As a double major in music ministry and public relations participating in both basketball and choir, Chanel Madson started off her college career at Northwestern with a bang. It might seem that her freshman year would be overwhelming, but instead she has thrived with the full load.
She and her academic advisor made sure to schedule her classes so that her semesters would allow her to pursue her extracurricular activities, and Chanel ran with the challenge from there.
“Planning all of this is a challenge,” Chanel said. “It requires a lot of organization in my schedule, but handling it is actually a blessing. I don't look at it as 'I have to do this,' but rather 'I get to do this.'
Since the official start of the college basketball season on October 15, Chanel has been pulling double duty nearly every day. For her, a typical afternoon meant a one hour and 15 minute choir rehearsal with basketball practice immediately afterwards.
Many times, Chanel, one of only three freshmen in Northwestern’s College Choir, would practice extensively with the choir, then sprint to basketball practice and come straight back to choir again. “So my poor friends waiting for me in the choir room had to stand next to a sweaty body,” Chanel said.
Chanel is used to a hectic schedule. In high school, she participated in student government, FFA, choir, band, vocal jazz, musicals, Knowledge Bowl, and Life Smart competitions all while keeping up with four sports. On top of that, she maintained a 4.0 GPA and was named valedictorian of her class.
NWC Women’s Basketball Head Coach Aaron Kahl affirms that Chanel has a gift for making everything work. “While being an excellent student, she’s very talented both musically and athletically, and I’m glad that she can continue to be successful in both areas.”
Not only do her coaches and professors support her in her endeavors, but her teams—both choir and basketball—are with her 100 percent. “It's been so cool to bond with my teammates,” Chanel said. “I love going to practice, going to games and concerts, because both groups have a great chemistry and I'm proud to be a part of them.”
In the long run, Madson’s been able to balance her life as a student and as a teammate both on the basketball team and in choir. In fact, she’s had opportunities to combine both interests by singing with fellow teammate Mollie Sir at almost every home game.
She has shown that it is possible to do everything you love during college and still be successful academically.