Reflection by the River

East Hall Council 2011- blog photos

Me (top row, second from left) with the East Hall Council in 2011.


Have you ever had those moments where you stop everything you’re doing and just wonder where you are now? This happened to me very recently when I was at one of my favorite spots in the city. If you head north up State Street to where it meets Wacker Drive, there is a spot by the river that I absolutely love. It’s a little patch of green right in the heart of the city and the river makes it such a peaceful spot.

This week I went there to read my new book Lullabies by Lang Leav; I highly recommend her book. I was have way through my book where I paused to look around at my surroundings. I started to reflect of my past years at UIC and how far we grow as a person. I am not the same person I was when I first entered my freshman year and that’s perfectly OK.

UIC Orientation 2013 - Polar Bears - blog photos

“Polar Bears,” UIC Orientation 2013.

College will change you and not into someone you’re not but it helps you discover who you are. In college, I realized that you will struggle time to time, but have no fear because there are resources to help you. Most importantly there are friends that will be there to listen and care to what you have to say. I had my resident assistant and peer mentor help me my first year. I also had my best friend, who I met in my first semester here, who I bonded with so closely with.

I think sharing your experiences is also vital when it comes to college because you can leave a strong impact on someone else’s life. Today I am part of Sparky’s Allies as a mentor for incoming freshmen and I absolutely love it. My first year being part of the program, I ended up getting one of my orientation students and we had a blast last year together. He and I are co-workers at UIC Athletics and I’m so proud of him.

College will also be the home of so many great memories that will last a lifetime. I have friendships that are so unique to how they started and how they are in general. I’ve had residents that call me “mom,” orientations student that still call me “mama polar bear,” and friends who can call whenever they need me.

So I guess my main message if all of this is for you to try new things, get to know people, and when you can give back a little of what you gained. Cheers!


Kris Fuentes Cortes (F)


Kris Fuentes Cortes is a senior in communication, a Boston native, an active student around campus, and a dreamer of working in the world of music. She wants to become a tour manager for a band and travel internationally while she’s still young. She’s the assistant marketing director for UIC Radio.


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