First week of junior year: check! As I begin my third year here at Illinois, it is still a weird feeling to transition from a free, relaxing summer to a strict schedule and a structured daily routine. You would think I would be a pro at this by now, but trust me, there are always new things to learn here on campus!
This year is a little different for me because plans for after college are beginning to be more relevant. Career plans are something I think of more often now, and a lot of the choices I make this year will affect my plans after college. As a student who plans to go to graduate school, there are a lot of things I have to do and questions I want to ask.
Lucky for me, Illinois has an AMAZING Career Center, wonderful advisors in all departments, and numerous events held around campus to provide students like me with information about getting into top graduate programs.
In fact, there are career and health fairs being hosted by the university that are happening in a few weeks to get students started with graduate school planning. I will be attending a few of these events to get connected to admissions advisors and counselors at certain graduate schools that I am interested in.
Now, for a lot of you readers out there, you may be wondering how this is relevant to you. I want to point out that my journey towards graduate school started way back during my first semester of freshman year. I went out of my comfort zone to explore different options I had through going to health care fairs and through talking to deans and professors from schools around the nation. They gave me a lot of advice on what I could do in college to be a competitive and well-rounded applicant for graduate school.
After that first health care fair, I continued to go to events like that to keep me interested in my career choice and to keep me motivated to do my best in my classes.
So, start early! Attending these kinds of events got me a head start on my future. Now I can say that I feel comfortable with where I am and where I see myself in the next few years! College is a lot, and it can feel overwhelming at first, but like Dory says, “Just keep swimming!”