I remember being VERY apprehensive while applying for housing my senior year of high school. I still didn't know much about IU, had no close friends coming with me, and hated the idea of living with a stranger. I knew that the northwest neighborhood was the most popular option, so I checked that box, submitted the application, and tried to forget about it. Around the same time, I got an email from Collins Living-Learning Center describing a castle-esque dorm on the corner of 10th and Woodlawn.They told me Collins has a ceramics studio, darkroom, movie theatre, and a dining hall with lots of vegetarian options (I've been a vegetarian for seven years). It seemed like the perfect place for me. I printed off some samples of my photography, submitted the additional application, and hoped for the best. A little while later I received an email saying I had been accepted to live there! I was so elated. However, I didn't realize that didn't guarantee me an actual spot in the dorm. That decision was up to RPS.
I found this out the hard way after I was placed in Briscoe. Tears. I wanted nothing to do with Briscoe and had my heart set on living in Collins. In a weird twist of fate, about three hours after my initial placement I got another email saying I had been taken off the waitlist and placed in Collins! YES! What a roller coaster of emotions. That summer I moved into a "divided-double" room in Collins Greene with my randomly-assigned roommate, Anna. I made so many new friends and loved Collins just as much as I thought I was going to. This year, I live in a huge single room with big windows in Collins Smith.
I have taken many opportunities to get involved, especially in the last two semesters. I'm the staff photographer and BOG representative, which has exposed me to so so many fun activities and people. I think the thing I love most about my dorm is how they foster creativity and leadership in every single student. There are so many Collins-exclusive facilities that students are free to use whenever they want. In other dorms, programming is done exclusively by the RAs. In Collins, anyone and everyone is welcome to ask for money to put on an event.
Now that I'm nearing the end of my sophomore year, I am about to bid farewell to the place I've called home for two years. I must admit that it hasn't all been roses - the longer I've lived there the more crazy I've gone from the lack of privacy and constant noise. However, I realize how lucky I am to have lived in such a welcoming, open-minded, and fun space. I have made friends here that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I'm even living with Anna again when I move into a house next semester!
My side of the room at the beginning of freshman year:
My room at the beginning of this year: