Why Illinois?

I guess it is the time for me to answer this question, and I have so many things to say! I did not know the exact reason when I first came here, and I complained about the weather a lot during my first winter here. However, after spending almost two years at Illinois, I know I will never regret my decision mainly because of the following reasons:

1. Friends
I have met a lot of nice friends since I came here. Some of them are classmates, some are roommates, some are my club members. One of the greatest things about this large campus? I can always find someone who has certain similar experiences or shares the same ideas.

It’s true that friends can influence me a lot, especially in good ways. Sally, a sociology major, is teaching me about Feminism and the LGBT group in the U.S. and in my motherland, China. Because of her, I try to view a little piece of information in different ways and form my own opinion. My friend Cornalia suggested Statistics as a major for me, and it turns out that I like stats a lot. On my way to declare this major, she provided a lot of help both mentally and academically. Benjamin is the one who introduced the fantastic coding world to me. Shuang always shares her baked goods with us, and they are even better than normal dessert stores.

Based on these experiences, Illinois provides many ways to meet friends with different backgrounds. With the help of many nice restaurants and cafés, there is always a place for friends to hang out. Students with different backgrounds and different tastes can all find favorite restaurants because there are so many options to choose from. I have a list of favorites based on type—Chinese, Korean, dessert, and tea—and I will certainly write a blog about them later!

The Illini Union is also a great place for friends because there are bowling lanes, billiard tables, and game rooms. I also like to study with my friends in the food court because we can study, talk, and eat at the same time! When I think it’s too much work to go to the cinema, I can even rent a room in the computer lab located on the lower level of the Illini Union to enjoy a movie with my friends. I’m so lucky to meet so many friends, and we are easily but powerfully connected through little things.

2. Opportunities
Illinois is certainly a place that provides a lot of opportunities. Departments will constantly send emails about speeches, research opportunities, or other announcements, and clubs will provide summaries about upcoming events. I also signed up for OVP (Office of Volunteer Programs) and have been to many interesting volunteer events. When I have time to do some something outside my academic life, I check these emails and do what I want immediately.

One day, I saw that the Admission Office was looking for new student bloggers, and I sent an email showing my interest with a sample article. Now I am one of the bloggers! I once helped with my friend’s movie and was interested in it, so I joined her club and am now a core member who makes important decisions. I wanted to code more, so I took a class last year and applied to transfer into the College of Engineering, and now I am a Computer Engineering major student!

So if you are at Illinois, never hesitate to contact others. There are so many opportunities, and an email may be enough to get you there. Spring is finally here now, and I heard that the Japan House is hosting an event. What a great opportunity as well!

Happy spring, and enjoy an excellent photo taken both in winter and spring.

Beckman Institute in winter and spring

Photo credit to Zefan Xu


Please note that comments close after 90 days.

Yuanzhen Liu

April 13, 2016, 1:51 am

I am looking forward to live in UIUC, though I was put on the waiting list. The school is such a perfect match for me and I really expect to come. Anyway, hope that I will receive the admission soon:)



April 13, 2016, 6:21 pm

Hi Yuanzhen,

I was on the wait list two years ago and I had already submitted my deposit to another school! I finally got the admission letter and never regretted my decision after two years. Don’t worry, I believe you will get good news. Good luck!



April 20, 2016, 2:14 am

Hi Connie.

I loved your story of your experiences at UIUC. I’m an adult transfer student applying for this Fall of 2016. I have to admit, I don’t have a lot of experience with college applications and the whole process of applying. In fact I might have applied too late for this Fall of 2016, but from what my younger sister, who graduated some years ago in Veterinarian Medicine from the school, she absolutely loved it.

I was wondering if you could give me any advice or suggestions about applying to UIUC?

Thanks Connie.

Sincerely, Randy



May 7, 2016, 10:40 am

Hi Connie,

Your blog post was really helpful – thank you! I will be joining the College of Engineering this Fall, I actually have a couple of questions regarding accommodation and was wondering if you could help me out. I am looking for a dorm with a gym and good food – and hopefully not too far from the College of Engineering. Is there any dorm that fits that description?

Really would appreciate your help.




May 8, 2016, 2:07 am

Hi Randy,

I am sorry that I did not see your comment on time so hopefully you are still reading posts:)
When you think you love UIUC, it is the first sign that you are suitable for this school. It can be clearly reflected by your personal statements or similar application materials. I am not quite sure about adult transfer but I definitely suggest you to provide all the materials you need, show your interests in UIUC and don’t give up easily. I was on the waitlist but I waited unit the mid of May to receive my admission letter eventually.
I wish you best of luck and I am sure you will love UIUC as well.



May 8, 2016, 2:57 am

Hi Lillian,

Your question is one of the most popular questions from upcoming students and I think other bloggers have couple related blog posts but I am still going to provide my two cents here.
I am more familiar with residence halls and there are seven of them on Compass. They all have different characteristics and based on your concern, I will provide as many information as I can.

(I think every residual hall has libraries and a small gym.)
Ikenberry North/South Halls area is the closest area to ARC, which is the best gym compass and Ikenberry have good food and stores where you can get great snacks and fried chicken(my favorite!) until late night. These halls are not that close to Engineering Quad but are close to College of Business.
Unit One/Allen Hall is close to CRCE which is also a good place to go.



May 8, 2016, 2:57 am


PAR(Pennsylvania Avenue) has the best food and late night dinner which starts at 8pm. However, it is the farthest residual hall from campus and it takes me about 40 mins to walk from ECEB to PAR. However, you can take a bus. NOTE: as last year, PAR has no AC yet so you may want to consider that.

I would suggest ISR because it is the closest one and everyone loves its special dinner–A Taste of Asia on Wednesday.(When you arrive, be sure to download UIUC Dining App to check menu every week.)

I hope it is helpful and WELCOME! You will love here.