During New Student Orientation here at IU, everyone is given a sticker offering suggestions of things one "Must Do at IU." It's a bucket list just for Hoosiers with ideas from traditional IU events like going to the Little 500 and participating in the Nearly Naked Mile to experiences around Bloomington like going to the farmer's market and seeing a movie at the Pride Film Festival. And while this list is a great place to start for those who want to take advantage of the diverse opportunities IU and Bloomington provide, it pretty much sticks to the beaten path. Growing up in Indiana, I had heard of almost everything on the list before I got to campus (though for the record, I've completed less than half the items).
One reason I chose IU over smaller colleges is that a large university has resources and connections that other universities may not. IU is not just a party school-it's academically a great school too. With that in mind, here are five additions I would make to the "Must Do at IU" list:
Maybe you've already checked out the free movies at the Whittenburger Auditorium in the IMU, but when was the last time you saw a foreign film or documentary? IU's THX-certified Cinema offers films from a variety of genres and languages. The best part is often the movies are often free, though you still need to pick up a ticket.
I know. "Lecture" sounds like more classwork, but the beauty of guest lectures and speakers is that no one will ask you to write a paper over it. Use these as an opportunity to learn about a topic you love but don't have time to take a class over, or use them as networking opportunities with experts in your field. My freshman year I got to hear a lecture by the award-winning costume designer James Acheson (Spiderman, Doctor Who), and I certainly do not regret it.
The Jacobs School of Music is filled with very talented musicians. They have recitals. These recitals are free. It's a no brainer.
The School of Global and International Studies has three culture centers on campus: Asian Culture Center, Latino Culture Center (La Casa) and Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. These are a great way to explore a culture other than your own.
People say music is a universal language. Does that extend to dance? I like to think so. When choosing classes, opt for something out of your comfort zone. Do you want to try belly dance? Hip hop? You can also find organizations such as the Swing Dance Club, the Ballroom Dance Club and Ritmos Latinos Indiana among others.
IU is a cornucopia of opportunities for students, and it doesn't so much matter what you add to your personal bucket list as long as you do something worthwhile, something you enjoy.