The Whole Shebang - The IU Experience

Hello Hoosiers!

September is settling in, and I'm already getting used to all that there is to do here at IU. It has been a while since my last post, and I'm sorry that I haven't been posting as often as I should. From moving from home to the dorm, choosing classes, and getting accustomed to living in Indiana, I've had lots of things to think about writing, so here I am to spill everything that I've come to know about IU so far.

Just as a side note, this post is mostly geared towards the now high school seniors who are thinking about colleges. For those of us already here at IU, this can serve as yet another view on what all there is to do here at IU. For all of those high school students looking into colleges, whether you be a senior or even younger than that, here are a couple things I experienced while being here at IU.


Most people had summer orientation. Yes, yes, you all got the classes you wanted and it was grand. However, for the unlucky souls such as myself, I had to wait until the very last possible date for orientation, leaving few classes open, and few favored time slots to choose from. As a music education major, my classes consist of String Technique, Major Ensemble, Performance Study, Secondary Piano, and many other things that many of you could care less about. HOWEVER, every student is required to take a certain amount of General Education courses, ranging in topics from Death and Dying to the History of Egypt. It's good to have your Academic Planning Worksheet (located here) fully filled out, listing all of the required classes for your major and the other non-descript classes you're interested in. 

Choosing classes was only day two of orientation. Day one was full of hours and hours of meetings, sessions about the different amentities offered on campus such as the IU Health Center and the Study Abroad programs, and separate college-related things that only incoming freshman get to experience. Though the Bursar meeting is a pain in the rear, your parents especially need to hear everything about billing and how it all works.

Repeat after me: All hail the Bursar

If you get a chance to live on campus during orientation, whether it be in the summer or when August rolls around next year, it is a great experience. Wherever you end up living, it will quickly become home to you, and any worries you had about living by yourself will seem to have vanished (though homesickness is a real thing from time to time). 

Welcome Week

Out of everything I was excited for -- leaving home (finally), the freedom, the food, the new people, etc. -- one of the biggest things I was looking forward to was Welcome Week. This sacred IU tradition is a crash course in everything IU -- from CultureFest, RecFest, the Job Fair -- and I encourage all of you to participate in as much as you can. There is so much to do, and this is one of the first times you get to be independent and go to what you want, not what any of your friends or parents want you to go to.

I will warn you, however, that Welcome Week is also a hectic time. Everyone is coming here and experiencing the same relief that they are finally away from home. However, I warn you to be wary of your surroundings because everyone is coming onto campus, throwing parties, and busting out all of that alcohol. We are all adults now, and it's up to you to set your limits and abide by them. Though this is a touchy subject, I hope all of you make the right decision for you and be careful.

First Week of Classes

I will admit that the first week of classes was stressful

As a music student, all of my classes are located in around the same place, but many friends of mine had an even harder schedule walking from Ballantine to Woodburn to Sycamore and other halls around the campus. I even walked into the wrong building for my first class of the day, but I was a lovely 40 minutes early to Jacobs, so I was able to find my way around quick enough. With that in mind, it's good to know exactly where you are going before you go, so I suggest walking your schedule with a friend - or maybe even by yourself - so that you know where everything is before the first day.

One of the nice things about your first day of classes is the fact that you are not confined to one building for an extended block of time every day. You can have one or two hour breaks in between, giving you enough time to grab some breakfast or enjoy the scenery on campus. 

One Word: beautiful.

I've already seen a lot of people on campus tours, and I'm glad that you are taking the initiative and seeing the campus for yourself. I promise that there is a place here for everyone, and IU is a great place to consider when applying to colleges. It's one thing to read about all of the things that happen here at Indiana University, but it's definitely another thing to experience it first hand. 

Until next time :)


For more about the Freshman Experience:

About The Author
Miller SusensMusic Education Major, Dallas, TX, Class of 2018

Yes, Miller is my first name. I prefer blue cheese bacon burgers on the first date and I'm pretty sure that I only own brown sandals. Lover of yoga, tumblr, pilates, fried chicken, sweet tea, and colors. Member of Alpha Gamma Delta (peace luv alpha gams). Cellist in the Jacobs School of Music. Native Texan. Very, very clumsy.