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Raqueal Henry is finishing her last semester and fifth year at Western Illinois University.

When asked about her how her last semester is doing, Raqueal describes it as an “emotional roller coaster.”

 “My final semester has been up and down because I’m happy to be graduating but it has been challenging with the new roommate I have,” Henry said. “Our personalities seem to clash a lot but I’m still hoping we can find a way to work out.”

She is majoring in English and is a professional writing minor. Henry always had a passion for writing since she was young.

She added that her original major was English education but was forced to change her major because she did not meet the requirements. She then decided to major in English. 

“It’s another way for me to get into writing,” Henry said. “I like to read and write short stories.”

She is also a member of many on-campus organizations.

“I am currently the president of the WIU Anime Club, a member of Sigma Tau Delta, which is an English Honor Society,” Henry said. “Also I’m a member of Mortar Board, another national honor society and a new organization that came up called ‘Women of Integrity.’”

Henry also talked about her struggles with having Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects her joints. She said sometimes she has good days and bad days.

Having so many responsibilities for each organization and being a full time student, Henry says it can be challenging at times.

“Usually I go off on how my body is feeling because I don’t like to over-exhaust myself because if I do, I’ll make myself sick,” Henry said. “So some days if I know I can’t do it I have e-board for anime club that can help take over such as asking my vice president to take over so that’s kind of easy. For the other four organizations that I’m in, if I can’t make it to one meeting, I try to attend the next meeting.”

She also says that she tries to complete assignments as early as possible so she can have some stability in her academic life.

“My professors are very understanding of my situation,” Henry said. “With assignments, I usually try to do them ahead of time. I hate procrastinating and hate doing assignments at the last minute. That’s how I juggle everything. Just kind of go with the flow.”

As she prepares to graduate from Western, Henry said that she enjoyed the majority of her college career. She also had some words of advice she would’ve have told herself during her first year in college.

“I would give myself the advice to not over-exhaust myself and not rush everything,” Henry said. “It’s okay to take your time to make sure that everything is right because the younger me would have been frantic over everything.”

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Student Spotlight