The following is North alumna Aishwarya Rajesh’s response to our questions about her college decision process, the student life and culture at UIUC, and more.
Rajesh graduated North in 2019.
UIUC not only has a fantastic engineering program, but they also really emphasize hands-on learning right from the start—which is pretty unique to the school. In addition, the school provides me with endless opportunities inside and outside of class so that I can explore different interests, even if they don’t align with my major.
In terms of access, we are close to major cities like Chicago and St. Louis, but we don’t really need to travel outside the Urbana-Champaign area for anything. Literally everything we need is right here.
After receiving all my decisions, I weighed in factors such as school culture, location, and financial aid, ultimately choosing UIUC. For me personally, I valued a strong engineering program and a spirited culture, and I knew that this university was where I wanted to be for the next four years.
As soon as I got onto campus, I knew that I made the right choice. I love studying at a school that is this diverse, and I get the opportunity to constantly meet new people.
Photo Credit: linguistics.illinois.edu
I do get homesick, but being with supportive people helps me overcome that feeling. I miss my family the most, and try to FaceTime them as much as possible.
My favorite things are the people, the opportunities, and the extracurriculars (FIZAA – dance team, TEDxUIUC – finance team, SWE – chair).
Because I do a good amount of things on campus, the hardest thing I’ve had to face here is learning to manage my time well.
Though we’re a very diverse population, all of us are similar in that we love our school and are very spirited, especially when it comes to (football/basketball) game days. Being with the right people (aka supportive friends and mentors) makes the big campus feel much smaller.
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