In its mission statement, the UIC Honors College is described as a community of
scholars whose goal is to enrich the education experience of undergraduates and allow
the faculty and students of all disciplines to interact in teaching, learning and research.
Please tell us “How can you contribute to the Honors College community?” What
benefits do you expect in return? (400-500 words)
Throughout my short lifetime of difficulties and discouragements, education has
been the one constant and one motivation that helped me stay positive. When my life
seemed to be falling apart, I knew I could get on the bus, go to school, and enter a
classroom I never wanted to leave. Whenever I was having a bad day, I redirected my
energy and passion into learning.
My teachers have played a special part in creating this safehaven for me.
They’ve pushed me to grow in unimaginable ways, from reading dozens of chapter
books in third grade to writing seven-page research papers on hipster culture and the
struggle for identity in modern society. Each of my teachers has encouraged me to
channel the intensity of my struggles into my learning, which has allowed me to achieve
successes larger than I thought I was capable of.
Because of their influence, something in me changed. I found myself taking on a
more active role in my education — in and out of the classroom. I remember watching
How It’s Made in my freetime, the hours I spent constructing papers and projects for
pure self-gratification, and the hundreds of emails I’ve sent to my teachers, asking
questions and relating my finds to class discussions. I loved taking my education
outside the classroom, and I still love it. Most of my life is based on academia because I
truly believe an education and studying something you’re passionate about can get you
where you want in life.
Sometimes, a person forces their wants and desires on other people. This can
take the form of mothers putting their five-year- old daughters on Toddler’s and Tiaras or
ex-druggie dads keeping their kids in check so they don’t make the same mistakes they
did. But I’m a little different.
A teacher once referred to me as “very demanding.” This startled me initially, but
then he continued: “Lizzie is demanding of her classmates. She expects them to come
prepared and ready to learn. She is demanding of herself and of her teachers. She
really is a student who inspires me to bring my best everyday to the classroom because
that’s what she does.”
There’s no better way to describe what I will bring to the Honors College
community than this quote. I can’t imagine my life without school and without
encouraging myself and others to succeed. It has pushed me throughout life, and I
wouldn’t be who I am without my education or the inspiration behind it: my teachers. In
this community, I will motivate my peers to push themselves beyond the concept of ‘A’s’
and ‘B’s’. I will challenge them and remind them to never lose the drive that got them
there in the first place. I expect my peers to do the same for me, because learning is not
something a person can do alone. It requires input and collaboration from others. The
Honors College will give me that, and I know I can give it back.