Let me start this saying I surprised myself with my choice of college. Up until about August of this year, I was dead set on college in a city. I love moving quickly, I love the possibility of an endless amount of new restaurants, and I love coffee + early mornings. So why wouldn’t I go to college a place equally as stressed out as I always seem to be?

But let’s get real here for a quick second, the more I thought about college in a city, the more worried I became that I would be lacking the “true college experience” that I had gotten my heart set on. I started questioning how much missing out on having a school that loved their sports would impact me. Being on cheer for almost every year of high school [no matter how much I complained about it] made me excited for big games and getting to feel a part of the rush of excitement that came alongside with it.

Even more than that, I started to wonder if I would miss the midwestern charm that I have grown up with. The niceties of Kansas City seemed to be a weak point in New York, where cab drivers would get in fights with pedestrians just for the fun of it.

So, frustrated with my lack of clarity on a subject I thought was an easy answer, I looked around. I knew that although I love the midwest charm, the idea of a Kansas or Missouri state school was too close to home. I wanted to still be close to a city which knocked out a few previous front runners as well. The music and food culture of a town drove me to wanting a school that felt like home, but not Kansas City-home.

The day I set foot on campus at Illinois, it clicked. A school with a high ranking architecture and design program, a great town with plenty of restaurants to explore, and a quad that had squirrels shipped onto it in order to “make students happier”, it was the perfect place for me. The proximity to both Chicago and St. Louis was another bonus point, as I had the ability to get my dose of city as often as I wanted, while still getting the “true college campus experience” excited me more than anything else.

So, pop some bubbly, I get to spend the next 4 years in Champaign!


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