LAS Insider blog for prospective students

These students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences write about their personal experiences and insights throughout the academic year at the University of Illinois. They offer an inside look at the College of LAS and University of Illinois.

Happy Finals Week—may the odds be ever in your favor. It’s that time of the year again. It’s funny, it hasn’t gotten bitterly cold and the sun is still out and then finals week rolls around and it’s freezing and overcast. This is a very stressful time for most students on campus, but there can also be good times too; those late hours in the library where you and your friends end up laughing about any little thing. You don’t have class so you can use all the extra time to catch up on rest, relax, and study (then repeat). As this will by my fifth round with Finals Week I figured I’d reflect on my experience and what I have learned from my peers and share them!
I can honestly say that being an LAS 101 intern has been one of the greatest experiences in my time at this university.
Saturday afternoons during the fall means one thing on this campus: football season! Nothing can compare to seeing all the Orange and Blue flood the streets of Champaign-Urbana as alumni, students, and fans alike come from all over the state to support the Illini.
Ever since I was a kid, I knew that I loved science. I’ve been aware about my interest for years; it just wasn’t until last year that I realized how much I love teaching science. At the beginning of this semester, my roommate told me about a class she was going to take: CHEM 199, a course where you’d go into a classroom once a week to teach science. I immediately signed up, and since then my partner and I have been teaching lessons to a class full of kindergarteners once a week.
In order to graduate with a degree in biochemistry, I am required to submit a senior thesis. Generally, a thesis is a formal report of one’s research, detaining the research problem, experimental approach, results, and interpretation of those results. Completing a thesis involves joining a research lab on campus and working on an independent project. At the end of the year, the thesis will be written up and submitted to both the department and the college for approval.
As a senior currently on the job market, I am realizing how important it is to develop professional skills early on.
With so many Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) on campus, there are a ton of opportunities to get involved in what you love. From intramural sports, to singing groups, and any hobby you can think of, there’s an incredible amount of RSOs you can join to have fun in your free time. But sometimes the most rewarding experience in extracurricular activities is giving back to the community through volunteer work.
If you asked me three years ago about my college plans, I would have told you that as a pre-med student, I would be studying all day trying to get those perfect scores.
During Spring Break, I traveled to Santa Ana, Costa Rica, where I volunteered in a medical clinic for the week.
Finding a mentor in an academic setting can lead to a nurturing relationship. Building strong ties with a professor whose interest you share can lead to not only a more fulfilling classroom experience, but it can also lead to conversations about turning your interests to more specialized areas and becoming better versed in your field.