I remember quite clearly the first time I started to miss Bloomington after being away from it for a somewhat extended period of time. It was freshman year, and first semester had just drawn to a close. I had gone from knowing virtually no one and battling a semester of homesickness, learning to live with a roommate, and adjusting to college classes and course loads to finally feeling like I belonged to the IU community, if not only somewhat.
Customary Sample Gates photo as taken by me after class just this past Wednesday. No other college campus could ever compare to this.
It would happen at pretty much the most infrequent times during winter break. I’d be flipping channels in the pursuit of something to watch on TV when I’d stumble across Twilight. Suddenly, I was taken back to the night when a new friend from class and I watched it together in an effort to procrastinate on schoolwork, giggling at the laughably awkward dialogue between Edward and Bella the whole time. Or perhaps I’d be eating French fries and be reminded of Potato Oles from Taco John’s at Gresham and their wonderful, salty goodness. (Yes, even fried potatoes were somehow an integral part of my IU experience). But that wasn’t even the most of it, as even the smallest things like such as seeing an Indiana license plate (a real rarity in California) all triggered memories. My IU experience was minimal, just a semester deep. But those four months managed to define me more than I ever could have imagined.
If you are a freshman right now, I’m sure Welcome Week and the first week of classes have taught you that there is absolutely no way to predict and plan out exactly how your college experience will turn out. But that’s okay. One night in the near future, when you are at home for semester break and doing something incredibly random with no relation whatsoever to IU, a memory will pop into your head, followed by the ensuing nostalgia. And that is when you will know that IU is no longer just your home for the next four years, nor is it just a place where you get an education. It is a part of you, forever.
Driving down 37 to get back to Bloomington last week. I can't even describe how giddy and excited I was this entire drive. (There's a glare of the interior of the car thanks to the window, but I still thought this was a pretty shot).