Senior Specials – Yours Truly

Why not end this series with a re-introduction to me and reflect on this journey that blogging has taken me through? Plus I haven’t been officially introduced to the Class of 2019, and need to clarify my absence for the past semester (more posts on that soon, I promise!)


Name: Sivani

Hometown: Aurora, Illinois

High School: Waubonsie Valley High School


I picked this picture just for the goat! 🙂

What was your major/s and career goals when you first came to the University of Illinois?

I was an incoming Biology major (you can’t declare MCB or IB before you’ve completed your first year) thinking about double-majoring in Psychology. I hoped to go to medical school after my undergrad.

What is your current major and current goals for your career?

I am a Molecular and Cellular Biology major and am minoring in Chemistry. I’ve decided to graduate in 3.5 years, and am currently in the process of applying to allopathic medical school.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at U of I?

I have been involved with Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Professional Society since my freshman year. I became Philanthropy Chairwoman my sophomore year, got inducted into the AED fraternity at the end of my sophomore year, and served as President during my junior year. I also became selected as an MCB Leader during my sophomore year, and will be serving as the club’s Secretary in the Fall. I wrote for online college women’s magazine during my freshman year and started writing for this blog during the spring semester of my freshman year. I also conduct Undergraduate Research in the Simons Lab for Visual Cognition, and have been since my freshman year spring semester.

How did you get involved with those RSOs?

I signed up for AED – believe it or not – at Quad Day! I found out about MCB Leaders by reading my departmental emails (they are chock full of opportunities).

Have you held any internships or job-shadowing positions so far?

I applied for and earned a position in the U of I MCB Pathway to Health Careers Mentorship program run through the MCB Advising Department. I was matched with a University of Illinois alumnus who is a practicing professor of clinical anesthesiology at UIC Hospital. I have also been fortunate enough to shadow a cardiothoracic surgeon, a cardiac electrophysiologist, and (most recently) a primary care physician. I also served as a LAS 101 Teaching Assistant – we were called “interns” but it wasn’t really a full internship. It was a course opportunity.

Have you held any jobs on or off campus during your time in college?

During my freshman year, I worked in my dorm’s mailroom. I started blogging during my freshman spring as well. This fall, I’ll be working in the MCB Advising office part-time.

If you could go back in time to the summer before your freshman year, what advice would you give yourself?

CANCEL NETFLIX! I would definitely scream that at myself – I love wasting time watching TV shows. On a more serious note, I would advise myself not to overthink every single grade and focus on learning the material instead of simply aiming for high grades. As my high school anatomy teacher told me, “Learn the material and the grades will come!”

Do you have any regrets about the past three years at U of I?

I wish I was able to study abroad over winter or summer break. I feel like the study abroad experience is crucial to maturing as a college student, and wish I was able to fit it into my schedule!

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time at college?

Last semester, I really loved working out at CRCE (Campus Recreation Center East), and even laced up my running shoes to check out the local streets of Urbana. I can’t wait to get back to pounding the pavement this fall.

Best food on campus?

Ooh definitely Papa Del’s deep dish pizza! A University of Illinois institution for sure! But I’m also really partial to Basil Thai in Urbana because I can’t live without Chicken Pad Thai (believe me, I’ve tried)!

What is your favorite place on campus?

Ever since my freshman year, I have always found myself sitting on the steps of the Krannert amphitheater whenever I needed some time to myself. It’s also really fun to visit

Where is your favorite place to study on campus?

It’s a tie between ACES Funk Library and Grainger Engineering Library. I’m making it a goal to visit more coffee shops and cafes in Champaign and Urbana before I graduate.

Best class you’ve taken so far?

NEUR/PSYC 413 – Psychopharmacology. This course was one of my advanced MCB credits, and I really loved feeling like a medical student in this course!!

Best Gen-Ed you’ve taken so far?

PSYC 100 – Introduction to Psychology. This course has given me everything – an introduction to a great field, an opportunity to engage in Undergraduate research, and a solid behavioral science foundation for future coursework and the MCAT.

Freshman dorm?

Bromley Hall

Favorite memory so far?

Nope – my college career has been such a great time in my life that there is definitely not just one moment.

Proudest moment during your collegiate career?

Honestly, I think it was surviving my Junior year. I was just proud to make it through MCB 354 – Biochemistry!! However, there’s so many other moments that it’s really difficult for me to pick out. Getting an email notification that I won the Top 10 Student Bloggers award for 2013, sitting on my first student panel and answering questions, even completing 24 interviews of prospective AED board members over two days. I just can’t choose one!!


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