Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University - Comments and Student Experiences|
So this review comes from a VERY oldie...but I hope, or like to believe, goodie! Kinda kidding there but still, yeah, it dates WAY back. In fact, if goes as planned, I will be retiring next year actually at age of 56, so sweet!.
But here's what I KNOW about WIU when a student there.
First, for the record, I attended '80-84 graduating with double major, sociology & LEA (well that is what Law enforcement was back then), fully intent on further schooling. Either Law School or instead (as I did) Master's Program (at U of I, which I didn't have as "personally" positive an experience but overall academically soared just as high as an undergrad. Still there's MUCH to be said about how one enjoys their learning experience, least I THINK SO as a former teacher!
So what do I know that I can share from that time? I think plenty but God knows it might not help or apply to today's world.
I am, by nature, an exceptionally driven, curious, focused, achievement-oriented, and academically oriented gal. No doubt, a bit too serious, especially scholastically, a person. For the record, I graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.98 GPA! Only B was one credit hour of "bowling" class that I was lucky to even get a B in but did ruin my perfect score). I'm in "Who's who among American college students" those 4 consecutive years. I did skip ONE year out of HS to work & save to go away to school. I see now a mistake. Not the biggest I've made by a LONG shot but wasted of time as I was making crap wage, saving nothing. The only advantage was BACK then I was youngest in my HS class so the year off didn't put me younger than other incoming Freshman.
As for my accolades, do I say this to boast? Absolutely not, I'm the most modest person you will meet. I add that only for insight as to what WORKED for me. Well...what that actually WAS was hard work. I was intrinsically interested in my majors. It's WHY they were chosen. I had excellent teachers (for the most part, obviously not ALL were the top caliber, they vary, as you WILL learn, does most things in life). Yes, there WAS a lot of drinking, no argument there. However, I almost think that comes with the "rite of passage" of this age. I dunno. I just hear the same refrain from every other college experience so I won't fault WIU for choices made. Don't get me wrong, I didn't much overindulge often but will say, if you did NOT drink, my guess is back then, socializing was FAR more limited & you would probably end up bored. I knew from get-go HOW much I needed to study & work to ace all my classes, that was MY first priority, why I was there & I never once lost focus of that. Unfortunately (if you care to view it this way) I am smart so managing straight A's (which frankly WAS my personal objective going in because I KNEW I could do this) never once interfered with my friendships or social life. Had it done so, I must admit, I absolutely would probably forgone the "Summa" if it meant losing time with friends (or the one short lived boyfriend I had for a semester or so).
When you get to be MY age, you see those very "relationships" mean MORE than the world. Certainly more than any amount of money or actually, success. We've seen each other through death of our parents, loss of jobs, other heartbreaks & celebrations too. So THAT is what I most treasure beyond words from WIU. Those 8 persons are "my people" and one thing I DO recall is that in orientation they said, LOOK around you, the friends you are likely to make here over the next 4 years will carry you through all your life. Truer words have never been spoken. But enough on relationships, we all KNOW they are the solid foundation of any worthwhile life. I bring that up only because if you FAIL to put yourself "out there" and meet people, try to engage, you are likely not going to be miserable there (or anywhere for that matter) but it will be something you regret your entire life. KNOW this..when away at school, it's nearly like being a "kid in a candy store" (I DON'T mean for "hookups", I mean on far more substantive level). NEVER in your life do you have opportunity to live in a community of persons ALL your own age (18 to 22) and at a time when you are coming into your own (coming of age really). Please listen when I say how VITAL that is.
I look back at WIU with such uncanny fondness & can with total honestly state that I KNOW it truly was the BEST time of my life. I grew UP there, I stood on my own 2 feet for first time away from home & I'm proud of the entire experience & where it let to my start afterward.
And that might sound sad to you (that THIS was one of my dearest & greatest JOYS) but don't be (on my account) because my life (for the most part) is VERY happy today. I mean, know this too...we ALL have ups & downs, that never changes. Heck people you LOVE get sick & die. Yet no matter what, life goes on. I have a wonderful husband & just overwhelming positive life for which I'm immensely grateful. I add THAT part as that's just testament to how much fun, how I grew as a person, and what I LEARNED there. Know you learn as much OUT of the classroom as you do INSIDE one at this age, and it's just as vital (and this is one who had my head in books a lot. And yes, I was a curve-breaker & did like discussing subjects during office hours with my teachers too). I am a VERY curious person who loves learning, so that helps.
And you know what...my husband & all our friends who graduated from various schools (most MUCH better as for academic standing---Wesleyan, Univ of IL, Augustana, Brown) lament the SAME thing I do, college was a BLAST. We swap & share stories of experiences, our teachers, classes, just on & on. Espeically when with a particular group (say my WIU group. Our memories are endless, we laugh for hours).
Yes, it's over fast & REAL life & MUCH harder work lies ahead. KNOW THIS!! Because that part is fact. Yes, one works hard in college, but it dares to compare with how arduous work life (and rest of life) can be.
But overall, academically it ALL started for me at WIU, that was my springboard & believe me, I was prepared. Life didn't just "fall into place" having left there but it sure DID help that I graduated there, learned what school & life lessons I did.
Also I MUST add this. I don't think it's by any sort of "mistake" or coincidence but here's another fact.
I have ZERO friends that graduated from there that make less than 6 figures today. They are ALL wildly successful. Most FAR greater than I (but I'm not ambitious about monetary success, mostly it's personal & LIFE happiness I care about. I am vastly non-materialistic & surely why I can retire soon)
Now...it could BE I gravitated toward ambitious persons like myself (well solid SERIOUS learners. They NEVER seemed particularly ambitious to me then) but more likely than not, I think it does fall to our education overall. It speaks to what we learned IN & OUT of the classroom at that critical age & AT WIU.
So lastly, my greatest advice to you is to always HANG in there, give it the best shot you're able. Whatever mistakes you make, learn from them then forgive yourself forgive others & move on!
This truly was an awesome experience back in 1980-84, I hope for most of you, there is ability to capture much of the same. Still as life goes, you gotta REACH out & grab on. Do not SIT back & wait for life & good things to happen. It's YOUR job & responsibility to make them happen.
I guess, in conclusion, I got lucky. I dunno. Maybe it WAS all due to the timing (conditions, profs & all when I was there) but still I alone can take the credit for every ounce of hard work (Summa was NOT that easy to do but it was attainable & it AS my goal. As for the school "dummying down" these days, if true---and I don't doubt the reviews stating this, know that is epidemic out there & resulted in many state schools, NOT just WIU.
And yes, I should know, I taught business college many years (starting at 26). I originally planned to go into Law & am SO glad I changed roads as I KNOW I'd have felt disillusioned, dissatisfied & hollow (how I felt in sales even while being their top sales rep & goal-oriented as I am. It did not "fulfill" me so I moved on). Know too you are going to REINVENT yourself many times over in your life so be open & embrace change & be confident in yourself. LISTEN TO that voice inside your head & follow it. When it's time to go (and move to something pleasing you more) JUST take the chance & DO IT!! You truly are you own & ONLY best advocate. And TRULY lastly this time, know that life goes by fast & we've ONE time around so don't chicken out, follow your heart in every way!!
GOOD luck. And I hope you DO give WIU a fair chance as you MUST put in serious effort for things to work out best as able no matter WHERE you go or WHAT you do. I thought I'd work with kids in trouble (thus the sociology & LEA degrees) but that wasn't in the cards. But what ended up so close to this WAS teaching adults & in that, I got to help the world which was my plan all along. One person at a time. I'm still in touch with some students whose lives I've impacted some 30 years later so you know what too? NO success is measured in dollars, that's a total fallacy (I made over 5 times the money in sales my FIRST year than I did teaching but I found NO higher joy there, lesser instead. I also realized how CRAZY & unfair life is because I was doing NUMB-STAKINGLY STUPID work in sales compared to teaching at a business college where I shaped the very course & mind of persons daily.
So yeah, nothing about life is fair. Hope your parents taught you this because if not, you will learn it the hard way later on. GOOD luck & MUCH success. While the world has changed enormously since 1984 (due to technology most of all, which I feel has mostly hindered us socially), it's also retained some of the VERY same tenets of ME & every generation before us.
May MUCH SUCCESS & happiness be in your days ahead.
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