Feature Week – University of Illinois: Kristine Circenis

Hi everyone! My name is Kristine, I’m a senior at the University of Illinois and the blogger behind My Little Box of Tricks.  I’m going to be graduating with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in advertising and minors in sociology and communication. While I may be finishing out my degree in advertising, I did not start my college career in this field. My point in sharing my story with you is to help those of you who may feel like they like too many things to settle on one major – I’m the same way.

u-of-i-1When I first applied to U of I, I applied to their business school. I had just gotten home from a tour of campus and was so excited about the conversations I had with people from the school of business. A few months later, I received my decision letter and was deferred from the business school – I was devastated. I felt like such a failure.  Since I was deferred from the business school, I was considered for general admission into the University and was accepted.

That was the best thing that could’ve happened to me at the time.

Like I alluded to before, for as long as I can remember I have been interested in many different things.  For years, I wanted to be a second grade teacher.  Then I wanted to be a marine biologist. Then, I wanted to be a copyright lawyer. Then, I wanted to work in marketing. Basically, I’ve wanted to do everything probably at some point in my life.

u-of-i-2I began my college career on an education track. I loved it. I loved what I was learning and feeling like I would be doing something that would be changing lives. That was, until I had to write a lesson plan. While it might seem dumb, writing lesson plans is not for everyone, myself included. I have friends who have continued on through the program and I admire their dedication and diligence.

I went to my advisor, shout out to Aaron for being amazing and answering my questions, and told him that I liked people and being able to communicate with people. He recommended that I take a communication class or two and try the intro to advertising course.  It’s safe to say, I loved all of the communication classes I took and the intro to advertising class so I thought, “Maybe I could do advertising.”

I applied to the advertising program twice before I was accepted.

u-of-i-3In that time, I was able to take many fantastic and fascinating advertising and sociology classes (hence the minors) and really fell in love with people. Not in a weird way, I promise. I really became fascinated with how people communicate, why they communicate and behave in the ways that they do and how I can better communicate with different people and/or help them communicate more effectively. Unfortunately, I also found out that I’m not that crazy about advertising.

In my entire academic and personal journey, I am incredibly thankful to have had such a twisted path. While it might seem strange that I am grateful for being deferred from my first choice program, that it took me almost 2 additional years to declare a major and that I am not obsessed with my program. All of these experiences and circumstances have led to so much personal growth and “soul-searching” that I truly don’t think I would have experienced otherwise.

If I were to give each of you one piece of advice, this is it: get to know yourself. Through every choice you make, through every class you take, through the things you talk to your friends about, challenge yourself to think about what you can take away from this scenario/conversation/bad day. There is always something positive in even the worst of situations. It’s challenging to be able to think positively when all you want to do is cry, I know. By all means cry it out first, just understand and know, that there is something good always about what is going on.

If you want to catch up with me, ask me a question or be friends, follow my blog My Little Box of Tricks or follow me on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: