I only applied to two schools: University of Illinois and Iowa State University. Again, only because both of them had my graduate schools and they were the closest colleges to home. I was accepted to both and visited both, but in the end I chose U of I because it wasn't in the middle of nowhere and reasonably close to my sister in Bloomington and my grandparents in Peoria. Plus, Illinois is a huge school and I wanted to see all that was out there.
Best decision of my life.
I absolutely loved it there and had a great freshman year. Made some really good friends, had really good professors, and had some really, really fun nights between the frat parties and bars. It was almost lucky that my lack of research on schools paid off so well and I had the time of my life.
Coming to Hawaii, all I thought about was the amazing scenery and all the island adventures I was going to have. Didn't really think about actually going to classes and dealing with this school for an entire semester. I figured it couldn't be that bad, and I'm not a very specific and picky person. I'd be fine.
And I am fine. Just not great. Not like Illinois. When I tell people I don't like the school here, they all ask me why as if there's no way that could possibly happen. It's not that I hate UHM, it's just not Illinois. Hawaii had some steep competition in the battle vs. Illinois over my love.
If Blogger would let me make two columns to easily compare and contrast the two schools life would be a little easier. But of course nothing's easy, so I'm just going to bask in the glorious things I love about U of I first:
- Everything you could ever want or need is right on campus (Walgreens, grocery stores, etc)
- Three bookstores make for less crowded areas and timely check-out lines
- Greek system (preferrably the frats)
- The ARC! and CRCE. Best workout facilities I've ever seen!
- Illini spirit and atmosphere at every sports event
- The bus system that takes you everywhere and comes every 10 minutes
- My major/professors are amazing, and my academic advisor is the best
- The Quad. Perfect place to do your homework outside on a fantastic day
- Wi-Fi everywhere you go on campus (even in the dorms)
- Many bars to choose from, all 19+
- Library that is open 24/5 and the weekends
- Grocery stores, Walmart, etc. are so far away. You need to dedicate an entire afternoon to go get groceries and toilet paper
- One bookstore. I've waited in line for 20 minutes to buy a spiral
- Lack of Greek system. And bars on campus. To go out you need to catch a bus or take a cab to downtown Waikiki, pay $20 cover, and taxi your way back home at the end of the night. Sketchy. Still have not attempted that yet
- Awful "gym". I complained about this in a previous post, but it's incredibly sad when you have to compare this tiny hole to the ARC. I haven't gone back to those rusty machines since our first, momentary encounter. It's not even open on the weekends. WTF, right??
- No school spirit. I don't know if UHM sucks at sports or what, but it seems like people have better places to be than at their school's sporting events. There are no fun dances or cheers to do at football or volleyball games. It makes me sad face
- Bus system isn't great for students. I walk to all my classes, but when I need to take the bus, it's not just sharing it with the public. I'm sharing it with tourists. Lots of them. Sometimes the buses are so full we can't get on and have to wait until the next one rolls around. Which definitely isn't every ten minutes. Their schedules are so bizarre and random.
- My major here absolutely sucks. I've been talking to some kids in my classes and they are pissed at the program. They even said in a few years, Animal Science probably won't even be a major offered at this school. Plus my ANSC Genetics professor is absolutely awful and I want to strangly myself every day in his presence
- No quad. Not a lot of places to just hang around on campus. The one thing I will say I enjoy though is in the AgSci building there are a number of couches for students to lounge on. I took full advantage and had myself a little nap today in between classes
- There isn't Wi-Fi everywhere. A few buildings on campus have them, but it's a real guessing game. And none of the dorms have it. Thank the dear lord my ethernet cord is 25 feet long, or else it would be a bigger pain in the ass
- Library is lame. One of them isn't open on the weekends, and they close super early. What is with this place?
So I can't wait until spring semester back at my home school! I'm not quite counting down the weeks (*cough 14*) but I know once I'm back I'm going to be missing this beautiful island.
One thing's for sure though: I won't be missing the school.
Don't feel bad for me. I'll survive the semester. I'm living in paradise for crying out loud!
Welp I tried to upload a great video I recorded from an Illini volleyball game of the student section but it's taking forever so I give up.