Throughout my time here at Illinois I have been lucky enough to not only expand my knowledge about biology (my major) but also myself. The thing about college that no one tells you is the learning curve doesn’t just apply to academics. You learn so much about your own tendencies (the good and bad), habits, likes, dislikes, friendship, and (in my opinion the best one) your mind. I hope you all can find some insight in my stories and prepare yourself for your own personal growth here at Illinois.
To kick things off for my first ever blog post, I want to tell you guys about my college application and decision experience. Although this may sound peculiar, when I chose Illinois, I had no idea why. I am the first in my family to attend college and Illinois was the only school I toured. I figured wherever I go I’ll be fine. Reflecting back on it, I am so grateful for having chosen Illinois. I have been granted an uncountable number of opportunities. At the moment, I didn’t realize how big of a decision choosing what school to go to was. But now as I think about it, its a really responsible thing to be doing while still taking on the rigor of high school. I want to offer a few pieces of advice that senior in high school Julissa would have really appreciated.
- It is okay to not know what you want to major in. Illinois Division of General Studies is full of really amazing advisors who can help you really find what you are interested in. Sometimes I wish I would have gone into DGS.
- Although Mom and Dad (or any other family or friends) may want you to pursue a certain major or school that you’re not really sure you’ll like, it’s your life and college experience. Have a talk with them explaining your concerns and let them know of the countless other opportunities available at Illinois they may not even know about.
- Things are not always going to go the way you expect. No matter where you decide to go, try to make it the best experience. When I was coming to Illinois, I was so worried I was not going to have any friends. I chose to live in a very social residence hall in hopes of meeting others. But once on campus I still had a hard time talking to people (I’m kinda awkward until you get to know me). Although I didn’t make too many friends in my residence hall, I went to Quad Day and joined a few RSOs. I ended up becoming best friends with my roommate and joining an awesome RSO (Illini 4000) in which I made a ton of new friends. At the end of this post, I included a photo of all the new friends I made, who in fact I still keep in touch with. I am so grateful that the experience turned out the way it did.
I really hope this clears some nerves for some of you who may be taking on this college application and selection process. Illinois has some amazing admission advisors who are always here to answer questions about anything Illinois. If you have a chance, come down for a tour and I just may be your guide. Despite the circumstances you may be in right now, I hope you find the right University or college for you. There’s a home for everyone at Illinois, I hope you all can find yours.
Till next time, friends.