Small steps lead to big decisions



T pain is lit

By Arden Youn, Staff Writer

We don’t often realize that the little decisions we make are actually big ones until we look back and reflect on the time passed. Graduating seniors at the University reflect on how a decision, whether it seemed large or small at the time, affected their college careers.

The most obvious decision would be declaring a major. For every college student, this is a milestone. Kelly Frentzel declared a finance major through the required core classes at the Gies College of Business.

“Coming to college, I didn’t know what major I wanted to do, but after a year and a half, and learning what business entailed, I realized that I gravitated towards finance classes,” Frentzel said. “I also learned via job shadows that a finance career was what I wanted.”

Mackenzie Large, however, came into the University undeclared.

“I wasn’t sure what major I wanted to be, but I joined the pre-optometry club, and the people in the club filled me in and helped me choose my major, so that kind of changed my whole experience,” Large said. “We went on visits to different colleges, so it was kind of fun taking a day trip with people my own age. I ended up choosing MCB as my major.”

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
Thank you for subscribing!

As students enter college, they are presented with countless organizations to join, whether on Quad Day, RSO info nights or through friends.

For Deanne Chun and Nick Wong, joining organizations helped them meet people who were passionate about what they were doing. Chun joined the Communication Association to get more insight on the communications major and to get more practical experience outside of the classroom environment.

“I was the president last year, and this gave me my very first leadership experience and opened up wonderful opportunities to meet amazing people,” Chun said.

Wong rushed Beta Alpha Psi, a financial honor organization, as a rising junior for its diversity, inclusivity and activities.

“As I become more invested in my career growth, the activities through BAP is what made the difference,” Wong said. “I was given countless mentors and opportunities to grow from interview training to building strong relationships with our alumni in the working world.”

Aside from the professional aspect of this organization, Wong also values the relationships that stemmed from it.

“The friends that I have made in BAP are the ones that I will carry with me after college. Despite being brought together (through) business interests, there is rarely a time where you are not (experiencing) life with another BAP member,” Wong said.

For seniors like Sydni Wilson, one move and encounter led to a University job and a lifelong friend. She chose to live in Nugent Hall her sophomore year, and she attended the Tunnel of Oppression on a whim.

“I went through it with my friends just do to something for fun,” Wilson said.

During this event, she met Trish Anton, the current associate director of University Housing.

“She ended up changing my whole undergraduate career because she listened to me as a student and was inspired by me as a student. She pushed me to do stuff that I would never do and get outside of my comfort zone,” Wilson said.

Anton helped her get a job with University Housing as well.

“Ever since then, she’s been one of the main people in my corner,” Wilson said. “She’s helped when my mom wasn’t able to come up for events, so it’s just nice to have family when you’re not home.”

Seniors, look back on your college experiences and think on what made them most meaningful. For students who still have time, enjoy your time and tackle those essential decisions; they may become your most memorable and significant moments at the University.

[email protected]