To All The Seniors Graduating High School, Here Are 10 Reasons To Apply To Illinois State University
"Go you Redbirds, onto battle! Fight for ISU."
College decisions can be pretty stressful. Choosing the right school for you isn't always easy — so many factors go into your decision process. While you could find yourself struggling along the way, I'm here to lend you a hand. As I finish my first year at Illinois State University, I can't help but reminisce on why I fell in love with this school.
A beautiful campus with a small-school feel
ILSTU has one of the most beautiful campuses, in my opinion. Walking the quad will make you feel like Illinois isn't JUST cornfields. It reminds me of a stereotypical college movie when everyone is out walking in the summer, music playing, and hammocks everywhere. It's cliche, but it's true. The campus is well-maintained. All of the buildings are within walking distance — unless you live in Tri Towers (TBH, sucks to be you). But even if you were to sleep in late, you could still find a nearby bus stop, where the Connect Bus would come by to take you anywhere on campus.
A variety of stores and restaurants found in Uptown Normal
Uptown is right next to campus, so it's not hard to miss. Every student who attends here will at least visit this place once. It has a great nightlife, pubs, restaurants, shops, events, and Instagram-worthy murals. It's always packed with people; it's a great addition to the community here.
A diverse population that allows different backgrounds to form great friendships
Friendship is important, to one degree or another, for everyone. But when you go through college, not only you expand your knowledge but also develop as a person. Every single person you meet in college will help you grow you as a person. Whether it is a sorority, club, or a classroom, you will always be meeting new people from different backgrounds. Here at Illinois State, the struggle to make friends is pretty unlikely with everything offered to us.
Big-time athletic events to attend and enjoy
This is one of my favorite parts about Illinois State University. If you are like me, you will love seeing big-time athletic events. At ISU, you get to experience some of the nation's best collegiate athletic teams personally. Not only do you have the opportunity to see these events, but it is very reasonable and cheap for students. Going out to see the football game with friends on the weekend or taking a study break to go watch a basketball game makes my college experience better.
A one-of-a-kind recreation center that can help fight the infamous freshman 15
You might think you'll never go to the gym. But when you gain fifteen pounds your freshman year, you might begin to. Illinois State has a great recreation center. There's a lot of different choices in equipment and what you can do, and I think that's really important. It also has a Starbucks! If you never end up working out, the rec center does look aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
The amount of free things available to students
I probably have received over 20 free shirts in my first year here. Illinois State, being a public university, always has tables on the quad passing out free shirts and pencils. At the beginning of the year, there is also a festival where all the clubs line the campus and pass out free stuff that represents their organization.
A selection of amazing professors who want you to succeed (just not in math)
I have only been here a year, so obviously I do not know ALL the professors. But, I have yet to meet a professor that I didn't like. And, my advisors are great. I am finishing my freshman year as a psychology major with a minor in linguistics. My advisors are all really good at helping me figure out what to take and exactly when to take it because it can get difficult with everything meshing together at the same time in college. When you have a university that wants to see you succeed, you can tell by the guidance they offer for classes — it makes you feel like you have someone on your side who understands that transitioning from small class size to lectures with 200+ students is a big change.
A home away from home
The thing I like the most about Illinois State is that the people are very friendly. Even though ISU is only one hour away from my home, it's very different. I usually see endless smiles and laughs every day while walking through the campus. Being in this kind of atmosphere can allow anyone to succeed. The campus gives a small school feel, but with 20,000+ students, you barely ever run into the same person twice. After your first year here, ISU will start to truly feel like a home away from home.
A fun dorm life for underclassmen
In the dorms, your friends are only a couple of doors away. The girl I'm rooming with next year lived on my floor my very first semester. Even though some may complain about the dining hall food, my favorite place to eat on campus would probably be Watterson. It's made right for you, whatever you order. Even having a lot of dietary restrictions, I definitely don't go hungry with my meal plan.
All of the clubs and endless opportunities
I've had friends transfer here, so I always tell them to join a club. That's where you find your family away from home. That's how I got comfortable here — when I finally found, you know, my people. Illinois State has opened my eyes to the world around me and everything I can do with my life. The people, staff, and fellow students encourage greatness and will allow you to succeed in anything you chose to do in life. They made me realize that I can change the world, and I can do it regardless of the obstacles in my path.