With Welcome Week winding down, I hope that (if you are on campus) that you have settled in and enjoyed your first week back at NIU! This is my last year of my undergraduate degree and also my second time for being an NLA. I’m truly grateful for to participate in this program again and to also meet new NLA’s.
Currently my classes are all major-specific and clinically based. So, for me, I’m excited to start creating that clinical base of knowledge before I begin graduate school. While the idea of graduate school is exciting, I’ll feel relaxed when the application process is over. I feel that not only the learning in the classroom, but the learning outside of the classroom has truly helped prepare me for life outside of an academic setting and/or at graduate school.
This year, I’m continuing to work on my research project which is a literature review and curriculum development on mindfulness and how it reduces burnout among health care students and practitioners. In additions, I have continued my role as a University Honors Fellow and I am a part of the First-Year Comp Program as a Peer Advocate. This program pairs a more seasoned NIU student into an English 103 classroom. There, our roles are to act as mentors to the students, to help direct them to resources, and help them transition to college life. This program started just last year, so it is still in it’s early phases. But, I’m excited to be participating in this program, especially because I wish the program existed when I took those classes.
As an NLA, I’m most looking forward to two things. I’m excited to see how NLA is growing and expanding, which it already has since I started last year. We recently had dinner at President Baker and First Lady Dr. Dana Stover’s house! It was a great experience, and something I never thought would happen during my time at NIU, especially with the large student body we have. As well, I am look forward to the work of our committee. I am the head of our Community Outreach Committee, which is a brand-new committee this year. Our committee is dedicated to service and helping the community in that capacity. I’m excited for our committee to help shape and define what we do for future NLA’s.
The NLA program provides an experience that no other student at NIU can quite really receive. We represent our colleges, and our voices are heard by prominent administrators within Northern Illinois University. In that same vein, we are able to network with alumni and help build our professional skills. NLA has truly helped me to become a more confident, and all-around better public speaker. I still have a way to go, but I feel more comfortable talking in a group of people. On top of all of that, NLA’s are the first students to initiate change within our community and what we do is used as examples/models for other students. Based on all of those things, NLA is a program that I would not to give up. So, I reapplied and thankfully I was accepted!
Thank you for reading this post and Go Huskies!