The Spread

The Spread Senior Feature: May 2019 Issue

May 2019 Featured Image

 

Dear Readers,

 

Classes have ended for the semester at the University of Illinois, and summer will soon be upon us. Finals will conclude next weekend, after which the majority of students will be packing their bags to leave campus. For one large group of students, however, this will mean parting with the university for the last time. The class of 2019 is graduating soon, and among them are several members of The Spread’s own staff. So to kick off our final monthly issue for Spring 2019, we felt that honoring the accomplishments of our senior members was the best way to celebrate. Read on to learn more about our graduating editors and staff writers and what their futures hold for after college.

RILEY CORBOY

Corboy Riley
Pop Culture Editor
Senior in Marketing
Member of The Spread since 2017

When did you first become involved with The Spread? Why did you decide to become a member of the staff?

“I first became a involved with The Spread in the second semester of my sophomore year, after meeting the wonderful Editor-In-Chief first semester and hearing so many great things about the publication.”

In addition to The Spread, what other extracurriculars, jobs, organizations, etc. have you been a part of during your college career?

“Besides The Spread, I was involved in Her Campus magazine and the Society of Women in Business for many of my college days. I also worked part-time at Panera, was a supervisor at the Starbucks in the Union, worked at the Spurlock Museum as their membership development assistant, and was a digital marketing contractor for a tech start-up downtown. I also interned under the Chief Marketing Officer at the same tech start-up the summer after my sophomore year, and then interned in the marketing department of a large finance company downtown the summer after my junior year.”

What interests you the most about writing for a magazine?

“I love the freedom and quick turnaround involved in magazines. You get to research and learn about so many new things, and when you have the autonomy to choose your stories then they are also things you are passionate about. The fast pace works well with how I like my life to flow.”

What is one of your favorite pieces you have ever written for The Spread, and why?

“I honestly can’t choose a favorite!”

What have been some of your favorite memories from college, in general?

“Many of my favorite memories from college center around the friends I met here and spent my time with. Movie nights, splitting tater tots from Cracked, barn dances, cheap wells at Murphy’s, seeing concerts, playing games, running around in the snow… they all kind of blur together in a happy montage after a while.”

What are some aspects of college that you didn’t expect or that have surprised you?

“The main thing about college that surprised me was that the most important lessons I learned happened outside of the classroom. Things like learning how to network and interview have been crucial in beginning my professional career, but there is no substitute for going out and practicing those skills in front of real recruiters.”

Overall, how would you say your college experience compares to any expectations you may have had?

“I had really high expectations for college. In some ways, they fell short. I didn’t have a really core, solid friend group until the end of my sophomore year, which left me feeling pretty adrift and lonely for a couple years. I also didn’t enjoy my classes as much as I thought I would, because the business curriculum isn’t set up for marketing majors to begin taking marketing classes until as late as junior year. However, there are so many experiences, like studying abroad, that were beyond anything I could have imagined back in high school.”

Looking back on your college experience, do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?

“I don’t really believe in having regrets, but one thing I will say I regret is not getting more involved in RSOs in freshman year. It’s such a great way to meet like-minded people, but I felt so isolated that year that the thought of meeting those people was intimidating. Looking back, I want to give myself a hug and a push out the door!”

If you could give your freshman self advice now, as an almost-graduate, what would you tell her and why?

“I would tell her that it’s totally normal and okay to feel lonely, but the best way for her to deal with those feelings are to face her anxiety head-on and go meet people. Join more RSOs and get a part-time job, because those are both great ways to build friendships. At the same time, though, don’t stress it. From my close friend circle, one was my freshman year roommate, one I met in B101, one was the first person I met when I joined a sorority (and we both happened to drop out less than two months in), one was my coworker at Starbucks, and another I met studying abroad. The right people will come into your life at unexpected times, from places you’ll never see coming.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“I am moving up to Chicago and beginning a full-time marketing job at the finance firm I interned with last summer! I’m so excited and beyond ready to start working. There are a few trips happening in the next few months, too, including one to London!”

What will you miss most about campus?

“The main thing I’m going to miss is living so close to so many of my friends. We’re all scattering after graduation, which is fantastic for them, but I’m going to miss being able to send a text and meet up for food or coffee with them ten minutes later!”

What is one thing you will take from your experience as a U of I student into the rest of adulthood?

“The best way to get over the things that scare you is to do them. Even if you stumble for a while before finding your legs, exposing yourself to new experiences is absolutely key to growing as a person. Shatter that comfort zone.”

Sum up your college experience in one sentence.

“Way too expensive, but ultimately an experience that helped shape me into the person I am today.”


MEA DONNELLY

Donnelly Mea
Relationships Editor
Senior in Global Studies and Pre-Law
Member of The Spread since 2015

When did you first become involved with The Spread? Why did you decide to become a member of the staff?

“I joined The Spread the first semester of my freshman year. I went into school actually wanting to switch from Global Studies to a Journalism major and wanted to end up working for like Cosmopolitan. I joined because I loved writing and I thought it would be good for initial career goals. Once my career goals changed, I continued on because of how much I liked writing.”

In addition to The Spread, what other extracurriculars, jobs, organizations, etc. have you been a part of during your college career?

“I was on the Illinois Trial Team all four years until late last semester, and I also will be an alumni of Kappa Delta Sorority. I also had an internship at ESPN radio in Champaign for one of my semesters here.”

What interests you the most about writing for a magazine?

“Getting to create content to help other UIUC students. I think The Spread really gets to do this kind of stuff and can teach things to other UIUC students that they didn’t already know.”

What is one of your favorite pieces you have ever written for The Spread, and why?

“Probably the article I wrote that broke up Lollapalooza into a day-by-day guide. I am super into music festivals – I go to at least five a year – and this article let me share my love for them with readers of The Spread.”

What have been some of your favorite memories from college, in general?

“Probably nights out with friends. My friends I have gone on so many crazy adventures in college and it was always a hilarious story in the end.”

What are some aspects of college that you didn’t expect or that have surprised you?

“I didn’t expect professors to be so caring. I was led to believe a lot of them didn’t care as much about students, but for me that was a completely different experience. While in college, two of my grandparents and my childhood dog passed away and my professors always were super caring and checked in on me during those times. I also have quite a few professors who I am going to keep in touch with after graduation. I think the impact professors can have is absolutely profound.”

Overall, how would you say your college experience compares to any expectations you may have had?

“I would say I expected to have a lot more school work than I had. I think because I came in with a lot of AP credits, I was able to take 12-15 credit hours a semester. This gave me a lot more free time to do things with friends and kind of just do what I wanted.”

Looking back on your college experience, do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?

“Probably not exploring Champaign as much until this year. Prior to this year, I stayed exclusively in Campustown, but downtown Champaign has a lot to offer. From Seven Saints to Pour Bros, there are a lot of cute gems downtown that would have helped make Champaign feel more like a city when I needed it to.”

If you could give your freshman self advice now, as an almost-graduate, what would you tell her and why?

“I would say don’t rush it. I tend to be a future-thinking person and would try to live more in the moment and cherish everything and everyone I met because of UIUC.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“I am moving to Tucson, Arizona to go to law school! I am super excited to move somewhere warmer and be out on my own. About 250 people from my high school came to UIUC, so I didn’t really get the whole ‘on my own’ experience in college. I am super excited to get to do that in Arizona and get to study the law.”

What will you miss most about campus?

“Living in such proximity to all my friends. Especially because I am moving to Arizona, this is one of the last times I will be in the same city as a lot of my college friends. Being able to go out to dinner at the last second or meet up on the Quad is something I am really going to miss.”

What is one thing you will take from your experience as a U of I student into the rest of adulthood?

“Probably both of my experiences living abroad. I was fortunate enough to study abroad twice. It has made me a much better global citizen and a really good traveler.”

Sum up your college experience in one sentence.

“Four years of work, fun and play.”


MARIAH MCBRIDE

McBride Mariah
Staff Writer
Senior in Broadcast Journalism
Member of The Spread since 2016

When did you first become involved with The Spread? Why did you decide to become a member of the staff?

“I became involved my sophomore year of college. I decided to become a staff writer because I wanted to test out journalism before switching my major to it.”

In addition to The Spread, what other extracurriculars, jobs, organizations, etc. have you been a part of during your college career?

“I have had every job in a residence hall. I started working in the dining hall freshman year, then I became a desk clerk the next year. In my last two years, I work at both the front desk and was a resident advisor to 60 residents each year. Outside of work, I am a member of the University of Illinois Black Chorus. I danced for ACTS campus ministry. I was also a part of SPJ and NABJ. I also got to do some work on Good Morning Illini, the morning talk show on campus. Plus, I had the opportunity to serve as co-advisor for Salongo, the first black student union on campus.”

What interests you the most about writing for a magazine?

“I like having the opportunity to tell a story. I think writing for a magazine is always a great chance to challenge my creative juices and practice telling a story that will hopefully capture people’s attention and give a glimpse into someone’s world or what you are thinking.”

What is one of your favorite pieces you have ever written for The Spread, and why?

“I like a lot of my reviews, but I think the best piece I wrote was a review on Reality High. I like this piece because I had an opportunity to write about media representation which is something I am passionate about fixing.”

What have been some of your favorite memories from college, in general?

“This is so hard. I would say the ones that I didn’t plan, but that resulted in new friendships or my friends and I staying up late talking, dancing, laughing, or maybe even singing.”

What are some aspects of college that you didn’t expect or that have surprised you?

“I am not really sure. I would have to say the freedom here. I didn’t expect to have this much control over the things I did here.”

Overall, how would you say your college experience compares to any expectations you may have had?

“I don’t think that college compares to the expectations that I had because my expectations were too unrealistic.”

Looking back on your college experience, do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?

“I think the biggest regret I have would be limiting myself or getting into a routine. There is so much on this campus to do, so many people to meet and places to visit, and I wish I would have explored a little bit more outside of my comfort zone. I started doing that later in my college career, but I definitely wish I would have started earlier. I also wished I would have developed more friendships and not let work or distance have an effect.”

If you could give your freshman self advice now, as an almost-graduate, what would you tell her and why?

“I would say don’t worry about having a plan. Do everything you love to do from day one. I would tell myself this because I remember always limiting myself,  trying to find the right timing to get involved. Now I realize that plans don’t alway work out, but it is still up to us to do what we can while we can.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“I am currently in pursuit of a job or senior internship at a broadcast news station, preferably related to the entertainment industry, but I am open to regular news as well. Other than that, I am looking forward to using my spare time to restore my creative side.”

What will you miss most about campus?

“I haven’t really processed that I am leaving yet, but right now I think I would have to say the campus feeling on a warm sunny day. You can’t recreate that anywhere, especially not on our Quad.”

What is one thing you will take from your experience as a U of I student into the rest of adulthood?

“I would say personal growth. College taught me so much about myself and others.”

Sum up your college experience in one sentence.

“College was a step in the right direction.”


MADDIE SIEVERS

Sievers Maddie
Staff Writer
Senior in Advertising
Member of The Spread since 2017

When did you first become involved with The Spread? Why did you decide to become a member of the staff?

“I became involved with The Spread in January 2017, at the start of the spring semester of my sophomore year. At this point, I was already a blogger for Her Campus Illinois, but I wanted an opportunity to write more articles. I liked the fact that The Spread allowed its writers a lot of freedom to pick their topics and write as many articles as they wanted to each month.”

In addition to The Spread, what other extracurriculars, jobs, organizations, etc. have you been a part of during your college career?

“I participated in AAF as a member of OTH Creative Agency the entirety of my freshman and sophomore years, along with a brief social media position on Midnight Oil my sophomore year. Beginning the spring semester of my freshman year, I began as a blogger, editor, and social media intern for Her Campus Illinois, which I stuck with until I was named Vice President of Editorial for my senior year. As a James Scholar, I also had several opportunities to do social media and production projects for local organizations such as the Wesley Evening Food Pantry, CU Cradle to Career, and the Homer Lake Forest Preserve.

As for work experience throughout my college career, I maintained my high school job as a bank teller during the summers. I also assisted the bank with its social media and marketing efforts for the better part of my junior and senior years. Beginning the summer after my sophomore year, I accepted an internship as a Social Media and Market Student Associate at Engineering Career Services on campus. I stayed there until the spring semester of my junior year, when I began as a Communications Intern at the Office of Technology Management on campus, which is by far my favorite experience I’ve had in college!”

What interests you the most about writing for a magazine?

“My favorite part of writing for a magazine like The Spread is the fact that we publish monthly issues, which allows for more coordinated content and a greater number of pieces. I also love that each month Madison creates a “Welcome to The Issue” piece that introduces the content being published. This is completely different than my experience with Her Campus, where we’re required to publish a certain number of articles each week, and the content isn’t as cohesive as it is with the magazine.”

What is one of your favorite pieces you have ever written for The Spread, and why?

“I honestly have so many favorites it’s hard to pick! At the top of my list, though, are definitely the ones that I wrote from my personal experience, like stories I did about life as a commuter student, my favorite makeup and skincare products, and staple pieces in my wardrobe. I find it more interesting to read articles that give perspective into other students’ lives, so it was fun to write things like that for other people to read. I also really enjoyed taking my own pictures for these pieces.”

What have been some of your favorite memories from college, in general?

“Some of my favorite memories from college are from laid-back hangouts with friends, like grabbing pints at Murphy’s in the evenings or playing beer darts on a springtime afternoon. The best part of college for me was having more free time than I ever will again and just being able to sit back and enjoy it.”

What are some aspects of college that you didn’t expect or that have surprised you?

“I was surprised by how helpful my professors and T.A.s were as well as the overall workload. In high school, my teachers made college sound like you were completely on your own and that you would constantly be doing busy work. In my experience, that wasn’t the case at all. Most classes have a lot of work, but it’s manageable if you use your time wisely. Plus, your instructors are always there to help, and for the most part they genuinely want you to succeed if you are putting in the effort.”

Overall, how would you say your college experience compares to any expectations you may have had?

“College is definitely not what it’s made out to be in TV and movies. It’s not constantly drinking and partying, but it’s also not constantly pulling all-nighters to study. Most Illini work hard and play hard, but my experience was a healthy balance, somewhere in the middle of the two extremes you see portrayed on TV.”

Looking back on your college experience, do you have any regrets? If so, what are they?

“I wish I had joined the Horticulture Club! More importantly, though, I also wish I’d realized sooner that life is too short to waste time on people that make you anything less than the happiest, best self you can be.”

If you could give your freshman self advice now, as an almost-graduate, what would you tell her and why?

“I would say get out there, do whatever the heck you want to do, and don’t be afraid. If something interests you, do it. Join that club, take that random elective class, go to that party, say what you’re thinking, go on that trip. Just do anything and everything that makes you happy – you’re only in college once.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“The day after I graduate, I am taking a trip with the College of Media James Scholars to Amsterdam and Munich. Then, in July, I am getting married! After the wedding and honeymoon, my fiancée and I are moving to Milwaukee, where he has accepted a management training position with Cargill. I don’t have a job yet, but am currently in the process of finding one in the Milwaukee area.”

What will you miss most about campus?

“It makes me so incredibly happy just to walk around campus on a nice day and take in all of my surroundings. I love walking through the Quad and seeing students sitting on blankets, playing games, and walking dogs. It really adds to the experience when I hear the bells chime, especially if someone is playing “Hail to the Orange” or something silly like the Flintstones theme song. Witnessing all of the vibrance of this campus makes me incredibly proud to be an Illini, and I’ll be really sad when I don’t have the opportunity to take it all in whenever I want!”

What is one thing you will take from your experience as a U of I student into the rest of adulthood?

“The biggest thing that I learned as an Illinois student is that hard work pays off. It sounds really generic, but the U of I offers so many different things that you can really do anything that you want to do – it all just depends on what you do with your time and energy. I’d like to carry this mindset of determination and hard work through the rest of my life.”

Sum up your college experience in one sentence.

“College was hard, but it was worth every minute because I learned so much about who I am and the world around me.”


MADISON GILLESPIE

IMG_3777
Editor-In-Chief
Senior in Marketing and Management
Member of The Spread since 2015

We hope you enjoyed learning about the unique stories of our four graduating staff members. I, too, will be graduating alongside them and the rest of the class of 2019, so I wanted to include a few words of my own as well. When it comes to your college experience, embrace everything with open arms and make the most of the opportunities available to you. I can definitely relate with the other seniors’ perspectives on college regrets, in that I, too, wish I had started doing more things sooner. Whether you attend UIUC or a different university, make sure you are trying as many new things as you can and definitely move out of your comfort zone. You are bound to meet so many amazing people and create experiences to last a lifetime. If there is any one way I would describe my college experience, it would be the fastest four years of my life, but also the most fun and most rewarding four years that I will never forget.

On that note, everyone here at The Spread wants to congratulate you on a successful Spring 2019 semester. To the class of 2019, best of luck in your future endeavors as all of you have bright and exciting paths ahead. Be proud of your accomplishments, as it was a long journey filled with hard work to get here. To the graduating seniors on our staff this year, thank you all for your dedication, wonderful content, and fresh perspectives over the years, I know you all have wonderful futures waiting for you. And to all of our loyal readers, thank you all so, so much for your continued support of the magazine. While this is my last semester as Editor-In-Chief, I will always cherish the times spent publishing each monthly issue, and I am excited to see how this publication continues to grow in the future. I wish everyone the very best, and go Illini!

 

Sincerely, and farewell,

Madison Gillespie, Editor-In-Chief

 


Credit to image used in featured graphic: StyleCaster
Featured graphic edited and created by Madison Gillespie.

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