Admitted students day should reassure University students


The Daily Illini

Students coming out to enjoy Quad Day on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016.

By Hayley Nagelberg, Columnist

There is a look in a senior student’s eyes their last few weeks here on campus — taking in their favorite sights a few more times, remembering with fondness the one-of-a-kind experiences they had at different places on campus.

There is a look in a freshman student’s eyes the first few weeks on campus — overwhelmed by the sheer number of people here, feeling rushed and lost going from class to class.  

And there is a look in the eyes of the high school students who walked around campus this weekend attending admitted students programs.  The look in the admitted students’ eyes is different than the others, because it is a mix of every possible emotion and thought — anxiety, fear, excitement, certainty and so much more.

This past weekend, there were orange drawstring bags all around campus with high school seniors, their doting parents and some disgruntled little siblings in tow.

It was amazing to see these prospective students, not only because I got to see a month’s worth of planning a day for admitted students pay off, but also because I got to see how much I have grown and changed since I was in the place they all stood.

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The weeks leading up to spring break can be stressful.  Everyone is cramming for midterms, figuring out summer internships or maybe even accepting first full-time jobs or graduate school offers. All of this while still trying to continue making memories with friends on campus and not be concerned solely with counting down to more endings.

College of ACES Dean Kimberlee Kidwell said to students over the weekend that she was giving the admitted students permission to be a little awkward and reach out to the other students present.  She told them to take the opportunity to introduce themselves and make friends so that when they come back in the fall they will see familiar faces and feel more at ease.

It is frequently said to students entering college that eventually everyone will figure it out and find their place.  It is hard to remember not knowing my way around this campus, or not knowing which friends I was going to hang out with at night, so I guess all those people were right. We all do figure it out eventually.

In a weird way, seeing all the admitted students in the exact same semi-panicked/semi-excited place I was two years ago is oddly reassuring.  If there is a way to make it from that place to where I am today, then that means all of us on campus can also get through the rest of our time on campus and join the amazing ranks of Illini alumni in the future.

Sometimes taking a trip down memory lane brings up a lot of emotions, but seeing the admitted students on campus this weekend presented an opportunity to see ourselves as we were in the past and envision what the future holds.

Hayley is a sophomore in ACES.

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