Thankful for UIC

stock - campus aerial and skyline

I can see the beautiful skyline from nearly anywhere on campus and it really puts everything into perspective.


Thanksgiving is here! Most of the time, people don’t actually stop and consider all of the people, things and experiences they have; instead, we just eat obscene amounts of food (and a lot of people go out and buy stuff). Along the same lines, I often hear people complaining about our university instead of praising things. So to get you thinking not only about what you are thankful for in general but also in regards to school, here is a list of UIC-related things I am thankful for.

  • The proximity to the Loop. Most college students don’t get to say they can walk just a few minutes and find themselves in the South Loop. In fact, a lot of kids have to drive to find their nearest store — usually a Walmart. We have the entire city practically on campus.
  • The coziness of campus. Even though we are in the city, our campus is just the right size. Yes, we are spread out on east, south, and west campus, but when it comes to core classes, everything is nice and close. Even the furthest apart buildings aren’t that long of a walk. I am especially thankful for the fact that I have lived all four years just five minutes away from all of my classes.
  • Fantastic programs and professors. UIC is home to some of the best programs in the city, state and even nation. UIC carries with it a level of prestige that is recognized, and our school is still young. On top of that (and a huge part of the success) are all of the wonderful professors we have that make our education so great. We have some fantastic professors who come from all over the world and bring to UIC a wealth of knowledge and experiences.
  • Sustainability efforts. In the four years that I have been here, I have seen tremendous strides be taken towards creating a more sustainable campus. I am continuously impressed with the efforts on campus.
  • Safety measures. Oftentimes, city schools get a bad rap because people think the crime rate is exponentially heightened. What they don’t think about are all of the safety measures that are implemented to keep us safe. Between our blue lights to the police presence around campus, it is obvious to me that the university takes our safety seriously and makes a lot of efforts to keep us safe.
  • Visitors galore! Someone or something is almost always coming to UIC! Whether they stop at the Pavilion or the Events Center, really important individuals have come to our school. My personal favorite was a visit last November by Paramore, one of my all-time favorite bands. Seeing them at my university pavilion was unbelievable.
  • Interesting classes. I have taken some awesome classes throughout the last four years (check out some of my favorites!) UIC makes a point to make learning fun and creative. A prime example of this is the English 161 classes alone; with so many different concentrations, you’re bound to get something interesting.
  • The view. But really. When I’m in class, in my residence hall, or just about anywhere, I am able to see the beautiful skyline, and it really puts everything into perspective. The skyline is a little reminder that there is life outside of the textbook we are buried in, or that we should apply for that internship down by the lake. The skyline is always there to prove to you that you’re studying in the best city in the world.
  • Closeness to the Cell & the UC. It takes me no time to get to see my favorite teams! I feel so much closer to them because I am close to them. It’s a comforting feeling to know that when I’m watching them on my 19” tv in my room, they are much larger not too far away.
  • New buildings/classrooms. UIC has been making a lot of great changes, and I’m so glad I have been around for a lot of them. Between renovations and green certifications, we’ve seen some really awesome things happening that make the learning environment even better.
  • Great places to study. There are so many places to study! While I prefer my room to do homework, I see people studying everywhere I look around campus. There are so many quiet areas and places that encourage collaborative work.
  • Close to home. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I am so thankful that my college is just a half hour ride from home. I’ve gotten the full experience here, but I am still able to see my family and spend time with them. It’s the best of both worlds (not a Hannah Montana reference).
  • We are part of something big! The University of Illinois as a whole is always getting bigger and better, and just like I said earlier, UIC alone is so young that we have so much more we can do. There is so much going on on our campus every day, between classes to research to hospital duties. It’s incredible.

There you have it-my list of things I am thankful for at UIC. You may share many of the same things as me, but I’m assuming you have even more, and I want to hear why you think UIC is great! Share what you are thankful for at UIC! Tweet me @hbrenza and use the hashtag #thankfulforUIC! And when you’re stressed, don’t forget to think about why you’re glad you’re here.


Holly Brenza (F)


Holly Brenza is a senior majoring in English and minoring in communications and management. In her spare time, Holly enjoys playing with her puppy, Bear, and watching the Blackhawks and White Sox, reading and trying out new recipes. After graduation, she hopes to work in public relations.


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