23 Signs You Go To UIS

23 Signs You Go To UIS

"What's a Prairie Star?"
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Every college has unique things about it, and the same is true for UIS. UIS (The University of Illinois in Springfield) is the 3rd branch of the University of Illinois school system. Call me bias, but I think that our campus is the best. Whether it be that we are famous for our annual Springfest event, or our cafeteria's fried rice, UIS has many things that make it special to its students and alumni. So here are some signs that everyone that currently attends UIS (or has in the past) can relate to.

1. You are used to waiting in long lines to get food at PAC.

But it is worth it because our school's food is usually much better than other colleges.

2. You get the "what's a prairie star" question all the time from your family and friends.

You don't even know what it is yourself.

3. You are used to the UIS police stopping all the fun at parking lot parties.

Just when our campus starts to look like a campus, the police shut it down.

4. You have to eat your food at PAC with a plastic fork because they are always "out of" metal forks.

And the plastic forks are so flimsy, they don't even cut through a piece of chicken.

5. Springfest is the best event at UIS.

The mug tug-a-war is like Prairie Star heaven.

6. You love having access to HBOGO while on campus, but hate having to go home for the summer and not have access to it.

Sorry I'm "not currently living on campus," but I'm still a student, dammit!

7. You are just as confused as everyone else as to why UIS has random looking statues / sculptures all over campus, like the famous french fry one.

Who even invented the french fry statue?! And what for?!

8. The Abraham Lincoln statue was the best thing to happen to UIS.

Look how happy the Chancellor looks.

9. You've probably waited in line for an hour to get fried rice from Showtime.

But it's always worth it.

10. You know it's going to be a good day when PAC's daily special is funnel fries.

They should make funnel fries apart of the every day menu.

11. Hearing a professor say that he/she attended here when it was still Sangamon State.

Whoa. So cool. Please tell me more. Please.

12. Moving from the dorms to a townhouse or apartment is the best day of your life.

No more checking guests in!

13. You're used to the homecoming game being a soccer game because UIS doesn't have a football team.

Which confuses almost everyone who has even heard of your school.

14. Walking up the library's stairs got you like...

If you take the underground tunnel, you also have to deal with stair Hell.

15. Dorm rooms are referred to as residence halls.

What's the difference exactly?

16. When people ask you where you go to school.

You have to tell people that your school is literally in the middle of a cornfield.

17. You are forever waiting for the Student Union.

Supposedly it's being built, but all they have done is a "driveway".

18. You are convinced that the Shop24 will never actually work.

And when it does work they are always out of the good stuff, such as mac 'n cheese and Hot Pockets.

19. Your weekends are three days long because there are no Friday classes.

If you're not a science major that is. Or else you're stuck with 8 a.m. labs on Friday's.

20. You're convinced 90 percent of the people that attend here are from the Chicago area.

But for those that are from California or Europe, how did you even hear of this school?

21. You love that your diploma will be from the University of Illinois.

We get to look fancy.

22. The fountain under the Colonnade is your only pool for the year.

It is tradition for the Freshmen to run through it to be "inducted".

23. You love your school, the people in it, and you are forever grateful for having the opportunity to go to the great school of the Prairie Stars.

All in all, UIS is a great school and you wouldn't trade it for anything. Especially the amazing people you have met over the years.

Cover Image Credit: Hero Sports

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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