Oh, the People You'll Meet at IU...

IU will do many things for you.  It will give you countless opportunities to partake in life-changing moments, while giving you the tools you need to succeed, including wonderful professors and classes that excite and inspire you.  It will allow you to develop mentally, socially, and intellectually. 

It will also put you side by side with some of the most interesting, wild, and beautiful people you will ever meet. 

Keep Calm and Stop PrejudiceI think one of the biggest obstacles of having a wonderful experience at IU is overcoming preconceived notions of others.  We all have them.  Whether you come from a small town or a vast city, you've seen prejudice.  Sometimes it is passed down from our parents, grandparents, or even teachers or mentors.  Some of the most intelligent and kind-hearted people in the world are the most prejudiced.  It has become our instinct to judge people based on their appearance or demeanor. 

I encourage you to take this time away from the circle of people that make up your comfort zone to gain something that will open innumerable doors for you in the future: an open mind.

Having an open mind will give you a new view of the world, one where you will see people as fascinating individuals, each with their own knowledge and opinions and outlook on life.  Everyone you meet is an opportunity to gain insight into another part of the state, the country, or even the world. 

That girl with tattoos on her arms may be on the verge of a record label. That guy with baggy clothes and long hair may have spent months building schools in third world countries.  I have met people with stories that would make Kate Middleton's life seem dull in comparison.  Maybe not many of those, but definitely a lot of insightful, well-traveled people, and people from backgrounds that I couldn't imagine being a part of.  You will never know how amazing that person sitting next to you in class is if you automatically label them as "snobby" or "weird."

The world is in desperate need of people who seek to understand rather than judge.  If you take advantage of the education you get at IU, chances are that you will be successful.  Gaining success will only improve when you have an open mind to go with it.  You will continue to meet fascinating people and learn from their experiences.  You will become wiser and more well-rounded.  Maybe someday, people will be lucky to have the chance to get to know you.

Here are a few other articles that will help you get the most from your time at IU:

About The Author
Cassie Heeke

Journalism Major at Indiana University