Class of spring 2020 graduate profile: Ariana Carbajal

The spring class of 2020 hasn’t had a traditional conclusion to their studies, but they do have a lot of great accomplishments, memories and advice to share.
Over the summer months we’ll be profiling some of them.

Ariana Carbajal
Degree earned: B.S. Communicative Disorders, minor in Deafness Rehabilitation
Hometown/High School: Chicago, Prosser Career Academy
If you transferred to NIU, where from: Transferred from Wilbur Wright Community College

What are some of your best memories of your time at NIU?
Some of my best memories come from organization events. My favorite one was a Yoga Nidra meditation event Communicative Disorders Student Association hosted in the sky room of the student center. It was during the evening, so we had a relaxing session with a great view of campus!

What’s next for you?
This summer I will be start working on my master’s degree at NIU, in the speech-language pathology program. Huskie for life!

What is one piece of advice or something you learned that you know you’ll be leaning on as you start the next phase of your career or education?
My professors at NIU really instilled in me self-advocacy. They taught me to never be too shy or too afraid to advocate for my needs or the needs of those around me. In school I learned to make my needs heard, and I will continue to do that as I move onto my career.

How was your experience at NIU different than what you expected when you started?
I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity in the student body. I mean that in every aspect, race, background, age, interests. I think I had this idea that everyone in a university was straight out of high school, which intimidated me because I was an older student, but I came to find a huge range in the student body. It made me feel more welcome, especially the high transfer rate.

If you could thank someone (or more than one person) that you didn’t get a chance to thank before you left, who would it be, and what would you say?
Luckily for me I get to see a lot of my professors in grad school. But, I do want to thank the Communicative Disorders Department staff and faculty. They truly care about the success of the students, they checked in on us, and always welcomed our office visits.

I would also like to give a huge thank you to Amanda McCarthy from Rehabilitation Counseling. Not only did she teach me great counseling skills I will utilize in my profession, but she helped me stay positive during a tough time in my life and supported my success in the course.

What is something you’d like to come back to do one more time?
I would love to go back on a Monday and find our live mascot Mission!

What are some of the things you are most proud of from your time at NIU?
I am most proud of my leadership roles on campus. I had the honor of serving as the president of the Communicative Disorders Student Association, and the vice president of the newly founded National Stuttering Association. These roles solidified my confidence in public speaking and enhanced my time management. And, I made life lasting friendships!

If you could give some advice to the high school class of 2020 who will be starting at NIU in the fall, what would it be?

  1. I know everyone says this but, get involved! It makes a huge difference in your experience on campus. You can do organizations related to your major or organizations that are just plain fun.
  2. Find a good study spot. Finding a spot-on campus for your go to studying needs will really make a difference in your grades. This doesn’t always have to be the library (especially because the library gets packed during midterms and finals). There are so many lounge areas in just about every building. Don’t be afraid to explore all the buildings, even if you don’t have classes in them.
  3. Carry cash for all of the yummy fundraisers held in DuSable!


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