The freshman experience

By Masaki Sugimoto





Editor’s note: Four incoming freshmen share their hopes for their first year at the University. At the end of the spring semester, we will meet them again and see how the year went.

Abrielle Joseph

Downers Grove, Illinois

Major: Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

DI: What made you choose your major and what do you hope to get out of it?

AJ: In a nutshell, I have always been interested in science. I wanted to try and incorporate that with law … I’m planning to try and go to law school or do something with the legal system. I kind of see my ideal career being an environmental lawyer … I’ve always enjoyed learning about law and government, and I just want to find a way to try and help the environment any way I can.

DI: What are your goals for your freshman year?

AJ: My one goal is to successfully audition for and make one of the on-campus a cappella choirs.

DI: What do you hope to get out of your college experience?

AJ: I definitely want a positive experience … A lot of people tell me that college is going to be the best four years of your life. And I definitely want to prove that right.

DI: What’s one thing you’re bringing with you to college that you definitely couldn’t live without?

AJ: Everybody would say their phone, so of course my phone, but especially the pictures that I have on my phone and that I have printed out, just of my friends and family and other experiences.

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Jerry Li

Vancouver, British Columbia (originally from Shenzhen, China)

Major: Actuarial Science

DI: What made you choose your major and what do you hope to get out of it?

JL: I chose my major because I am interested in assessing the risks associated with everything and would like to continue to assess risks in my future career. I hope that through my learnings at the University, I will be able to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental knowledge needed to succeed in the field of actuarial science and successfully transition into graduate school, where I will major in finance in order to pursue a future career as a financial actuary.

DI: What are you most excited about?

JL: I am most excited about the clubs that are available at UIUC. I have done some research myself and have found out that there is a sailing club, an airsoft club, an automobile club, as well as a hot tub club. I am excited about these clubs because they are either about activities that I have tried before or are centered around interesting subjects. I am looking forward to being a part of them and having lots of fun. Work hard, play hard!

DI: What do you hope to get out of your college experience?

JL: Academics aside, I hope that my university experience will help me meet more people who share the same interests and hobbies as me and help me construct lifelong friendships. I also hope that during my years at UIUC, I will be able to familiarize myself with different hobbies and activities and become a more well-rounded person.

DI: What’s one thing you’re bringing with you to college that you definitely couldn’t live without?

JL: My iPad is one thing I am bringing to the University that I believe I could not live without. My iPad contains many apps that I use frequently to communicate with my friends across the globe, to relax and have fun and to learn about what is going on around the world.

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Sohan Sarkar

Troy, Michigan

Major: Economics with a minor in Computer Science

DI: What made you choose your major, and what do you hope to get out of it?

SS: I developed my passion for economics when I first took an economics class in the ninth grade. I knew shortly after that it was a subject that I loved profoundly … My commitment to the subject, coupled with the support from my family, motivated me to choose economics as my major. By studying economics, I hope to be able to gain a better understanding of world issues while simultaneously thinking of economic solutions to these problems. An economics degree can help me get a job in a plethora of fields, including finance, which is my first choice.

DI: What do you hope to get out of your college experience?

SS: College, from what I’ve heard, can be really busy and terrifying but also really fun at the same time. I want to be able to maximize the fun. I am looking to immerse myself into the different RSOs that interest me on campus while also pushing myself academically … Furthermore, I want to build relationships that will last a lifetime with friends as well as professors. I hope to make college the best time of my life, a time I will look back at and want to return to over and over again.

DI: What are you most anxious about?

SS: To be honest, I am only anxious about one thing this year: my calculus class.

DI: What’s one thing you’re bringing with you to college that you definitely couldn’t live without?

SS: My confidence. As cheesy as it may sound, my confidence is what has gotten me this far, and I wouldn’t be half the man I am today had it not been for my confidence.

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JJen Behrens

Wauconda, Illinois

Major: Psychology

DI: What made you choose your major and what do you hope to get out of it?

JB: I am a psychology major, but I plan to double major in psychology and chemical engineering, if that’s possible. It’s a unique combination. I’m a multi-interested person. Psychology really draws me because I’m a people person. I like to analyze behavior and figure people out. And chemical engineering, I like that major because I really like science, and I’m into being hands-on, making things and also making the world a better place … I would love to be engineering my own products, like laundry detergent or shampoo. My dream job would be engineering my own line of shampoo. And then I would market it myself.

DI: What are you most excited about?

JB: I’m excited to meet lots of new people, and I’m excited to know that the people I meet the first day, I might not see the next day. I might not ever see them again. I’ve never experienced something like that in my life. Coming from a small high school, I see those people every day. I’m interested to see how relationships and friendships will be formed.

DI: What are your goals for your freshman year?

JB: One of my main goals is to not worry about making mistakes too much. Everyone always gets worried about college and making mistakes. I don’t want to specifically worry about anything. I also want to learn. I want to prioritize my learning versus my grades. I think those are two different things.

DI: What’s one thing you’re bringing with you to college that you definitely couldn’t live without?

JB: My keepsakes: my Kairos notebook and photo albums of my family. So, spiritual things that are special to me and also just photos of my loved ones. I don’t think I could survive without having those reminders.

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