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THE DAILY ILLINI The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

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Summer 2021

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MADELINE PIERCE THE DAILY ILLINI

Students rush to the streets after the Illinois Basketball team won the Big Ten Tournament on March 14. The energy at Illinois creates a united culture unlike any other campus.

Explore University’s unsung, hidden culture this fall BY NICK JOHNSON ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR

Welcome, new students, to the University of Illinois. What an exciting time it is for all of you, and rightfully so. You are about to begin a four-year-long journey at one of the nation’s top universities that will see you obtain a world-class education, develop invaluable professional skills and construct lifelong connections. Alongside these incredible experiences that lie just on the horizon, incoming students will also be treated to a plethora of traditions that have served as cornerstones to the University’s culture for generations. Among these traditions is Quad Day, where you can peruse the information booths of the University’s more than 800 registered student organi-

zations. This RSO extravaganza is one of many welcome week activities you’ll not want to miss. While festivities such as Quad Day are surely to be looked forward to, be sure to also anticipate the other not-so-renowned, but just as true to student culture, traditions that the University has to offer. For example, new students are presented with the thrilling opportunity of being able to partake in campus’ most heated debate: whether the school mascot should remain the ninth letter of the alphabet or be changed to a bird which The Cornell Lab so majestically describes as “stocky” and “large-headed.” This fiery topic of conversation is sure to have every incoming student at the edge of their seat,

catalyzing profound questions such as, “Who the hell cares?” If the great Kingfisher debate is not enough to satisfy the zeal of new students hungry to immerse themselves within the University’s rich culture, they need not look further than bustling Green Street. On this iconic road, new students will be faced with a host of difficult decisions — many of which are arguably some of the most important decisions of their young lives. Which bar should you attend to annihilate your favorite shoes with its mystery floor juice? Does the prospect of eating a scrumptious calzone justify the 1000-mile trek to DP Dough on a frigid winter night? Will you ever try a six-level spicy dish at Bang-

kok Thai to the delight of your taste buds but to the chagrin of your digestive tract? These near-impossible questions and more await new students on storied Green Street, daring to be answered. If these daunting philosophical questions prove too intimidating to incoming students, fear not. Another fantastic way for new students to feel a part of the Illini community is by figuring out which ecological niche they will fill within the quad-dweller community. Will they choose to be the frisbee player whose errant throws nearly decapitate dozens of passers-by per day? Or will they be the student lying asleep under a tree who inexplicably has the ability to use a rugged trunk as a pillow? Perhaps

they will be the cyclist who unapologetically denies the existence of the school’s bike paths and zips past pedestrians at blinding speeds while wearing earbuds that undoubtedly are blaring Limp Bizkit at full volume. The possibilities are endless. When discussing University culture, one would be remiss to omit the breathtaking scenery that the University has to offer. While the Japan House cherry blossoms in spring bloom provide a vibrant spectacle to behold, these arboretum grounds pail in comparison to the endless seas of scenic, awe-striking and downright stunning stalks of corn that surround the campus. Let students of the University of Colorado-Boulder irrationally argue that their

vistas outshine those of Illinois — the fools, in their fickle ignorance, have forgotten they cannot eat mountains. Regardless of how new students choose to acclimatize into their life as an Illini, they will undoubtedly be in good hands. Between the wide array of degree paths, the multitude of clubs and RSOs, the nation’s largest Greek system and a thrilling sports culture, there truly is no way to go wrong. Congratulations on officially becoming a part of Illini Nation, new students — take advantage of the school’s amazing opportunities and make your university career a special one. Nick is a Senior in LAS. nmj5@dailyillini.com


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Making friends 101: How to meet new students at UI BY HEATHER ROBINSON MANAGING EDITOR FOR REPORTING

1. Join an RSO

While this is the advice your counselor or parent might give you, joining a club may truly be the best way to make friends in college. Check out Quad Day for a wide variety of options and talk to the students running the booths. Often, there will be social media handles for the RSOs, which you can follow and immediately find an online community with people sharing similar interests to you. There is sure to be an RSO for everyone, with options spanning from writing for your student newspaper to geeking out in a Harry Potter fan club.

2. Make friends with your classmates

This is the easiest way to meet people whose interests probably align more with yours in terms of career goals. As you begin your first year of classes here at the University, start to build connections early. The people you see in your classes within your major or minor will most likely become familiar faces throughout the rest of your time here. As for approaching your classmates, spark up a conversation with those seated around you and maybe walk with some of them to your next class. Make sure to grab their numbers or Snapchats so you can help each other with class-related work and start from there. Maybe ask them if they want to meet up for a study group! There are few bonding experiences like staying until closing time at the Undergraduate Library.

LANIE HIBEL THE DAILY ILLINI

Two University students pet a dog on the Main Quad on April 3. There are many ways to make new friends on campus.

roommate situation for the upcoming year. If possible, it is helpful to reach out to your roommate through text or social media to learn what you have in common, or even to coordinate some cute dorm interior design! And other than your roommate(s), you will meet plenty of students on your floor. The best resi3. Residence halls dent advisers coordinate By this point, you prob- potentially awkward yet ably already know your important ice-breakers to

get everyone acquainted. Take advantage of these opportunities! In addition, hang out in your dorm common spaces and you’ll be surprised at the friends you can make by simply starting conversations with the people studying at the table next to you.

COVID-19, social media is a great way to meet people. As I mentioned previously, you can follow interesting clubs online. But some of the best places for meeting people online are often groups like “Class of 202X” on Facebook, where students join for the sole purpose of finding a commu4. Scope out social media nity. Sometimes people If you consider yourself will even make posts about to be more introverted, or looking for new friends! continue to be cautious of And if you’re a little bold-

er, try downloading apps like Bumble BFF or Tinder and putting in your bio that you’re just looking for some new friends.

5. Explore campus!

frisbee game on the Main Quad. Campus is vast but so is the student body, so get out there and see what kinds of connections you can find. But above all remember that each of the new students around you is on the same page, and you are not alone in trying to make new friends!

In contrast, if you consider yourself more outgoing, you should have little trouble sparking a conversation with the person behind you in line at Starbucks. Or, you will probably thrive if you join in a hrr4@dailyillini.com

Research Park

BLOCK PARTY 2021

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM Atkins Building Patio & Lawn Corner of First Street and St. Mary's Road

Research Park is the premier technology hub on campus made up of 120+ companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Join us for drinks, snacks, and mingling with company reps and student interns. From freshmen to Ph.Ds, there's an opportunity for you at Research Park.

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Find your place at the University of Illinois

CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

A member of the group Dance2XS UIUC performs a move onstage at the URBANITE Dance Showcase May 1. Joining RSOs allows you to find your place at the University. BY CHIEH HSU MANAGING EDITOR FOR ONLINE

Welcome, incoming students! Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where countless opportunities await. During your first year, you will be living in a dorm where you’ll hopefully make friends who will share your joy and help re-energize you in the middle of a busy day; you’ll scroll through the seemingly endless lists of courses that the University offers and carefully build a course plan to satisfy your curiosity; you’ll take part in objective or social-ori-

ented RSOs to discover more about yourself and what the world has to offer. In short, this is the beginning of a four-year journey of endless discovery. The process can be adventurous, exhilarating and life changing, but it all depends on how you make use of your time. In this article, I hope to give you some inspiration in the form of a short guide. As a new student, you will probably take some introductory courses during your first year and come up with a schedule with your counselor during the summer. I recommend doing some research on the

graduation requirements of your degree(s). The University requires students to take a certain amount of science and humanities classes in order to graduate, known as general education courses. When selecting your gen-eds, you can utilize Course Explorer and see if there are classes that fulfill multiple categories of the requirements that are to your liking. At the end of the day, if the classes you select don’t interest you, then it will defy the purpose of learning. Making friends at your dorm is a privilege a lot of students appreciate since

they will be the primary source of social interactions you receive in the first few weeks of college. However, since each dorm has a different social atmosphere, with some more social than the others, there’s no need to panic if you can’t find any friends at your dorm. There are still a lot of ways to make friends in college. For example, you might find friends from your classes or RSOs that you participate in. There are awesome people everywhere, you just need to reach out to them. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Additionally, the Univer-

sity is well known for its Greek life culture. There are all kinds of Greek houses on campus, so I recommend going to some rush events to find out about them for yourself. Joining an RSO helps you meet people with similar passions, and if you manage to climb up the ranks to obtain higher positions, it will look good on your resume too. Since Quad Day is held virtually this year, I recommend you to visit Involved@Illinois’ website for a list of the RSOs on our campus and check out their social media or attend the Virtual Quad Day to obtain

more information about the RSO. Discovering the right RSO might just be the key difference between a good college experience and a great one. Finding your fit at the University isn’t always easy, but just remember that the friendships you build during your college career are often some of the most important ones you build throughout life. How do I know? Well, my parents always brag about their college life. Do what you have to do and give it your all to enjoy it; be in the moment! chiehh3@dailyillini.com

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FIRST DAY OF POSTER SALE Pine Lounge 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

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FRIDAY, AUG. 27 FRIDAY FUNNIES KICKOFF Courtyard Café 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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Cautiously “Yes, and...” your first year at the University BY SAMUEL RAHMAN ASSISTANT OPINIONS EDITOR

Adolescence and young adulthood is a wild time. The federal government says we are adults, the state government says some of us can buy drugs and our brains don’t finish developing until the age of 25. Wild times indeed. I’ll quote Stanford neuroscience professor Robert Sapolsky. “Because the frontal cortex isn’t quite there yet ... what you have as a result is more adventurousness and more openness to novelty and more likelihood of seeing somebody very different as, in fact, not being that different after all. And more likely to grab a cudgel and smash in somebody’s skull who happens to seem like a ‘Them’.” Toward novelty, the new, the radical, the tasteforming — that’s where the current developmental stage of our brains gives us a hearty shove toward. Unfortunately, the cortical structures that push a young individual to start cultural trends or march in the streets to protest for prison reform are the same structures that push a young individual to join an extremist organization and march in the streets of Charlottesville. A governing rule of improv comedy is “Yes, and…”. Comics must always act as if they are following a previous line with “Yes, and…” perpetually agreeing and adding to the scene.  As these college years will be your taste-making years — the years most integral to your behavior later in life — just “Yes, and…” your time on campus. Read new books, take classes you wouldn’t normally take, eat new ethnic cuisines, listen to new music, join student organizations.  I’d personally recommend staying away from organizations ideologically sympathetic to fascism

CAMERON KRASUCK THE DAILY ILLINI

Spring 2021 Illinois Music Education graduates Brendon Culloton, Marcus Moone, Katie Mitchell, Emmett O’Brien and Ollie (dog) enjoy quality time on the Main Quad the morning of June 26. Columnist Samuel Rahman argues that students should use the governing rule of improv comedy “Yes, and…” to branch out on campus.

or cult-like behavior. But aside from that, the world is your oyster. The clock is ticking firstyear students. As the saying goes, “time’s arrow neither stands still nor reverses. It merely marches forward.” The last years of tastemaking, novelty-seeking and adventurousness are upon you. By 30, they’ll def-

initely be over, so why not start exploring now? If a novel opportunity presents itself, without hesitation, echo the sentiments of our capitalist overlords at Nike and “just do it.” I am entirely cognisant of the incredible number of platitudes I spit out thus far. These are sentiments touted at every

orientation or motivation seminar. The harsh fact is most likely you won’t change if you keep the same environment. If you attend such a large university as this one and commiserate with your same friends from high school, you won’t evolve much farther beyond your high school self. Similar or

static environments breed consistency. Loners stay loners. Extroverts stay extroverts. So, genuinely be wary of dedicating another four years to the same people you just spent the past four with. Change it up. “Yes, and…” your first year and all your years at this university. Seek adventure and openness and nov-

elty. Take advantage of this critical period in neurological development and grow as a person. Anecdotally, it’s worked wonders for those who at least give it a try.

Samuel is a senior in LAS. srahma37@dailyillini.com

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Embrace a liberal arts mindset during your first year BY MATT TROHER INVESTIGATIVE NEWS & LONGFORM EDITOR

Like many middling high school students hailing from the Chicago suburbs, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wasn’t so much a place you went as much of a place you ended up. That is, unless you were going for computer science or engineering. I, of course, was studying neither. Luck i ly, all my presumptions about this university were proven wrong once I got down here and actually gave the place a shot. What I had perceived as a monolith of computerengineering with a neglected humanities conglomerate was, in actuality, a worldclass institution consisting of all disciplines ranging from STEM to the humanities and the arts that thrives at their respective intersections.   If this piece is supposed to offer you, a new student, some guidance, let it be this — embrace a liberal arts mindset, no matter your field of study. Take classes from a broad array of disciplines, even those without any concrete technical applications. One of this university’s greatest strengths is the opportunity it gives for students to take classes across a large field of disciplines. Unlike many higher-ranking institutions, entry-level and upper-level classes are seldom restricted to majors-only, and can be taken by any student, regardless of major or classstatus. (Disclaimer: this isn’t true for every class. However, I, a journalism student, could have taken MATH 227: Linear Algebra for Data Science, CS 125: Introduction to Computer Science and ENGL 451: The Twentieth-century American Novel my first semester of college. Point being, there are more classes open to you than you think.) One of the most infuriating things to me is

THE DAILY ILLINI FILE PHOTO

A College of Liberal Arts & Sciences decal is pasted onto the door of their main office Nov. 14, 2018. University students shouldn’t rule out liberal arts if they are interested in pursuing it in the future.

when someone (incorrectly) assumes that a liberal arts degree is worthless. Firstly, liberal arts students are extremely employable and exit college with a wide variety of easily transferable skills applicable to the job market. Secondly, and more importantly, there is more “worth” to a field of study than its monetary value. Life is not a job training factory, and college shouldn’t be either. Yes, the main reason why most of us go to college is to obtain a degree to better one’s chances in their respective job markets — but that shouldn’t be the only reason. The skills you will attain by taking classes in a wide variety of subjects will not only make you a

stronger candidate for any job but will make you a more well-rounded person as well. I despise terminal occupational thinking. Not everything is oriented around the job market. I abhor the term “networking” — it implies that something as earnest and pure as connecting with someone else is transactional. Let college be full of experiences, both personal and academic, that will enrich you as a person without worrying whether or not it’ll impact your employability in the long run. Of course, this isn’t to encourage you to make bad decisions about your educational experience and future, instead, I urge you to pursue classes and literary

achievements that will both lead to a prosperous career and leave you with a wide breadth of knowledge. My freshman year, I took Journalism 452: Great Books of Journalism. It was a small class, maybe 14 or 15 students, each of them a journalism major or minor, except for one. One student, whose name I’ll both omit for privacy, and because I cannot clearly remember it, was an engineering major. On the first day of class, the professor went around the room and asked each of us why we signed up for this class and what we hoped to get from it. The engineering student answered by saying he was simply interested in reading more nonfiction, and

wanted to take more nonengineering classes before graduating. And as the class progressed, this student was perhaps the most valuable contribution to our class discussions, bringing a nonjournalist’s perspective to pieces of literature analyzed to death from a journalistic perspective. STEM majors, if there are any reading this, you should obviously focus on your course of study. But don’t only focus on your course of study. Take more classes outside your major than the required general education courses, schedule permitting of course. In the case your course load leaves you with little flexibility in terms of credit hours, make the most

out of your gen-ed classes. I know the option of taking a blow-off class for a gen-ed is tempting — and I’ve certainly given into temptation before — but I urge you to expand your horizons and take an academically rigorous course outside your comfort zone. Best case scenario, you evoke a newfound passion for a new field you previously wouldn’t have taken and change the course of your life. Worst case, you’re left with a new skill to add to your resume and a cool dinner party story, which is still pretty good if you ask me. mtroher2@dailyillini.com


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CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

The Undergraduate Library courtyard soaks up the sun on May 5. The Library is one of many places to socialize with friends and make new ones.

Live your life in BOLD, step out of your comfort zone BY GWYN SKYLES FEATURES EDITOR

My first week of college was tough with a capital ‘T’. I met nobody. I didn’t have a roommate to talk to throughout the day, half of my neighbors decided not to come to campus and all social events were online with virtually zero attendance. By the time I finished hanging my decorations, I figured it was time to put my Illini mask on and try to spark some conversation

on the Main Quad. I circled the green lawn several times searching for a patch of friendly looking people and came across a group of four — two guys and two girls, diverse, masked and laughing.  I inhaled, pinched my mask at the nose and with a leap of courage decided to ask if I could sit with them.  It turns out they were 28-years-old on average. Graduate students.  I stayed for about two minutes before the 10-year

age difference prompted me to make an awkward exit. At the time, I couldn’t tell who was a freshman and who wasn’t. It’s not like highschool where there’s about a five-inch difference between upperclassmen and underclassmen. The point of all of this is, when you’re a freshman in college, you have to be bold. You’re going to have to put yourself out there, even if it’s a flop like this time was for me.  I can proudly say I have

made friends. That night, I sent an email, rather desperately, asking if some of my classmates in my Intro to Journalism class wanted to grab lunch. A few responded, and I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. But it’s not just about making friends. Being bold also pays off in other respects. For example, I had some spare time on my hands back in October. I decided to email my professor and

YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE SO MANY GREAT MEMORIES FROM YOUR TIME AT COLLEGE. HOLD ON TO THEM FOREVER WITH THE OFFICIAL U OF I YEARBOOK.

ask if he had any opportunities for me. I ended up working with him to create audio stories on Election Night. Although that was my first time ever reporting or writing for radio, my work landed me an internship with Illinois Public Media. Whether you’re graduating, or still have three more years left at the University, put yourself out there. Even if going to a virtual club sounds like the most awkward thing ever or

asking a teacher for extra credit sounds scary, you’ll become a better person because of it. One day you’ll look back on yourself putting sticky notes on your neighbors’ doors or trying to spark a conversation with someone wearing airpods, and you’ll be grateful that you were bold.

gskiles2@dailyillini.com

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Athletics facilities allow Illinois to establish winning culture BY JACKSON JANES SPORTS EDITOR

When I first arrived on campus as a freshman in the fall of 2019, I was unsure of many things: I didn’t know how to find my way around, I knew only a few other people who were in the same college as I was and I didn’t really know much about the different athletic facilities. The last issue may be the least serious, but as a lifelong sports junkie, this was a pressing problem in dire need of being solved. After little guidance and information about the sports department prior to attending Illinois, I realize now how little information there is about attending non-revenue sports — all sports that are not football or basketball. Here is a list of the athletics facilities used by all 19 Illinois Division I sports, all of which can be attended by students. Note: C O V I D -1 9 restrictions and reduced capacity may be in place in the fall. Find updated information on the Fighting Illini Athletics website, fightingillini.com.

ARC Pool

201 E. Peabody Drive Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: swimming and diving

Atkins Golf Club

2600 S. Stone Creek Blvd. Urbana, Illinois 61802 Sports: men’s and women’s golf Notable 2021 postseason achievements: Men’s team won Big Ten Championship for sixth straight season; men’s team advanced to 13th consecutive NCAA Championship (placed fifth).

Atkins Tennis Center/Khan Outdoor Complex 1751 S. Goodwin Ave. Urbana, Illinois 61801

CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

The new Demirjian Park stands at 606 St Marys Road in Champaign April 24. Illinois athletic facilities spark a winning culture on campus.

Sports: men’s and women’s tennis Notable 2021 postseason achievements: Men’s team won first Big Ten Championship since 2015; men’s team advanced to Sweet 16 in NCAA tournament.

Demirjian Park

606 Saint Marys Road Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field

Notable 2021 postseason achievements: New facility opened April; men’s track & field team won 4x4oometer, high jump, long jump and 1500-meter events at Big Ten Outdoor Championships; women’s track & field team won 1500-meter event at Big Ten Outdoor Championships, which were hosted by Illinois for the first time since 2008.

Eichelberger Field

1202 W. Florida Ave. Urbana, Illinois 61801 Sports: softball

Huff Hall

1206 S. Fourth St. Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: volleyball, men’s and women’s gymnastics Notable 2021 postseason achievements: Michael Fletcher (men’s gymnastics) won Big Ten vault title; Ian Skirkey (men’s gymnastics) won NCAA pommel horse title.

Illinois Field

601 E. Kirby Ave. Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: baseball

Memorial Stadium

1402 S. First St. Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: football

State Farm Center

1800 S. First St. Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling Notable 2021 postseason achievements: men’s

basketball team won Big Ten tournament title for first time since 2005; men’s basketball team earned berth in NCAA tournament for first time since 2013 and earned first No. 1 seed since 2005.

UI Armory

505 E. Armory Ave. Champaign, Illinois 61820 Sports: men’s and women’s indoor track & field janes6@dailyillini.com


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ABE BAALI THE DAILY ILLINI

Bikes rest on a rack outside of the Campus Recreation Bike Center on April 2. Always register your bike online in case it gets stolen.

Three tips I learned after getting my stolen bike back BY AMRITA BHATTACHARYYA INTERIM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

This summer, my bike was stolen from campus. Left outside of my apartment in the bike rack, someone had cut my cable lock and taken the bike. I was devastated, to say the least. Countless “if only” scenarios entered my mind, all ending with me concluding that I should have never left my bike outside in the first place. Two weeks later, as the acceptance stage of the

grief process was setting in, I decided to begin the hunt for buying a used bike. That’s when I saw it. There on Facebook Marketplace, someone was trying to sell my bike under a fake profile. A f ter ca lling the Cha mpa ig n Police Department, they were able to help me get my bike back. Most students aren’t so lucky with finding their stolen bikes, so it’s important to take the best preventative measures possible in the

first place. The University has a bikeable campus, but it doesn’t amount to much if you don’t even have a bike to experience it. If you plan on bringing a bike to campus this fall, here are three tips to keep in mind. 

Register your bike.

Registering your bike is one of the most important things you can do to help find your bike in the event it gets stolen. The University uses Project 529 as their

Student Affairs

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

bike registration platform. It is especially crucial to document your bike’s serial number. After registering, you can pick up a tamperresistant 529 Shield sticker to put on your bike. Ultimately, I was able to get my bike back with the help of the Champaign Police Department by having my serial number readily available. If it weren’t for the serial number, the police wouldn’t have had enough proof to get my bike back. 

Spring for a cheap, used bike.

Hindsight is 20/20, but the best option is to keep your bike inside whenever possible. It’s a surefire way of keeping your bike safe, and it also helps preserve your bike better long term. Ultimately, basic security measures can go a long way in ensuring that you and your bike have a smooth ride throughout your time on campus.

Keep your bike inside your apartment.

abhatt52@dailyillini.com

Stay away from anything flashy or expensive, as that sticks out like a sore thumb when parked at bike racks. Sites like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist have new bike postings almost daily. The YMCA also does an annual “dump and run” in which people donate used items which are up for grabs.

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Explore Champaign-Urbana during your time on campus BY ROHIT JAMMU ASSISTANT FEATURES EDITOR

After over a year of ex per ienci ng on l i ne schooling surrounded by four walls, coming in to the 1700 acres of the University campus can be an exciting or even overwhelming feeling. I spent quite a large chunk of my freshmen year living in the University campus bubble. It wasn’t until my sophomore year when I fully woke up to the full reality that the University campus actually laid cradled on the border of two whole towns, namely: Champaign and Urbana. Although I still haven’t seen everything the C-U area has to offer yet, looking back, I still wished I had started going beyond the reaches of the campus area earlier. So, whether you’re excited about everything you can now explore, or overwhelmed by it, here are some of the nicer places I discovered over my time here that you should visit. The Japan House, located on the southeast edge of campus has different experiences to offer people at different times. Around the first two weeks of April, the cherry blossom trees explode into bunches of blush flowers attracting large crowds for as long as they last. In September, the Japan House Matsuri festival brings food, live music, shops and fireworks. And all through the year, the Japan house stays open to anyone just looking for a peaceful walk. Another spot of surprising calm amongst the hustle of a university lifestyle is the stretch of land that is Helm’s Park and Boneyard Creek Second Street Basin. Located above Campustown but below downtown Champaign, Helm’s Park offers a few benches, a large amount of green, a basketball court and a park. And Boneyard Creek Second Street Basin offers a large pond, a colony of superior geese and ducks

CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

Foellinger Auditorium sits on the south side of the Main Quad the morning of June 26. New students should explore what Champaign -Urbana has to offer during their time on campus.

and a constructed scenic waterfall whenever they do turn it on. Fur ther nor th is downtown Champaign like a world of its own. Downtown Cha mpa ig n’s a lmost European-inspired street architecture like the street lamps, trees, red brick in the pavement brings a muchneeded change of scenery. The rest of downtown Champaign and all its stores, cafés, restaurants

and little secrets are for you to explore. All the way up north at the edge of the Champaign area is Walmart and the surrounded stores. While it doesn’t serve as a fullscale metropolitan city mall, you will find almost everything you might want like Pet Smart, Costco, Macy’s and much more here. Although you might need to ever go there with all the resources available closer

to campus and the most obvious option of delivery, a trip to a Walmart or any of those stores with the right company can be more fun than you’d imagined. While the South, North and Main Quad are all nice places to kill time, the Main Quad takes the lead just because there are always people passing through or killing time just like you. The Illini Union being on its north end proves to be a

consistent source of coffee from the Starbucks and doubles back as a nice place to get work done between classes as well. Dow ntow n Urbana, located to the east of the campus, is its own experience with the Lincoln Square mall and Urbana’s Market at the Square being another place to escape from campus walls. The rest of Urbana still has much more to offer scattered across

the area — you just have to search. Coming in to college, four years may seem like a long time to explore the surrounding area and any other places you may want to visit. But with all the work that comes with college, time will pass by in the blink of an eye so make sure you make the best of your time here. rjammu2@dailyillini.com

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Readjust to in-person classes, campus life after virtual year to in-person learning and meeting, as many students campus life a lot easier. did. Now, you must account Adjusting back to an for time to physically get in-person world, after Stay organized there. By keeping a schedule being used to a virtual Organizational skills are with a list of classes, their one, can be overwhelming. very important in order to times and locations, you can Whether you are excited successfully adapt back to ensure you are punctual.  or reluctant to experience in-person life. It no longer mostly in-person learning requires the click of a button Fix your sleep schedule again, here are a few tips to turn on a computer During the pandemic, to make your adjustment screen and be in class or a a lot of people got used to BY MONA ALRAZZAQ

ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

sleeping and waking up late. Adjusting back to sleeping early and letting your body get the rest that it needs is important so that you feel energized and refreshed throughout the day.

means planning more social events. Right away, you might feel the urge to try everything and get your first taste of college ex perience. However, don’t overwhelm yourself by constantly partaking in Take rest days activities and exhausting Going back to a mostly your social batteries. Try in-person campus life your best to fit a rest day

in your schedule whenever there is room. By incorporating healthy organization, sleeping and rest habits into your life, the adjustment back to an in-person life once you step foot on campus might become a little bit easier.  monaa2@dailyillini.com

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Don’t be afraid of transition from high school to college! BY ROYAL SHRESTHA STAFF WRITER

Fall is just around the corner and with the past year and a half being virtual learning, it can be tough for many high school students to adjust to a college lifestyle. Luckily for me, I was able to live my first year as a freshman in the dorms before the pandemic began and it was a huge wake up call for me. College life was vastly different from high school life and the only bit of advice I was given was to take fewer credits in the first year to adjust, budget time and figure out what major I wanted to stick with for four years. Many students come into college with high school friends, knowing what major they want to stick with for all four years and have been prepared already for what college can be like. For me, it was the complete opposite as I had to make friends from scratch and didn’t really like my secondary major I was chosen for. Long story short, I changed my major three times before liking the one I’m currently pursuing. That comes to my first point:

Major and Classes

In high school, students generally take classes that cover all various subjects and the University offers something similar, which is the undeclared major. This choice allows you to explore subjects of interest while still staying on track for graduation. There’s no shame in trying to explore a bit more before spending the rest of your life on your field of study. This is a flexible path that many students across the campus take and is helpful for those who may also be deciding between two or more majors. Even if you do decide you’re no longer happy with your chosen major, whether it be the first or second choice on your application, there are always two time periods in the academic year

CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

The Illini Union and Main Quad lie empty on June 26. Embracing everything that college has to offer will prepare you for a better college transition.

to change it to your desired choice. As a reminder, the University has various colleges that each have its own academic advisers to guide you through the process. I personally talked with mine across the four different majors I transitioned in between. As a last helpful reminder, unlike high school courses, you can drop courses that may be too hard or uninteresting in the first few weeks of each semester. Also, the University offers eight-week courses as well,

which can be taken in the first or second half of the semester depending on how you want to allocate your time.

Budgeting Time

Like many of you, I had to get up as early as 6 a.m. each morning to catch the bus for my 8 a.m. start time in high school. Having stacked all my classes in the morning, I realized that I couldn’t keep the same time schedule as in high school. With much more freedom, being an early bird

slowly drifted away. This is completely fine in college as there are various sections for the same class and you can adjust your schedule depending on whether you have morning or afternoon classes. I would like to shed some light on how college courses, despite only meeting three times a week, are much more time consuming than high school courses. With midterms and finals along with office hours and discussion sections, it is advised to stick between

15 and 18 credit hours, as many more wouldn’t leave enough time for other extracurricular activities and hobbies. For those that are ready for the academic challenge or are double majoring, after freshman year, students can exceed the 18 credit hour limit. Personally, I stuck with 16 credit hours in freshman year and as I better understood how to budget my time, I am averaging 22 credit hours at the moment.

Having come back from the pandemic, while college life still won’t be the complete same as there are still COVID-19 restrictions and some virtual learning, college life will give you much more freedom and will be a time to explore your various interests. Even if you’re behind compared to your friends, taking the extra time given the University’s flexibility to explore your interests is definitely worth it.

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Save money during college by using these helpful tips BY ALIZA MAJID ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

Saving money in college is a huge struggle with all the expenses that seem to pile up all of a sudden. It’s important to have various ways to manage your funds while navigating college life in order to prevent yourself from emptying your wallet. Here are a few ways you can try saving some cash here and there as you try to figure out your financial balance. College textbooks College textbooks are one of the biggest expenses that people end up worrying about when they sign up for classes since the prices are ridiculously high. In order to avoid spending hundreds

of dollars on textbooks, be sure to do your research beforehand to find cheaper textbooks. Using sites like Amazon, eBay or Facebook Marketplace are some sta nda rd second ha nd textbook websites that have cheaper alternatives. Joining social media groups such as the University Reddit and Facebook pages are a great way to check if any students are selling their old textbooks as well for a cheaper price. Overall, it’s best to look up your textbooks online and ask your peers if they have any suggestions before buying the University provided textbooks. Student discounts As a college student

there are so many student d i scou nt s t h at a re applicable for many of your shopping needs and desires. Student discounts can apply to a range of items from technology devices to food or clothing and it’s a great resource to take advantage of in order to get a cheaper product. Unidays is an application that gives access to exclusive discounts and deals for college students and all you need to do is verify your student status to start browsing. Asking shops if they have a discount or looking online for any student deals is a great way to get cheaper products for your everyday needs.

Dining Food and dining is obviously a necessity, but there are ways to ensure that you save your money and budget correctly in order to stop yourself from overspending. There are many restaurants and takeout places on campus that are worth the visit, but it’s important to remember that those things still cost money. Try limiting the number of times you go out to eat and create a budget for yourself in order to manage your money because it can have a large effect on your spending and you won’t even realize it. New students who are dorming should remember to take

advantage of all their meal credits and dining swipes because they don’t accumulate overtime as they reset every week. Even if you’re not fond of using your meal credits, it’s best to go to the convenience store and stock up on some food options at the end of the week. You are actively losing money when you don’t spend these credits, and it doesn’t hurt to stock up on supplies when you already have a weekly limit set out for you. Free Merchandise College students always talk about the numerous free items that you can get when you attend university events or any sponsored fair because of how often

they happen, especially at the beginning of the year. These housing fairs and Quad Day events that are advertised are great places to get free t-shirts, water bottles, tote bags and a variety of office supplies. Keep an eye out for the Illini Union Board and the events they advertise because many of them will most likely have a lot of free merchandise available. Employment T her e are m a ny on-campus jobs available for students who would like to make any additional money in order to get cash. These jobs range from dining hall workers, librarians, front desk assistants and many more depending on where you are looking to apply. These on-campus jobs are usually listed on the Virtual Job Board for people to browse and apply if interested. There are many stores in the area that also may be looking for potential employees so it’s always good to keep an eye out for all your options and keeping tabs on what’s open. Creating a budget and limit for yourself in college is an important task to complete because when you become independent and have access to your own money there are times when you may act in the moment and splurge too much. Finding ways to understand your financial situation and figure out ways to save money will help you in the long run. Overall, just make sure you’re being responsible with your money and finding any potential option to save whenever you can because there are usually cheaper options available.

CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

Freshman in Engineering Maia DeGuzman works behind the counter at Tenko Tea on March 9. University students can save money in multiple ways by following these helpful tips.

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Know your rights as a University of Illinois student parent continue their education,” said Danielle Morrison, director of the Title IX Office. Morrison said she is responsible for ensuring that the Universit y ’s different programs and activities comply with Un i v e r s i t y policies and state and federal laws relating to sex d i s c r i m i n at ion a nd misconduct. “This includes helping pregnant and parenting st udent s u nderst a nd their rights and providing reasonable adjustments and assistance,” Morrison said. Students can set up in-person or phone appointments with the Title IX office by calling 217-333-3333 or emailing titleixcoordinator@illinois.edu.

BY CAROLINA GARIBAY BUZZ EDITOR

When thinking about the “traditional college student,” an 18 to 21-yearold, recent high school graduate might f irst come to mind. But within the past several years, statistics have shown that description isn’t always true. More than one in five college undergraduates are student parents. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, nationally, student parents make up 26% of the total undergraduate student population. Many colleges don’t keep track of how many of their undergraduate students a re pa rents because student parents may not always be comfortable sharing their situations or s el f-ad vo c at i ng for r e s ou r c e s a nd accommodations. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that schools don’t offer those resources or accommodations. In fact, under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools are legally requ ired to protect pregnant and parenting students from harassment a nd d i s c r i m i n at ion . This i nc lude s t he University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. If you’re an incoming University of Illinois student who is pregnant or has a child or children, here are some of the resources the University offers to support student parents.

The U of I Nondiscrimination Policy

One of the biggest factors that a f fects academic success is the environment of the school, both academically and socially. The U of I Nondiscrimination Policy is designed to encourage and enforce a safe and healthy environment for everyone on campus. “The U of I Nondiscrimination Policy prohibits discrimination or harassment against any person because of their status within a protected cla ssi f ic at ion, wh ich includes pregnancy and sex,” Morrison said. The Nondiscrimination Policy applies to all facets of the University, including admissions, employment and access to treatment in different University programs and activities. If students feel that they are being harassed or discriminated against u nder t he Nondiscrimination Policy, they can file a report to the Office for Access and Equity via phone call

The U of I Title IX Office

“The Title IX Office is here to help students with questions about their rights, who need assistance with reasonable adjustments or excused absences due to pregnancy or childbirth or who have questions about what the University can do to support them as they

REBECCA ORIZA THE DAILY ILLINI

(217-333-0885), email student parent. (accessandequity@illinois. This includes parents edu) or a report online. “who recently experienced childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy The Student Assistance or recovery therefrom,” Center Morrison said. The Student Assistance Morrison suggests that Center in the Office of the student parents consider Dean of Students has a page connecting to resources desired to pregnant and through the Student parenting students that Assistance Center and outlines specific University contacting the Title IX policies regarding Title IX. Office to set up a meeting This is a great page to visit to discuss their rights and if you want an easy-to- options as a student parent read list of your rights as a at the University.

Research shows that student parents have higher GPAs than their non-pa renting peers, despite them having a lower graduation rate. This suggests that student parents are more than capable of academic success but might just not have sufficient resources to foster that success. It’s important that student parents know the resources available to them and that the University supports all students, not just students

who fit the definition of “traditional college student.” “I want our students to succeed, and policies prohibiting discrimination and resources to help pregnant and parenting students can help foster that success,” Morrison said.

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Play these four essential video games while at college BY AIDAN FINN STAFF WRITER

Everyone is going to have their own adventure in college. Whether it be a great time of emotional maturity in readying oneself for the chaotic juggling act of being a responsible adult, a time of wondrous exploration of personally fascinating academic subjects free from the constraining linearity of high school or a fouryear period of 10:30 p.m. runs to the convenience store for Mega-Stuf Oreos strife with personal guilt and shame at what you have become. All in all, a great time for everyone! Nonetheless, no two experiences will be the same, but you can definitely find solidarity with your personal triumphs and failures during college with this neat list of video games that are ideal for the college student. There is no other feeling than that late night vibe while deeply immersed in a good game. The familiar hum of the air conditioner blaring outside, the other tune of the chirping crickets outside. A room only illuminated by the flare of onscreen colors, completely surrounding the scene in the game, either amidst a fiery conflict or a calming landscape. It only ends when you can’t think straight or day breaks, a completely healthy practice while being an active college student. Not all of these games are directly related to college, but all encompass the coming-of-age essence of maturity and confronting responsibility/emotions that define college.

by a grounded, touching narrative of a 20-yearold college dropout trying desperately to rekindle her teenage golden years amidst her Midwesthometown friends moving on to bigger things. A strong, emot iona l ly cha r ged story of the transition to adulthood hits you with enough drama and witty humor to provide a great time. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and has a cast of characters all interesting and fitting in their own right. It deals with so many topics surrounding this awkward phase of college life, from friends moving on to finding what you truly value in life, that “Night in the Woods” it is a must-play for those (2017) looking for a game to take Probably the most a deep dive into. directly-college-related game on this list, “Night in the Woods” is a fantastic “Coffee Talk” (2020) little platformer driven Next, we have a game

JULIA EVERSMANN THE DAILY ILLINI

that manages to convey an even more grounded and realistic atmosphere despite having a fantasy twist thrown in. “Coffee Talk” is a barista simulator in a fictional version of Seattle, fictional in both being a city where fantasy creatures like vampires and elves live amongst the humans in complete normalcy as in how everyone is nice to each other. A chill, relaxing game that has you simply talking to patrons while serving drinks. Another game with a cast of characters that work perfectly together in conveying themes of finding oneself. A journalist with writer’s block trying to make the next big thing. An intern working hard to make the big leap up the corporate ladder. A cop trying his best to ease community tensions. It doesn’t matter that these

characters are personified in ogres, wizards and alien creatures, rather how real your discussions with such are, and how you as the player would react in the shoes of a barista soaking in the atmosphere.

simple concept executed fantastically. Its genius is in how every family member represents a different group of people so perfectly, from introverted daydreamers to hyperstressed college students, it allows all walks of life to enjoy its wondrous story of “What Remains of Edith family and tackling some of Finch” (2017) the more complex and hard “What Remains of Edith to specify issues of mental Finch” is a complete beast health. It’s a tearjerker but of a game. A game that the good kind. manages to run for only around two to three hours in length, yet conveys a “To the Moon” (2011) story so powerful it stays A nother game that with you years after the tackles the themes of credits roll. It follows a growing up and dealing young woman receiving her with the hard-to-address late mother’s inheritance, stressors of life is “To it being a single key to the Moon,” a top-down her childhood home. The narrative game with a journey back to her old retro art style reminiscent house has her exploring the of 16-bit classics like extensive family tree of the Earthbound. The game Finch family and the many follows a touching story relatives she never met. A of two scientists aiding

a dying elderly man get his dream of going to the moon. A childish dream takes a grand turn toward an exploration of growing up and finding what really matters to you in your final days. It’s a sad game, as in mega-sad moments that can make the most hardened of players get emotional. Still, it is a positive message packed in a great coming-of-age lesson. It is a relatively short game, the length of a feature film, and nearly as cinematic in its presentation. A great recommendation for anyone looking for a great game about learning to really appreciate how beautiful life can be in its most harsh moments.

aidanf3@dailyillini.com


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Outside the ARC in Parking Lot E-24 (west side) Campus Recreation makes every effort to be accessible to all abilities. If you need accommodations for our facilities or programs, please contact us at campusrec@illinois.edu.

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Utilize this advice to smoothly transition into University BY RAINA KUTLIROFF STAFF WRITER

Making the big decision to leave one school for the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign is about to be the best decision you will ever make. The thought of leaving the school where you may have already done the hard work of finding a social group, joining clubs and academically finding your way may seem particularly daunting. It may feel exhausting to think that you are about to do it all over again. Take a breath and know that this time it will be different. Other than being one of the best universities in the world, the University of Illinois is a fairly easy school to transition into because of all of the social opportunities, especially for a transfer student. Initially coming to the University of Illinois, I found myself constantly comparing the University to my previous college. I quickly learned

that the University is such a unique school that it needs to have its own time to shine, free of comparisons to other institutions. The University community will always be around to help ensure you won’t experience the I-took-the-wrong-busroute-and-now-I-am-stuckin-residential-Urbana adventure that many freshmen experience. The key advice is to not be afraid to ask questions. Here in the Midwest, University students are used to random people asking for directions or even going up to a student and asking them to meet up or grab some coffee. University students are among the kindest and most welcoming student body there is, so be sure to utilize the Midwestern hospitality to your benefit.  Another piece of advice is to use what you have learned at your previous school and remember that absolutely no one knows how awkward you

may be feeling on the inside. If at your previous school it was tempting to stay home or in your dorm room, know that the University would love for you to be a part of campus. There are constantly events going on, whether it’s sports games, music shows, social parties or dorm hangouts, everything is worth at least one try before you decide it’s not your thing. Even though an event may feel awkward to be a part of, keep in mind that no one knows what you’re thinking, and at Illinois, most people don’t even care. It’s worth it to push yourself and try new things before you decide it’s not for you. Quad Day is one of the only events during the year that almost the entire student body goes to, so try not to pass up on the opportunity! Whenever you hear or see a poster for a club that sounds even semi-interesting, write it down and send them an email. Even if it feels weird,

JULIA EVERSMANN THE DAILY ILLINI

attend one meeting and see what you think. There are nearly hundreds of clubs at the University and each one attracts a very different type of crowd, so it’s nearly impossible for a student to dislike every single club available. The University also has specific events for transfer students that you will receive emails about and can attend to socialize with other transfer students to compare your own experiences.

Branch out. Just because there is a community in your dorm or academic major does not mean you cannot talk to other people who don’t fall into those communities. Talk to people in your general education classes and definitely take advantage of group projects since those are a great way to get to know people you might not otherwise talk to. Try a visit or event at a cultural house, even and especially if it’s a culture you don’t

know much about. Lastly, remember to push yourself while still feeling comfortable. It is important to push yourself to try new things, but if something feels uncomfortable, then it might not be for you. The experience at Illinois will be frustrating at times, but the positive emotions will far outweigh the negative ones. I-L-L! kutli2@readbuzz.com

Attending games FAQ: Buying season tickets are essential BY JACKSON JANES SPORTS EDITOR

2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone. For student-athletes at Illinois, most competitions were held with little to no spectators, classes were conducted mostly virtually and COVID-19 protocols forced them to completely adjust and sacrifice their normal lifestyles and habits for the sake of playing the sports they love. With easy access to a COVID-19 vaccine and as the state reopens after months of uncertainty, irregularity and change, fans returning to sports venues is one of the many aspects of life that signifies a return to normal. Let’s go through and answer some common questions about attending sports events at Illinois.

dent sports fan organization on campus and includes three different sport-specific groups: Block I, which is the student football group; Orange Krush, which is the basketball student section; and Olympic, which includes subsections for all non-revenue sports. Students can purchase student season tickets for revenue sports — football and men’s basketball — through Illini Pride, which are on sale now. Football season tickets are already available for purchase, and men’s basketball season tickets will be available no later than Sept. 1.

2. What are the benefits of getting season tickets rather than tickets to individual games?

One of the biggest benefits is the fact that you are guar1. What are the different anteed access to tickets to all student sections called? home games. For the 2021 Illini Pride is the stu- football season, for exam-

ple, a game like Homecoming against Wisconsin will be high demand, meaning tickets will be hard to come by. If you have a student season ticket membership, you will be able to have priority access to tickets and do not have to worry about missing out. Additionally, Illini Pride membership holders get priority access to student postseason tickets, T-shirts and apparel.

3. Are there certain places for students to sit at games?

close to the middle of the section as possible to increase the likelihood of involvement. Men’s basketball home games are played at State Farm Center, which is located directly south of Memorial Stadium. The student section is located essentially courtside and features seats with the best views in the entire arena, though you must meet the requirements to be an Orange Krush member to get priority access to this section. Students who have season tickets will still have access to tickets, though they will be scattered throughout the stadium if the student section fills up. Tip: Arrive as early as possible to big games. The doors usually open 90 minutes before tipoff, but try to be there well before that if you want to sit in the student section.

Illinois home football games are played at Memorial Stadium, which is located directly south of the ARC and Ikenberry Quad. The student section is located in the north end zone, just behind the Marching Illini. Students who sit in this section can choose to participate in the halftime card stunts, though — pro tip — you should sit as 4. I don’t care about sports.

CAMERON KRASUCKI THE DAILY ILLINI

Students in the Orange Krush section of the State Farm Center lean over a railing to high five Ayo Dosunmu after Illinois won against Iowa March 8, 2020. Attending sporting events is the ideal way for passionate Illinois fans to experience campus.

Why should I go to a game?

Sporting events allow you to hang out with friends while also meeting new people! The camaraderie of sitting and cheering with your fellow students is always a blast, and it’s something you need to do — regardless of your interest in

sports —  several times before you graduate. Watching games on TV also is fun, but being there and witnessing games in person is unbeatable.   @JacksonJanes3 janes6@dailyillini.com

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Flourish in college with these low-maintenance, leafy plants BY SYDNEY WOOD BUZZ ASSISTANT EDITOR

As we look forward to this upcoming fall semester, it can be scary and difficult for new students to adjust to college life. It’s important for incoming students to furnish their dorms and apartments with homey decor to add color and life to any living space. Plants are one of the best ways to increase one’s positivity and productivity, so here’s a list of low-maintenance plants to add to your dorm essentials checklist.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

Snake plants, also known as sansevierias or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, are characterized by their thick, sword-like leaves that bear a scaly pattern and yellow-ish edges. Sansevierias are perfect for those living in apartments and dorms because they remove toxins, like formaldehyde, from the air, essentially making them air purifiers. They also release oxygen throughout the night, unlike other plants that perform photosynthesis during the day, making them ideal household plants. Snake plants flourish in moderate to bright indirect sunlight, but they also tolerate low light and withstand full sun. The hardy plants can handle temperatures ranging from 55-85 degrees, and they don’t require any extra humidity. Sansevierias don’t require too much water, and a common mistake people make is overwatering them, resulting in mushy brown stalks and root rot. To prevent overwatering, ensure all the soil within the pot is completely dry before watering your plant again.

distinguishable by their green vertical stalks and hollow stems. This strong, fast-growing plant has a lot of symbolism and represents upright growth, nobility and flexibility. As we begin next semester, it’s always good to have some extra luck on our side, especially with COVIDrelated stressors and general college stress. Lucky bamboos are easy to care for. They’re also aesthetically pleasing and provide a subtle green element to any dorm or apartment. Lucky bamboo grows best in temperatures ranging from 65-95 degrees. These low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for plants can be grown in water or soil and prefer partial shade or indirect sunlight. If you’re growing your bamboo in soil, keep the soil slightly damp and don’t overwater or dry out the plant. If growing your plant in water, ensure the roots are always covered with water and replace the water every seven to 10 days for optimal growth. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight to prevent scorching its leaves.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Despite their unsettling name, Spider plants are one of the most popular and adaptable houseplants, perfect for any dorm or bedroom. Popular spider plant varieties, including the zebra plant, Hawaiian spider plant and variegatum, are characterized by their slender, grassy green-and-whitestriped leaves that dangle from the plant-like spider legs. Spider plants are often grown as hanging plants because of the plants’ cascading nature but will grow fine as long as their leaves aren’t crushed and the Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena plant remains balanced. Sanderiana) Spider plants prefer bright, Lucky bamboos are flex- indirect light. Direct sunible, durable plants that are light can scorch the plants’

REBECCA ORIZA THE DAILY ILLINI

leaves, so avoid placing them in areas where the sun directly hits the plant. Spider plants should have well-drained soil but prevent the plant from becoming too soggy. The plant prefers cooler temperatures between 50-65 degrees and should be protected from drafts from air conditioning vents. Brown tips are an indication of low humidity; to maintain adequate levels of humidity, you should regularly mist the plants.

Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Pothos, also called Devil’s Ivy due to their invasive nature, have cascading vines that bear waxy, heart-shaped leaves and come in many different varieties, such as the Golden, Hawaiian and Marble Queen pothos. Like the snake plant, pothos function as air purifiers that remove indoor air pollutants, like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, from a room.

You can also use support systems, like command hooks, to train these fastgrowing plants to climb along a wall or bookshelf. Pothos plants are low maintenance and durable, and they thrive in both well-lit and low-lit areas. These plants tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but they grow best between 70-90 degrees. Pothos prefer dry soil, so water the plant enough to keep the soil slightly damp. Soggy soil can cause root

rot, so avoid overwatering your pothos. Yellow leaves indicate there is too much water, and the amount of water your pothos need can depend on the season. As you rush to purchase your own plant companion for your future dorm or apartment, don’t forget to support local businesses by checking out some of ChampaignUrbana’s plant shops, like Plant Mode and Plantify. swood2@readbuzz.com

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DI Voices | Embrace failure, trials, tribulations in education BY DENNIS AUSTIN SENIOR COLUMNIST

On a bitterly cold evening in Palos Hills at Moraine Valley Community College, I sat for my final two GED exams. After the exams concluded, I sat in the lobby area constantly refreshing my phone, eager to see the final results. There it was. Three years after dropping out of high school, I had earned my high school credential, mere weeks before Christmas in 2016.  While millions of Americans were both eager and terrified of the incoming Donald Trump administration, I was excited to resume my life as a student — this time in college.  I enrolled in a small community college in rural New York, and after completing my program there, transferred to the University in January 2020, settling in my new surroundings before a global health pandemic put an end to that.  As a member of the December 2022 graduating class, I am in a reflective mood, thinking back on the trials and tribulations leading up to this point. However, rather than solely focusing on my success, I also reflect on my failures and what I learned from failing.  Be it a less than satisfactory grade for an assignment, or dropping out of high school at the age of 19, failure can often engineer a new opportunity. Thus, I am writing to you new members of our campus community to embrace failure, and yes, other hardships.  Sometimes, societ y shields us from the harsh realities of life. It is easy to become inundated in a Disney-esque fantasy world where nothing bad ever happens, and in the end, you marry the strikingly gorgeous prince, who whisks you away to a castle where you live happily ever after. Life is not that simple

PHOTO COURTESY OF FIGHTING ILLINI ATHLETICS

Alma Mater stands tall at the corner of Wright and Green streets dressed in a commencement robe. University students remind each other that making mistakes is part of your educational journey.

nor reflective of the true struggles endured by many. At some point, you will experience hardships — be that personal or academic. You may experience a breakup, the loss of a parent or loved one, the breakdown of friendships, not to mention, the strong possibility of experiencing academic hardships and even financial difficulties. If anything, while this pandemic has left us with an indelible mark on the human soul, we draw from this experience valuable lessons on the health and welfare of our communities. COVID-19 has reminded us how much we take for

granted the gift of waking up every morning, knowing that as we rose, someone did not. Do not run away from the consequences of failure and hardship. Embrace them. You will get something wrong at some point in your time here. Accept it. Of course, that does not nor should it create an excuse to be apathetic and lazy, but it does allow us to be realistic about ourselves. It is common to see students here in a rush during the final weeks of the semester, begging their professors for passing grades, almost to the point of desperation. It is madness. Of course, failing a

class comes with consequences: potential loss of a scholarship, being held back from graduating, finding employment. These are possibilities not to take lightly if you fail a class. Then what? What’s your next option? Throw a temper tantrum in your dorm room? Good. Eat ice cream and cry? Good. Maybe throw bottles against the wall? Only if they’re not glass. Do all of that and when your mourning has ended, remind yourself that you are not defined by your GPA and that there are many more important parts of what makes you yourself than what a transcript displays. 

Use this as an opportunity to not just retake a course and pass, but to become a better student. That is, after all, your only option. Failure will happen to all of us in the future. We are not done failing nor experiencing hardships in life. It’s not a matter of if, but when and where it happens. How will you respond? This is the beginning of your life as an adult. Long after you cross the stage four years from now, there will be many more failures and difficulties you will experience. This isn’t to be grim, but merely a reality, and as you get older, how you respond and

eventually overcome those obstacles will define you. Suffice to say, while dropping out of high school at 19 years old was not a pleasant experience for me, coupled with other personal circumstances, I did learn from them. It helped shape who I am and is the reason why I, a GED recipient, will be graduating from this university next year.  As new students begin to step on campus, keep these words in mind, not just during your tenure here, but for the rest of your life.  

Dennis is a senior in LAS. dennisa2@dailyillini.com

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