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Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

Progression to Degree

Now that you’ve finished your first year in college, you know what to expect from class, you know what resources are there for you if you’re having trouble with concepts, and you have been introduced to all the ways you can, and should, get involved on campus. As you continue with your education, however, you’ll find some new stressors may surface. As your begin to personalize your education with majors and minors, and begin to prepare for your career, you may find yourself experiencing the stresses of keeping a work/study/life balance, or difficulty with a subject in class. Students benefit from exploring, adjusting or confirming their career and educational goals and connecting with NIU resources and educational experiences to enhance their educational experience.

Here are some simple things you can do to lessen the stress you may feel >

As you continue your education, getting closer to graduation and a career, you may experience some stressors that are common for students progressing towards a degree. We’ve provided you with the names of programs and services, as well as what you can do, to help alleviate these stresses..

Personal Issues

Common Stressors

Programs & Services

Responsibilities:  What can you do?

Not feeling connected

  • Get involved!
  • Meet with your academic advisor
  • Get to know faculty and staff

Inability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, indicated by weight loss/gain and stress level.

Juggling home and school commitments/expectations.

  • Communicate concerns to your advisor
  • Improve your time management skills
  • Stay on top of your deadlines

Unexpected events or loss

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Communicate with your professors

Academic Success

Common Stressors

Programs & Services

Responsibilities:  What can you do?

Academic Planning

  • Review Academic Requirements Report in MyNIU
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor every semester

Time management – self-regulation

  • Attend Mid-Semester Check & other events
  • Use a planner!
  • Make an appointment to see an ACCESS A+ Reading Specialist

Surprise/disappointment at lower grades; not seeing same results as high school or previous institution

  • Connect with faculty members
  • Communicate concerns
  • Go to faculty office hours
  • Check ACCESS on-line for available academic services and schedules for tutoring

Registration issues

  • Resolve any registration holds (Financial, academic, health services, admissions)
  • Register on your enrollment date (visible in MyNIU Student Center each semester)
  • Contact individual departments for assistance
  • Ask to be placed on a waiting lists in department offices (if available)

What if I want to take classes at another school while I’m at NIU?

Balancing Responsibilities

Common Stressors

Programs & Services

Responsibilities:  What can you do?

Maintaining employment

Financial stress & budgeting

Family problems/support


Planning for future goals

Common Stressors

Programs & Services

Responsibilities:  What can you do?

Career planning

  • Discuss career goals!
  • Research your career…know what it takes to be successful
  • Get involved!

Graduate School planning

  • Prepare application materials
  • Register/plan to register for GRE