The fall semester hasn't even started and I've already finished my first college class! Two weeks before Welcome Week, I came down to IU (from Chicago) to participate in the Intensive Freshman Seminar program. On the IFS website, it is described as, "an amazing opportunity to begin your fall semester two weeks early while earning 3-credits, meeting great friends, learning from one of IU's best professors, and getting used to college life on the IU-Bloomington campus!" That sentence really sums up exactly what the program was. Now, I want to share my IFS experience with you.
I chose to take the class Leaving Teenage Wasteland: Expectations of Adulthood in Literature and Culture. I selected my top three choices and luckily got my first choice. I heard great things about the professor, Dana Anderson, and the course description seemed very unique (as did all of the classes). I loved my class! The students, the intern, and the professor were all amazing! If I could have all of my classes taught by Dana, it would be a dream come true. I guess something bad about IFS is that it's setting the standards really high for how I expect my classes to be!
Now, let me just say that Intensive Freshman Seminar is exactly what it is: INTENSE. There's a lot to in a very short period of time, so the assignments were long. Class went from 9-1 Monday through Friday (some classes met Saturday). During the two weeks, I read four novels (The Catcher in the Rye, Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Glass Castle, and A Fault in Our Stars), wrote long responses each night, and participated in a group project. However, the workload is very manageable because I had so much free time after class. I was able to go out with friends almost every day while still completing the assignment for the day. The picture below is from our class outing to a sculpture park in Indianapolis.
Having the campus basically to yourself meant that is was easy to go out and explore. I took the opportunity to find out my favorite places on campus (restaurants, study spots, etc.). One of my favorite things we did was go to the Bloomington Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. It was a great way to spend time with people outside of class and it was a nice break from all the cafeteria food (it doesn't get much better in college, sorry). At the end of the two weeks, there was an IFS formal banquet. It was a great way to celebrate the end of the program. There was a lot of food, speeches, performances, and a slideshow that allowed all of us to relive the past two weeks.
For those of you who plan on doing IFS, here's some tips:
These past two weeks were the busiest, craziest weeks I've had in a while, but I can't imagine starting my freshman year at IU any differently.
For more information on IFS, check out this blog post that I read when I was thinking about doing IFS: