Opinion | What is your greatest accomplishment as a student?

By Raphael Ranola and Aaron Anastos

In keeping with the theme of I on Illini, Opinions Editor Raphael Ranola and Assistant Opinions Editor Aaron Anastos asked students out on the Main Quad what they felt their greatest achievement was during their time as a student at the University of Illinois. 

The responses ranged from academic achievement to personal accomplishments, while some students felt that their greatest accomplishment was being able to transfer to the University at all.

Transferring in

The University of Illinois is a prestigious institution. Many of the students we interviewed were transfer students whose greatest achievement was successfully transferring in.

“I would say getting accepted because I came from a community college, so the opportunity to transfer here was really amazing,” said Eugene Lee, junior in LAS, who was sitting with his friend Alyssa Fisher, senior in LAS, when we interviewed him. Fisher echoed his thoughts as she was also a transfer student.

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    Another pair of transfer students said something similar.

    “I feel like it was just the idea of getting accepted into the school,” said Jessica Murillo, senior in LAS. “Because from where I come from — I’m from the suburbs — it’s a very competitive school and a lot of people want to come here.”

    Her friend Alexandra Kosiek, junior in LAS, chimed in.

    “And then it’s same for me, which I was actually denied here three times,” Kosiek said. “So, by the time I transferred in, I actually got into the school I originally wanted to get into but got denied. And then also, because I came from community college, this was way more competitive. The classes were way, you know, harder.”

    Academic accomplishments

    Murillo was also proud of passing organic chemistry.

    “I actually had to retake that course because the first time I took it, I had a concussion,” Murillo said. “So then, because I didn’t pass it the first time, I was scared I wouldn’t the second time. But when I passed the class, I was very happy and very proud.”

    Nabil Mohiudim, senior in Engineering, was also elated to pass a difficult class.

    “I’m sorry this comes across too, like, strong, but ECE 391 — that class, I’d spend, like, 12 hours in the lab over and over and over again, like my entire birthday — so I’m really glad I got through that class,” Mohiudim said. “It was just so many countless nights in the lab, so I’m glad I got through that.” 

    “I would say my greatest accomplishment is getting an almost perfect score on my final essay last semester for my (JOUR 205) class,” said Mazie Gierat, freshman in Media.

    Graduating early

    Two of the students who were interviewed were able to graduate early, which they felt was their biggest accomplishment.

    “My biggest accomplishment is probably graduating this spring in three years instead of four,” said Olivia Crickman, junior in LAS.

    Yamini Bukkaraju, sophomore in Information Sciences, is eligible to graduate this spring after only two years.

    “I took a lot of AP classes in high school and, like, my major allowed me to take a lot of courses that I was really interested in — and a lot of the courses fulfilled a lot of the requirements so that was really nice,” Bukkaraju said.

    Personal achievements

    Fisher, on top of being proud due to successfully transferring, was proud of obtaining a leadership position.

    “(For me, it) would have to be being a part of the club organization I’m in and getting social chair for it,” Fisher said. “I thought that was a good accomplishment.”

    Kayla Wilson, sophomore in Engineering, was proud of her art being recognized.

    “I submitted a bunch of my art pieces to a year of my art show, which I thought was fun because I’m not an art major,” Wilson said. “Honestly, out of everything, that’s probably my biggest accomplishment so far — I’m only a sophomore.” 


    Raphael is a freshman in LAS.

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    Aaron is a freshman in DGS.

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