Even though it seems like just yesterday, it's already been almost three years since my college adventure started... and choosing Indiana has been and continues to be the best decision I've made.
When I first visited IU, I fell in love with everything about it. The university has such a fabulous reputation, the Theatre Department is very prestigious (we were recently ranked in the top 10 college programs in the country), campus is beautiful, it's a Big Ten school, and it's a large university that doesn't overwhelm. Plus, it's far enough away from home that I don't feel like I'm still in high school with the same people I've been in school with for years and it's still close enough for me to go home and visit.
I was a fan about everything having to do with IU, and yet coming here was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done because I was so incredibly homesick. None of my friends came here with me. I didn’t know anybody, and I didn't try to make new friends. Now, I know what you're thinking... wasn't that the point? To not be surrounded by people you've known since elementary school? Yes, it was but I forgot the reason behind it... I was so worried that people at home were going to care less about me because I was so far away that I didn't get involved here. I went to class, came back to my dorm, did homework, and went to bed... and I was miserable.
And yet I knew I was in the right place and this wasn't a mistake, that becoming a Hoosier was my chance to meet new people and try new things, all while getting a great education. And finally... it hit me: I'm wasting the best years of my life acting like this. I wasn't making the most of the opportunities that were being presented to me here, and I wasn't giving IU the chance it deserved... and most importantly, I wasn't giving myself the chance to be happy here.
So I started making my way in the world, like you're supposed to in college. I joined the Student Alumni Association, where I found people who shared my passion for IU and where I could give back to the community that was providing me with so much. I became more active in the Theatre Department and made friends that are now like a family to me. I actually started living a life here, and found my excitement for being here again.
IU will win you over, and the love of being a Hoosier will never steer you wrong and never fade, and that’s the mark of a successful university.
If you take one thing away from this, it should be that no matter where you are, no matter what you're doing... the most important thing is that you go out, get involved, and make yourself a home. Find what you love and make the most of it.
Now, not a day goes by that I don't feel incredibly lucky to be able to call myself a Hoosier. It was a growing experience and the only thing I regret is wasting even a day of my life here. I needed this place a lot more than it needed me... and now I can't picture myself being anywhere else.