A College Freshman’s Perspective: Why I Selected the University of Illinois

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

You’re juggling college application deadlines, your current schoolwork, and now your mom’s on your back about ordering graduation announcements.

Just when you didn’t think it could get any worse, the second question you got asked Thanksgiving dinner was…

“So where are you going to college next year?”

If this doesn’t sound like your life right now, don’t worry, that will change soon.

Feeling Lost in a Forest of Colleges?

When I began the ultimate college decision process, I compared it to someone abandoning me in the middle of a dimly-lit forest, among a thousand different paths that could take me millions of places.

Choose,” a voice would say…and I would try my best to take a few steps down each path, in an effort to see what life would be like on it through college visits and hours of online research.

When it comes time for you to take your own side trips down your paths of choice, keep these 3 things in mind:

Don’t Let “Prestige” Intimidate You

First, no matter how big or prestigious the school, don’t, I repeat DON’T let intimidation get in the way of asking questions or letting curiosity take you places.  Let yourself be slightly selfish, remembering that this is your future we’re talking about.

Don’t Feel Forced To Select a Major Right Away

Never allow yourself to forget the fact that you’re young, and setting your major in stone now is like choosing who your best college friends are going to be before you even get there.

Simply put, know that it is completely acceptable and common to change your major.  Never choose a college solely because it offers the major you are so sure you’ll graduate with.

Are You Inspired and Motivated?

No matter how independent you are at home, how great your grades are, and how motivated you currently are, brace yourself for the fact that you will soon be away from your parents and all the things that presently motivate you.

You’ll be thrust into a world full of sweatpants and life-supporting coffee.  In the world of college, “8am’s” are practically a sin and coffee is its only penance.

So do yourself a favor and pick the campus that inspires and motivates you the most.  This way you’re assured to kick butt and still have energy left to have fun at the end of the day!

As daunting as the decision process can be, with these things in mind my college selection was clear.  I am now a freshman at the University I felt most inspired and motivated by while visiting, even though it started out at the very bottom of my list.

  • The moral of the story: choose the college you’re going to be productive at. It doesn’t take an Einstein to tell you that.

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Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor

Kaitlyn Taylor is a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in Spanish. She comes from a small farm town of 1,000 in West-Central Illinois, making the transition to a large campus challenging. At school Kaitlyn is involved with the University’s Women Glee Choir, and also sings in her Church choir and is involved with her residence hall’s Resident Board. She enjoys writing, biking, and volunteering.
Kaitlyn Taylor

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