Congratulations, New Illini!

First of all, congratulations to the class of 2022! You are the future of the University of Illinois, and we couldn’t be more proud and honored to have you!

Now you have a tough decision to make: Which college should you choose? Rather than persuade you with statistics, I’m going to let my experience do the talking.

All through high school, I swore I would never attend the University of Illinois. I did not want to be so close to home, and I wanted to break the mold. Everyone at my high school went to the University of Illinois.

Sound familiar?

Photo from Rachel Hernandez

It took one visit to realize I was home; I was where I belonged.

My freshman year, I had two major feats. First, I wanted to switch majors. Second, I needed a job.

Thanks to the College of Education, switching majors was easy. I simply talked to my advisor and completed a few forms. Within a few days, I had switched from elementary education to middle grades education. This experience taught me to be fearless in changing my career choice, and that the wonderful professors and advisors at the university would support me through it all.

When I decided to apply for jobs on campus, I was given so many resources and options. The university wants to equip its students with the tools to succeed, and they are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you get there. I posted on the class Facebook page, and my peers had great suggestions for places to look for work. I also looked at the Career Center on campus, where the staff and student workers were incredibly helpful.

Photo from Rachel Hernandez

The takeaway is short and simple; The University of Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana community will become your home away from home. The opportunities are endless, the research is inspiring, and the people are so kind.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have! I would be more than happy to help!



Class of 2020
I am studying Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Social Sciences and Literacy in the College of Education. Although I now reside in Champaign, I am originally from Vernon Hills, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.

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