special Education and I chose it from personal experiences I've had with people with disabilities, one of my childhood best friends having one. I also taught ESL as a job in high school, some of my students of which were on the spectrum.
What do you do for fun in your spare time?
I wish to participate more in NIU-coordinated events but I spend most of my free time hanging out with friends I've made at Grant D, practicing guitar and performing improvised pieces with other musicians on campus.
What do you like about campus and the DeKalb area?
I enjoy how varied the campus is when traveling across it. During Orientation it felt massive in comparison to how I currently see it; it feels very comfortable to me now. I also enjoy going on walks on the trails and in the woodland areas surrounding DeKalb, taking photos of the scenery.
What has your experience inside the classroom been like at NIU?
Quite enjoyable and engaged — the majority of my professors are very well versed in their fields, and I seem to get more out of our course meetings than I anticipated.
Would you recommend NIU to others and why? What’s a general piece of advice you’d give to someone starting college?
I would recommend NIU to others because of how welcoming the community is, especially the special education faculty whom I adore. The campus isn't extremely overwhelming either, which can strike fear into the hearts of worrying first-years. My best advice is to see yourself as an equal to everyone else. Though the achievements of many here on campus may seem daunting, they're not unachievable.