Freshman Year: The Sequel

Coming onto campus this year as a sophomore, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what life on campus was like. I know my way around pretty well, couldn’t wait to revisit all of my favorite spots I had missed, and was so ready to catch up with my friends. One thing I didn’t expect was to feel like a lost freshman all over again!

Although I had spent last year on campus as a freshman, I felt like I still had an excellent experience. Coming to campus this year, however, made me realize just how much my class missed out on. 

I’m so thankful that sophomores were allowed to attend Welcome Week activities. Getting the opportunity to see Ava Max and Colin Jost perform before classes started was such an exciting introduction to the year and will be memories I will forever cherish. 

I never thought I would be so excited to sit in a classroom again, but after a year and a half of online classes, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! My appreciation has grown immensely for the beautiful buildings across campus, and my passion for learning has been reignited by working and interacting with my classmates. 

As a sports fan, getting to attend my first Illinois football game as a student was beyond exciting! I felt such a sense of community sitting in the student section, taking part in all of the traditions I’d eagerly been waiting for, like dancing with the Marching Illini and singing along to Hail to the Orange. 

After seeing campus so calm and quiet last year, the bustling campus this year has helped me to remember why I chose Illinois. Going to school on such a big campus with so many exciting things to do has given me the opportunity to meet so many people and experience so many things I otherwise never would have! Experiencing the strength of the community around me reminded me of why I’m so proud to be an Illini.


Class of 2024
I’m a social work major with a passion for people and the betterment of society. Listening to my friends share their experiences sparked my love for the University of Illinois, so I can’t wait to share my own with prospective and incoming students!

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