Undergraduate Student Life

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  • Those magic decisions

    Its that time of year now: Deciding where you want to spend for the next four years of your life.

    I hated thinking about this when I was a senior, and I was only deciding between three schools. I have talked to some current high school seniors who were accepted to 6 or 7 different schools, and I can’t even imagine having to balance that in my mind.

    Every student chooses the one college that fits his or her needs. The main variation is what the student needs, not which schools are “better” or “worse” (although Illinois is pretty awesome). Some students need more financial aid, others want a nice social scene on campus. The most important advice I could ever give an incoming freshman is this: “Pick the school that is right for you.”

    Sounds cliché, I’m aware, but it’s so true.

    As I’m sure you can tell, I go to the Illinois College of Business here, because I decided that this was the right school for me. As always, “Results May Vary,” but I’m going to go over my decision making process that led me here.

    Application time was rough. I applied to the University of Illinois, the University of California Los Angeles, New York University, Washington University, and (being from Iowa) the University of Iowa.

    WashU was my first choice, but unfortunately, I was waitlisted, then rejected (which I don’t regret now at all). I’m not sure I would have had as much fun being in such a small school.

    I ruled out University of Iowa right away, because…well…it’s in Iowa (no hard feelings, just ready to get out).

    The final decision was between NYU, UCLA, and U of I.

    I was one of those kids who didn’t know what he wanted to do (as I’m sure many seniors are as well), so I was teetering between Film Production and Business. To this day, I love the idea of doing film production, but as a senior, I had to consider my options. Even if I did go to UCLA or NYU for film production, I would still be just another film student in LA or NYC, with no real direction after that, except to enter the workforce. I’m a big fan of higher education, particularly law school, and film production would not have gotten me to law school very quickly. That’s where the U of I came in.

    Business offers a unique opportunity for students with higher aspirations. First of all, literally EVERY aspect of the world needs business-minded people. Not even kidding. At least, I can’t think of an industry that doesn’t need a business person. If you can think of one, I invite you to send me an email at thompso8@illinois.edu and let me know. Second, business (here, at least) provides students with the tools to solve their own problems efficiently and effectively. So no matter what I decide to do in the future, business will have provided me the tools to make myself succeed. Therefore, business was just a good starting point. So, I visited the College of Business here and liked it. There are a ton of more specific reasons that I chose to come here, so if you want me to pontificate further, please just send me an email at thompso8@illinois.edu and I’d be happy to talk about the decision making process!