Illinois State University is one of the most popular public university's in Illinois for good reason. Illinois State has many different fields of study for students to be apart of. Within each individual field of study, there are numerous opportunities to get more involved and further your knowledge in the area. Many offer research opportunities for students to pair up with faculty and create their own research project of their choosing. Each faulty member is required to have specified office hours in which the students can meet with them to discuss issues with understanding course material, grades, etc. Many are very open about scheduling further meeting times outside of their office hours. Outside of the classroom, there are many opportunities to get involved on campus. The campus itself employs more ISU students during the academic year than students employed off-campus. There are endless amounts of organizations for each interest, hobby, and major for students to easily get involved in with varying levels of commitment. Our sports teams events are also ways to be apart of the ISU community. Furthermore, the Campus Recreation Center organizes club sports teams for students to make teams or join as a free agent. The dorms, along with the university board, offers weekly or monthly activities that are free for students to attend and participate in. For example, they have $1 double features in which students can view new movies, 2 for $1. This year they also offered a highly successful Glow Fest in which there was free food, a DJ, games, and free glow attire. As you can see ISU has a great communal atmosphere. The school size helps create this atmosphere because it is considered a "medium-sized" school. The student population isn't too large but it is too large for you to know everyone on campus. The campus itself is not too small but not too large either. It takes 10-15 minutes to walk across campus from one end to the other.
It was an adjustment for me coming to ISU, but being a senior and looking back on my experience, I have to say I love this college! The great thing about ISU is that you have a large student group with the enrollment being around 25,000, but the campus is so compact and easy to get around. It is almost like you get the best of both worlds with a large school and a smaller campus feel! I have also grown to love Bloomington-Normal. Uptown Normal has so many cute shops and restaurants. Pub II is also uptown, and that is a classic pub students and alumni love. The great thing about ISU and the surrounding town and campus is that they are doing a ton of renovations and improvements. Every fall they have corn fest uptown, and there are also concerts that will come to the US Cellular Coliseum in downtown Bloomington. Downtown Bloomington also has a few cute boutiques, but it is mostly known for the bar scene. This is right by Illinois Wesleyan's campus, and is fun if you enjoy going out. The one thing I would change about ISU is the school spirit, and the football. Although students enjoy tailgating, actual football games tend to be a little on the boring side according to many students. There is a lot of school pride here, we love Reggie the Redbird and love campus life! We also love our football team, students just seem to support them outside the stadium! The best thing about this school, in my opinion, is how accessible the professors are. At many bigger universities, there may be more of a tendency for TA's or grad students to teach classes often, but here it is not like that at all. Other than the few larger lectures you will take for a few of the gen eds, the classes are smaller in size and the professors work with you as much as you would like them to.
I seriously LOVE this school. I love that there are soooooo many opportunities here, for anyone and for whatever you're into! I feel that the staff here really wants to help their students. There are tons of organizations to get involved with and tons of activities to do on any given day. There is a WalMart and a mall that the Bloomington-Normal buses will take you to, which is all that really matters to me as far as travel goes. lol The campus is beautiful and there are plenty of little shops in Uptown Normal to check out. I often find that I end up "hanging out" with my friends in Watterson dining center because 1. everyone needs to eat and 2. we don't have to go out somewhere and PAY for our food. We end up eating then just staying there for over an hour just socializing and having a good time enjoying one another's company. I have very few complaints about ISU. One is that sometimes registering for classes can be a pain, especially when you are a freshman because you have last priority for picking your classes, but advisers are really helpful with that aspect. Also, I hear sporting events lack student support/spirit (which I believe because I mean, I don't even go to the games really). I think this is something that could change though. Sometimes with me, I just get caught up in doing my own thing that I don't even think about the sporting events; besides I've never been a big sports fanatic anyway. But go with some good friends and I'm sure the games are good & fun; make sure if you do go that YOU are showing all your redbird pride and spirit so that others will follow you!
I love Illinois State. I get exceptional help from my counselors and faculty advisers. I have never had a teacher that did not want to help me succeed. There are so many resources to help you get your education- like the FREE Julian Visor Tutoring Center, study groups, and a great staff of librarians. If you take advantage of your counselors, faculty and advisers there is absolutely no reason you should not succeed. Besides the amazing faculty, I love Illinois States' campus. So many things are happening on our Quad every day. There are Quidditch practices (yes, from Harry Potter), art displays, even animals shelter adoption days! Not even 3 blocks off the quad, there is uptown normal which was newly renovated. It has a gorgeous circle where I like to sit and eat my lunch in the spring, shops, cafes, and restaurants. It's perfect for when you start to get tired of the dining hall food. Another great thing is that there are soooo many RSO's (Registered Student Organizations)- which is basically just all the clubs on campus. And if you can not find a RSO that matches your interests (which I doubt, because there are hundreds!), you just create your own! There is no reason to feel isolated at ISU, everyone is friendly and they want you to be involved! You get to decide how much.
I really like this school. The teaching program is really good, although hard, it adequately prepares students for teaching. I also really like the campus, is small so you can walk every where, but big enough that you don't see the same people every day. One thing I wish I could change is the school spirit, not many people go to sporting events and school pride doesn't seem to be at the top of everyone's list. I spend a lot of time in the Bone Student Center or just hanging out around in the dorms. There are a lot of places to study or hangout which makes studying great so you aren't always in the same place. There is also always something to do. Student organizations always have events planned that are almost always fun and interesting to go to. I've also had great experiences with almost all of my teachers and professors. It's also very safe, I've never felt concerned or worried about walking anywhere at any time of day. The majority of the complaints I have heard are usually about the dorms. Whether it's the food or the bathrooms there always seems to be something. But I think you will get that anywhere you go! Overall ISU is a great school and I wouldn't change my decision to go here at all!
I love Illinois State. The faculty/staff seem to really care about their students success (well al least they act like it)! There are over 21,000 students, but because of the one centralized quad. Nothing is far, so it gives the school a small school feel, but with large school resources. You don't feel lost and don't have to leave out really early to get to classes, because it literally takes 10 minutes to walk from one end of the quad to the other. The food in the dining center is good and there are plenty of ways to get involved. One thing I don't love is the fact that their are so many girls. The school is about 60% Female and 40% male. So sometimes it feels like it is a shortage of guys. The town of Normal is nice. Its a very relaxing place. If you want to party hard, you can, but the partying does not really start until Thursday's. There is not a whole lot of school pride. We are a Division 1 school, but we are in the Missouri Valley Conference, so people are not really engaged in sports.
To me, the best thing about ISU is the campus. The quad is beautiful and everything is within a 1-10 minute walk. There is on and off campus housing very close to academic buildings, and a couple of stores on one side of campus as well as the beautiful and convenient Uptown Normal with restaurants, bars, record stores, etc. Once you are off campus, you might never know that you were in a college town. Normal is very well-developed and is by no means a "middle of nowhere" or "nothing" town, but feels more like a suburb. There are plenty of things to do and places to go, and many places have student discounts. They really aren't lying when they say that ISU has a "small school feel" and "large school opportunities". Anything you'd like to achieve during your college career, you can do here. There is an awesome study abroad program, career help center, new fitness center, a vast array of majors, and everyone (administration and students) is incredibly friendly and helpful.
There are so many great aspects of Illinois State! I absolutely love it here. I thought it would be a huge adjustment coming to such a large school because I came from a very small town where I graduated with only 37 people in my class. ISU is large, but the student body is so unified and the campus really has that hometown feel that I love. It makes me feel like I belong, and I absolutely love the amount of redbird spirit that we have here. The atmosphere surrounding the university is just right. It has that "college town" atmosphere with plenty of places to eat, little shops, a CVS, book stores, or anything else you might need right within walking distance. Even better, if it isn't within walking distance (like Wal-Mart), the city buses are free for students! Academically, it is also great because there are resources for anything and everything you might need, our library is great, and if someone cannot help you, he or she will help you find the person who can!
I love ISU and I'm glad I decided to attend this school. Though there are about 20,000 students, the classroom sizes are small, which allows professors to really have a one on one connection with their students. ISU is also very diverse. I've meet people from different backgrounds and experiences all the time. ISU gives students the opportunity to get involved around campus and the community. If your interested in created your own student organization, that not already provided, ISU will give you the proper resources to start your own. Every student here has the opportunity to feel a part of this school and feel like they have a family away from home. It's very important to stay involve I cannot stress that enough. It will makes your college experience that much enjoyable. Going to class alone will not do.
My overall opinion of ISU, is this is one of the best universities to attend. ISU is a really diverse school. Faculty and staff really care about the success of the students, there is many resouces from free tutoring and writing assistance for students. ISU is realtively a large univeristy however, you get that small school feel, because the student to faculty ratio is great. The dorms, are really nice, most dorms are renovated or in the process of being, campus dining is AWESOME, so dont worry about eating nasty food, because the chefs know how to whip up some nice food. School pride is really big "Spread The Red" just wearing red makes you feel amped up.'Spread The Red" has also brached out to the town, and business even show school pride.