Outside the City: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Among the many things that changed for me this summer, I began my graduate program! After many months of debating about what steps I wanted to take in my career, crushing realizations that I was not ready to pursue a PhD yet, and loving the break from constant papers and readings that came with working full time, I decided to join the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s Graduate School in Library and Information Science (GSLIS) for my Masters in Library of Information Science (MLIS). The best part: U of I has a program called LEEP, which allows students to take the full course offerings on campus from a distance, so I can work on the program while living in Chicago!
We did have to go to campus for a 1 week intensive class and orientation, so mid-summer I packed up my car and drove down to stay at U of I for a week of adventures. I had only been to campus once before, as a freshman in high school, so I remembered almost nothing about the campus. I hadn’t considered any Big 10s for my undergrad, so I was a little apprehensive about if I would like the campus, students in my program, etc. 
Luckily, I had nothing to worry about. The campus was great for the week stay, the people I met in my program were awesome, and GSLIS was a really cool little graduate school on a big campus. Espresso Royale, which I hear is a campus/community favorite, was literally right on the corner between my building and the grad school and was perfect for my daily caffeine fix!  While I ended up having to leave the class early due to a medical emergency, I had a great time and it definitely set me on the right track for my classes this fall. 

One benefit I did discover about a big school: so much U of I pride everywhere! I bought my very first U of I pullover while I was on campus, and I’m looking forward to actually having a team to root for on TV during the college basketball/football seasons 🙂
Go Illini!
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