- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: F
- High School: Neuqua Valley
- Transfer Student: N
I think Illinois is the perfect campus. It's large enough that you feel like you are in a small city, but you still have that security knowing that everybody that walks by you is a student or faculty. There is always so much to do: campus-sponsored events, bars or restaurants on Green Sreet, or shops, bars and clubs in Champaign and Urbana. The mall is only 15 minutes away by bus. The bus system is amazing, you can get anywhere you have to for free. I have never met someone that goes to Illinois that does not love it. School pride here is immeasurable, everyone wears Illinois gear, and sports games are filled with students cheering.
Illinois is definitely a big school that has millions of opportunities to make it small. Sure, lectures are huge and your professor won't know your name if you only go to class and stay quiet; but, they all offer office hours that very few people actually take advantage of. It's a great time for them to get to know you, and for you to become familiar with their thought process and expectations. You have to get involved in student organizations too. Not only are they a great way to meet people, but they are a way to further integrate into your major and career path. Illinois students definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. In a campus with over 35,000 students, there is every type of person within a ten mile radius.
There is every kind of student from every kind of background at Illinois. Although many students are from the Chicago suburbs, do not go to Illinois thinking these are the only kind of people you will meet. All of my friends are of different ethnicities and financial backgrounds. There are many international students studying at Illinois. Every time I walk around the quad, I hear at least three different languages being spoken. The vast majority of students dress in t-shirts and jeans to go to class. Again, Urbana-Champaign is student city, so we're all on the same boat. Going out, however, is a different story. Girls wear dresses and high heels, and boys wear nice t-shirts or collared shirts sometimes. From my experience in the Engineering departments, I have not encountered many politically active people; however, in the Engineering departments, future money is always a strong topic.
The Best Things
Diversity, location, entertainment, lifestyle.
The Worst Things
The winter trek between classes can be very discouraging.