This piece is a continuation of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign question and answer session with Jayson Bulaon. Read part one.
Some schools like to boast about smaller class sizes and not getting lost in a crowd, where did your classes fall on that scale?
The sizes varied depending on what kind of class I was taking. I remember my chemistry and physics classes had over 300 kids. Then my slightly more advanced math classes would have about 25 to 30 people. Discussions always fell around 20 to 25 students a class. However, all of my Aerospace classes had around 90 people – which was everyone in my grade level and major.
Overall, how were your experiences with professors/staff?
Not too bad. I actually did research under one of them and even worked with a couple of them. They seem unapproachable if you only see them during lectures, but they’re totally different people when you go to the office hours and whatnot. Overall, the ones I interacted with are friendly and understanding.
The Foellinger Auditorium was dedicated in 1907 and anchors the south end of U of I’s Main Quad. Photo by Katie Pitrowski.
Did a lot of people you went to high school with go to U of I also?
Kind of, I guess. I didn’t really hang out with anyone from high school. I wanted to start college with a clean, fresh slate so as soon as I moved in, I started networking like crazy. It was great because it helped me leave high school drama back in high school where it belonged.
How did that affect you?
It forced me to work on my social skills and to be more open minded.
What would you say is the worst thing about U of I? Why?
Nothing is really bad about the campus. If anything, I feel like my class advisor didn’t do too well. He’d always refer me to other advisors who would then refer me to others. I feel like, as an advisor, you should look for the answer for me.
What was the best part about Urbana or Champaign itself?
The fact that you only have to be 19 years old to get into the bars is awesome, especially after all the stress that school puts you through.
Where was your favorite place to go?
In terms of bars/parties, it varies. Freshman-sophomore year, Joe’s and Clybournes were my favorites. Junior-senior year, it became Brothers and Firehaus. However, apartment parties top going to the bars.
In terms of places to study, the Grainger Library – second floor or basement – are the best places to go to for the available space and noise levels.
In terms of restaurants, we may have to break it down by types of food but mainly, Cravings Chinese restaurant is the best.
In terms spotting legitimately cute females bred for being someone’s girlfriend – not the ones only good for hook-ups in bars – I’d say the main quad.
It’s rough trying to a pick a college, what’s your advice for high school juniors/seniors?
Apply to a lot and make sure to drive down to check the college out. Google can only tell you so much. Then when you do visit, talk to the professors, check out the classroom sizes, and speak to students with the same major as what you’re thinking about. When you speak to a student, talk to either a junior or a senior. Do your research.
Is there anything else you’d like to add at this time?
Always remember that you get what you put into your college career. So go out, have fun, explore, and make a lot of friends. College isn’t like high school, the education that you get from this is really what matters because it will define what you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life. Also, don’t let your grades falter during freshman and sophomore year, you’ll regret it junior and senior year when GPA is taken into consideration by job recruiters. And join student organizations. A lot of scholarships and awards offered by universities for juniors and seniors require you to be involved with their campus to stand a chance in winning.
For more info: Visit Illinois.edu and part one of the UIUC Q&A.