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:
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.
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.