Western Illinois University

Name: Caitlin Pennington
College: Western Illinois University      
Major: Music Therapy

  1. What first drew you to Western Illinois University?

I was first drawn to WIU when I learned about the music therapy program. I was also very interested in the Western Commitment scholarship program.

  1. What other colleges were you considering?

I was also considering Maryville University, Drury University, University of Missouri – Kansas City, and University of Kansas.

  1. How was the adjustment from high school to college?

Adjustment from high school to college was easy in some ways and more difficult in others. I was very excited for the independence that comes with living on your own, but I was not prepared for the level of independence that was expected by the professors. I also was not prepared for the amount of time that was not spent in class. Unlike high school, you may only be in class for two or three hours a day; the rest of the day is yours to spend how you want/need. Getting a planner and managing my free time wisely was imperative for my success. Getting involved on campus (but not overextending myself) was also a huge help in adjusting to college.

  1. What was your favorite class? Why?

My favorite class was Music Therapy Clinical Skills (even if it was at 8:00 AM). This course allowed me to learn the basics of being a clinician and offered hands-on experience in music therapy. This was the first experience I had in actually planning and executing interventions that I will be using in my career.

  1. What clubs or groups were you involved in?

I am involved in the Western Illinois University Singers, Madrigal Singers, and Concert Choir. I am also a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity, and the WIU Music Therapy Association. Outside of school, I sing in a church choir in Macomb.

  1. Anything else you want to tell us?

Buy a planner!! There is no way I would have survived if I hadn’t written everything, and I mean everything, down.

  1. In one sentence, what do you love about your school?

I love the opportunities that Western provides for its students; from the incredibly knowledgeable professors and advisors, to the free activities around campus, to the great scholarship program, Western provides the opportunity for all students to succeed.

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