Deciding where to go for college is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. You’re not only choosing where you will further your education, but you’re picking a home for the next few years.

As a graduating senior, I’ve been fortunate enough to call Illinois State home for the past four years. Choosing to commit to Illinois State really came down to two major factors: location and potential programs.

Location, location, location

Luckily for me, Illinois State is about an hour and 40-minute drive from my hometown in the south suburbs of Chicago. This was the perfect location. My parents still make the occasional drive down to take me out to dinner, and I can drive home (or even take the Amtrak) on a moment’s notice! But it wasn’t close enough that my parents were popping in my dorm room once a week to check up. I had the independence I wanted without feeling too homesick or overwhelmed by the distance.

Tons of program options

Another huge reason I choose to attend Illinois State was because I my major was declared as “undecided”. I wanted to explore my options and see which programs peeked my interests. As an undecided freshman at Illinois State, I was recommended to take an intro course through the Career Center meant to help first semester freshman like me decipher what they wanted to major in. It was from this course that I drafted my first resume, and created a plan of study for my next three and a half years.

To this day, I am still grateful for taking this course, and for the great instructor from University College I had, Shauna Hoffman, who was the first person to ever tell me I would be good at public relations. As instructors go, Shauna was my guiding light freshman year. She saw potential in me I didn’t know I had. It was her recommending public relations to me that drove my decision towards ultimately apply to the public relations program within the School of Communication.

A piece of advice from a graduating Redbird senior to an incoming freshman:

Take advantage of every opportunity you can. Explore every avenue, remind yourself to try something new as often as you can. Four years may seem like a long time, but as cliché as it may sound, I promise it will fly by.

#BirdofMouth student blogger Dana Gleason is a senior public relations major. Read more #BirdofMouth posts.

One thought on “Why I chose ISU: Location and potential programs

  1. Sue Randle says:

    Great article – thanks for sharing your personal story!