Why Illinois? The Students!
May 1st is coming. (As if you could forget.) While the deadline approaches, current student bloggers like Ria, Alec, and Connie have been blogging about their choice, and in the Admissions Office we have been sending you emails with some of the 200+ reasons to choose Illinois. Lots going on.
Well, I have read the blogs and clicked through the list. They are all helpful in their own way, but I want to talk more about what I consider the most important part of Illinois: Our students, or (hopefully) future you!
To really show you how amazing the people on our campus are, I decided to go out into campus and find some examples to share with you. Field trip!
First I headed to the Main Quad on a sunny afternoon. Students with the Red Cross were doing sign-ups for a blood drive, a Muslim student group was handing out flowers, and other groups were selling flautas and tostatas (yum). I spoke to Lindsay, a senior Advertising major, about Love Every BODY. This group, which advocates on campus to end body shaming, is part of Lindsay’s capstone project for her Leadership minor. Today they were on the Quad taking pictures of people and promoting a positive body image. They have also put together public service announcements that run at the Campus Rec centers. A pretty great way to spend the last few weeks of her senior year and make a positive impact on campus. You go, Lindsay!
Next, I decided the real heroes among our student body are the students who have to put up with me. So I headed over to see what was happening in the I-Star (Admissions Student Worker) cube. When I got there, Gail was ready to help me out. We chatted for awhile about a lot of things—her work in the Infant Cognition Lab, research she did on health disparities in articles, how jealous she is of incoming students, and so on. When I asked what she was most proud of about her time on campus, she went right to working in the Admissions Office. According to Gail, being an I-Star really pushed her personal development and made her more self-assured. Some of her proudest moments are when she gets to take a tour group across the Main Quad and she sees everyone get excited about Illinois. When she leaves campus this spring she is going to head right to graduate school, where she will be studying public health and hopefully continue to share her love of Illinois. 😉
My final stop was this week’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. While I was there I met Lyu and Qin, both sophomore Electrical Engineering students. They took a few minutes to explain their research using satellite images to determine the level of pollution in the air, something that is usually determined using chemical tests. While I am generally confused about most technical things, they both did a great job explaining the steps they took to get to their final image where they determine the pollution level. The crazy part is they were only working on this for a few months! Don’t worry, according to Qin they did still have time to sleep. What really gets me excited is that Lyu and Qin are both sophomores on campus. Think about the work they could do to develop something like this on campus over the next couple of years! Or they could decide to transfer their focus to another area—one of the benefits of being on a research-focused campus. Either way, I am sure they will both be doing some pretty amazing things.
It basically boils down to this: Think about yourself; you are awesome (trust me, you are). When you come to Illinois you are going to become a part of a community with over 44,000 other people who are just as amazing as you, Lindsay, Gail, Lyu, and Qin are for a million different reasons. Any time you get all of those awesome, amazing, super cool, passionate people together, amazing things happen. We look forward to seeing what you do when you join us. #chooseILLINOIS #Illinois2020 #Ithinkthatishowhashtagswork