This week was my last first day of school ever. It was an extremely weird and ultimately bittersweet feeling to know that after this semester, I will never be a student at Illinois again. The next time I visit campus, I’ll be an alum at a homecoming game or the parent of a prospective student.
For all the prospective students out there today, I would like to dish out some advice that I wish I would have known as a first semester freshman here at Illinois.
Join a Registered Student Organization (RSO): We are so fortunate here at Illinois to have hundreds of RSOs. Any student can join a group that fits their career goals or personal interests. From newspapers to squirrel watching clubs, there’s so much for everyone to do.
Go to Illini Sporting Events: As a freshman, it is such a cool experience to be part of a Big Ten sports environment, no matter how good or bad a team is. I had the most fun during my early years. I watched the football games from the Block I student section and participated in the famous halftime card stunts. I nearly lost my voice in the Orange Krush basketball student section. I also really enjoyed watching the great Illini men’s club hockey team. The best part about Illinois athletics is that you can be an Illini fan not just for four years, but for life. I will always rep the orange and blue.
Make Tons of Friends: You can never have too many friends at Illinois. Being connected makes the campus feel much smaller. I often forget that campus has 44,000+ students! We are all Illini, and we all have something in common because we celebrate the diversity and individuality of each other. I have learned so much about different cultures and countries because of the people from all over the world who attend Illinois. Become friends with everyone, and your Illinois experience will be better than you ever imagined.
I hope this advice keeps you inspired and empowered to have the best possible experience here at Illinois! I wish I could start all over and be a freshman again!