Being from a very small town in central Illinois, nearly everyone’s option there after high school is to either work or go to a nearby Community College. For those that do go to college, the unanimous choices are the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois State, or Southern Illinois University. Basically no student from my area gives Northern Illinois University a thought. For me, that was the biggest selling point to me for coming to NIU.
Despite spending my entire life growing up in a town surrounded by nothing but corn, DeKalb was a very nice change of pace for me. It is much larger than my hometown, which I enjoyed because here you’re not always running into the same people. On the other hand, it still has that small town feel to where you know where everything is at, and things are at a much slower pace than in a large city.
Once I first started college at NIU, things only improved for me. I didn’t have the best support from friends at home, and my family life was a little shaky, so coming to NIU where I knew absolutely no other students was a completely clean slate for me to start over. Within the first few months of college, I had the chance to meet and have dinner with the President and CEO of AT&T, get a job that I love in the Athletics Department, and make lifelong friends.
Had I not decided to come to NIU, I honestly don’t know where I would be today. NIU has not only been such an accepting community as a whole, but anything that I’ve wanted to do while I’ve been here, NIU has helped me find a way to do it. I have been able to make extreme changes in my life for the better, all in the past year, and I attribute all those positive changes on my decision to come to NIU.