UIUC things to do

10 Things To Do When Your Friend From Home Comes To Visit You At UIUC

Bringing a part of home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus makes any activity more fun!


One of the coolest things about going to a college away from home is when your friend from home comes to visit! Here are 10 ideas of things to do on campus.

10.  Go ice skating at the Campus Recreation Ice Arena.

Ice skating is a super fun activity! And at U of I, there is an ice skating rink at the campus rec center by Armory. Whether you both are good at it or are both bad at it, do it. And if both of you fall, it is alright because you two are doing it together.

9. Take them to a party.

If your friend is up for it, take them to a party! Especially around by Armory Street, fraternities, apartment crawls, you name it! Just be safe while having fun!

8. Shop and dine on Green Street.

Shopping is such a fun thing to do, especially when your friend is in town. Go by Green Street and definitely check out Ragstock and/or Urban Outfitters for the most retro clothes! To eat afterward, there are many options such as Panera Bread, Panda Express, Potbelly's, and Mia Za's.

7. Take them to a lecture

If your friend comes during a school week, take them to a lecture. Say you do not talk to anyone in STAT 100 class filled with a ton of students, at least you will have someone to goof around with. Pay attention, or at least try to.

6. Go to Illinites

A great experience that UIUC offers is called Illini Nites, which are free movie nights at the Illini Union every Friday and Saturday evening. Plus, they offer free popcorn and show awesome movies such as "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Get Out”

5. Visit Downtown Champaign

A total must during your friend's visit is going to Downtown Champaign. From snazzy restaurants like Nando Milano, or cool sights like the "Mr. Eggwards" sculpture, there are a wide range of things to do! If you both are city kids, use Downtown Champaign as a chance to gain more perspective.

4. Go to Merry Ann's

When in doubt, eat it out. And where? Merry Ann's Diner! From amazing milkshakes to tasty burgers, Merry Ann's diner is a great place to dine and chat. Additionally, it is open 24 hours! P.S. this is a great go-to spot after a long night of partying.

3. Introduce them to your college buddies

Now that your friend from home is in town, introduce them to your new niche! Show them how you and your college buddies take the campus by storm!

2. Give a tour of campus 

Show your home friend around the UIUC campus! Show them the Quad, walk by the Ikenberry Commons, go to the Undergraduate Library, and more! It is a great way to recap all of the things you have done so far in the school year. And you will definitely see the celebrities of the campus: squirrels! Lots and lots of squirrels...

1. Make every moment count

Ensure that your friend is enjoying their visit! Remember, they busted a mission to come see you. Be with them occasionally and make sure they are comfortable. Because once the end of the visit hits, you want to able to say "See you later” knowing your friend enjoyed their visit!

Having a weekend with your friend(s) from home really adds on to the college experience. You get to show them how you are adapting to the UIUC lifestyle and hope they enjoy themselves enough to come visit again! College friends are the ones who stay with you for the rest of your life, but it would not hurt to keep the close friends from home who have made an impact on your life prior (and still do to this day).

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.


Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.


A girl who is sad to go

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.


So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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