Hello everyone! My name is Elise Armand, and I come from the small town of Westport, Indiana. My college search process wasn't an easy one, but I'm here to tell you that coming to IU is probably one of the best things I've ever done.
A little bit about me - I graduated from South Decatur Jr.-Sr. High School. My graduating class was 67 (and I loved it). I grew up on a farm helping my parents raise fruits, vegetables, livestock, and pumpkins (my dad also grows corn and soybeans). Speaking of my parents, they're both Purdue alums. Yeah, I was that kid that knew all the words to "Hail Purdue" in the fourth grade. IU probably seems like an unlikely choice, right? Honestly, if you'd told me four years ago that I'd be at IU now, I would have laughed at you. College admissions is such an unpredictable process, though.
My sophomore year of high school, I started getting letters, postcards, information packets, window decals, and even Christmas cards from what seemed like every college on the planet. It was a bit overwhelming. Every college seemed to have something that made it attractive. How on earth was I supposed to choose? I was temporarily in love with a number of different schools, but still assumed that I would eventually end up at Purdue.
My senior year, I "officially" visited Purdue. I'd been there plenty of times before, on 4-H and FFA trips, but I hadn't ever had any contact with the school of management. My mom, a Krannert grad herself, was thrilled to go and was sure I'd like it. Except I didn't. It just wasn't the right fit for me. I decided that this process was more about finding what was right for me than it was about going to a school that my parents decided was right for them thirty years ago.
Then I fell in love with a small private college in Virginia. This one lasted more than any of my other college love affairs, and I was determined to go there. I had thought through everything. I submitted my application early, and my guidance counselor and I were both sure I'd get in. I applied for every scholarship I could (it's a pretty expensive school). I thought about how I could visit home sometime during October (I didn't want to completely miss the pumpkin patch). I researched everything about the campus and surrounding community.
There was only one thing I didn't account for. I'm telling you; March 25th was a pretty bad day for me. That was the day admissions decisions were released. If you can't guess, I didn't get in. I literally cried. It seemed so unfair. And to make matters worse, I didn't get in to my second choice either. Since my top two choices were exhausted, I moved on to my third choice, which was IU. I cried again when I sent in my enrollment deposit. I was absolutely terrified of going to a large school. I thought I would just try to survive for a semester, maybe a year (at the most) until I could transfer somewhere else. In the meantime, I decided to make the best of a bad situation and tried to find ways to make my college experience more bearable.
Well, I must have done a good job, because I wouldn't have it any other way now. I'm not transferring anywhere. I'm more than happy here. I love my professors and my fellow students. I had a great season with the Marching Hundred (by the way, my first marching band experience), I enjoy living with like-minded people in the Kelley Living-Learning Center, and I love going to club meetings for the American Marketing Association and Collegiate 4-H. I love that I have so many choices for classes - I took Tae Kwon Do last semester, and I'm taking a class called "Planning Your European Vacation" this semester. I also love the opportunities I have at IU: I'm going to India with other Kelley freshmen this summer, and I have a marketing internship at a local restaurant. I've met recruiters from several well-known companies both on campus and off. And I'm only a freshman!
IU is the best decision I never intended to make, and I can't wait to share with you!