My name is Ariel McClay and I am a Sociology major at Northern Illinois University. I am on the Alumni and Foundation Committee within the Northern Lights Ambassador program. I am from Bolingbrook, Illinois but my ties to the windy city are unbreakable. I come from a small family of two sisters and two brothers-in-laws that are more than blood than in laws. I come from a traditional two parent home so nothing exciting there, except for the fact that my father is a pastor. I am in love with the life that I live because I know that things can be a lot worse and my deck of cards in this life are more like a challenge than a burden. If you see me on campus feel free to say hi because God knows I’m involved in organizations that live and thrive in the student/administrative spotlight.
I chose NIU because it felt right. Of course I did some research to determine if NIU had my major at the time but I was more so interested in feeling like I could connect with my environment. On a whim I came on a visit day during early spring when the campus was just beginning to thaw out. I saw the classic buildings on the east side of campus and the creek that runs by Cole Hall and fell in love. I chose to stay because the people I met here have pushed me to become a better me.
I chose to be an NLA because I love working with first-year students and helping with their transition. In the past I have coordinated residence hall tours for housing and dining, served as an orientation leader, and facilitated various new student programs from the behind the scenes. This year I look forward to working more with the administration, alumni, and donors to really help display the student experience and paint the picture that Northern is a great place to be.
The wide variety of people here stands out the most to me. As a student leader I meet leaders all the time who are just as involved but are involved in different ways. You can learn something from everyone you meet here. (Nope, not 30 words but close if you round down)
Until Next Time,