It's Been Real, College
As I sit here and write my final blog, I am feeling mixed emotions about graduating. I am really excited to be able to walk across the stage and receive my diploma in just a few days and be recognized for my four years of hard work on this campus. I am also incredibly sad to be leaving this school that I have grown to call home.
Discovering Undergrad Research
If you asked me three years ago about my college plans, I would have told you that as a pre-med student, I would be studying all day trying to get those perfect scores. Of course, things change once you arrive on campus, and new experiences bring new desires and goals. For me, one of those experiences was undergraduate research.
Indecision: Sometimes It's a Good Thing
As with many college freshmen, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in before coming to U of I. I entered into the Division of General Studies (DGS), and stayed there for a year before I transferred into the Department of Geology at the start of my sophomore year. While I love my major and am very happy with my choice, I still have moments of indecision.
Venturing Abroad to Costa Rica
Hello out there! I’m back from another quest and this time I had to travel a little further than 4th and Armory. Quick disclaimer: This quest was planned a little ahead of time. The next item checked off of my bucket list is #23: Go on a service trip. This past spring break in March I traveled to Santa Ana, Costa Rica, where I volunteered in a medical clinic for the week.
Building Relationships with Advisors and Professors
Finding a mentor in an academic setting can lead to a nurturing relationship. Building strong ties with a professor whose interest you share can lead to not only a more fulfilling classroom experience, but it can also lead to conversations about turning your interests to more specialized areas and becoming better versed in your field.
Heard it through the Grapevine
As a second semester senior, I have more time in my schedule to take some classes that are not required, but that I have an interest in. That is one of my favorite parts of Illinois...there is such a wide variety of classes to take! This semester, I decided to enroll in a class that sounded both fun and beneficial—vegetable gardening.
Coming into College Ahead of the Game
When I started planning my fall semester schedule for my freshman year, I knew two things—that I wanted to graduate in three years and that I wanted to have the opportunity to take as many different classes in the LAS departments as I could.
Brave on the Ice: Skating Outside Your Comfort Zone
A senior tradition here on campus is to complete the list of “101 things to do before you graduate,” but who says you have to wait until senior year to start knocking things off the list? I took a look at the list myself and realized I had already chipped away at it without even knowing it. I want to start this list now so by the time I’m a senior I will have done everything on the list a couple times. I probably sound like an over-achiever but I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who likes a challenge.
Spring break is just around the corner, which means that I will soon begin my daylong journey to my hometown in New Jersey. The trip can be quite long—it begins with a bus ride up to O’Hare followed by a flight to Newark. Factoring in delays, layovers, and time zone differences, the trip can easily be exhausting. Nevertheless, the aspect of sleeping in my own bed and seeing all my old friends makes these seldom trips worth it. As an out-of-state student, I am often asked, “Why did you come to Illinois?”
Experiencing a New Culture from the Comfort of Your Own Dorm
Going away to college as a freshman, everyone hears the horror stories of living with a roommate. I was told that not living with someone I didn’t already know, or going random, was a risk. But this argument wasn’t strong enough to dissuade me from my choice. I was going away to college; so much was changing, so what’s one more thing, I thought. When roommate assignments came out in the summer before my first semester, I was ecstatic. I logged on to the interface to check who I had been paired with. When I read the name, I realized that I didn’t know how to pronounce it. I had been assigned to room with an international student from China. I immediately got excited. This was a chance to learn new things from someone that lived in a completely different part of the world than I did! The only disappointing part was that I couldn’t find her on Facebook…and didn’t get a reply from her through email for over a week. I knew going in that there was potential for problems. Communication could be an obstacle, and what if she didn’t want to be friends?