One of the most common questions asked around here is “why did you choose to go to IU?” Most answers are something like, “I love the campus” or “it has a lot of opportunity” or “for the Kelley School of Business.” My answer is a little different, though. To put it simply, when asked why I chose to attend school here at IU, I usually reply with “I didn’t.”
It sounds bad, I know! Don’t worry, it all turned out great. I know that every student here has their own story as to why they are attending IU, and I figured as a new member of We Are IU, it’s about time I share my own.
Last fall, as I was being pestered by my parents to apply to schools (I’m a big procrastinator, applications were quite the struggle!) IU was one of the first on my list. As someone who has lived in Indiana my entire life, the university becomes a must for applications in my hometown. Of course, I applied to the school, as I did with eight others. My parents wanted me to apply to as many in-state schools as possible (don’t worry, I didn’t apply to Purdue!) and I applied to a bunch in the Chicago area as well because it’s close to home. I had my sights set on an art school in Chicago, I’d fallen in love with it my freshman year of high school and was completely engulfed in the idea of living in an apartment in the city with a bunch of my friends who were also attending school downtown for the fall semester. When it came time to make an actual decision, my heart was torn between Bloomington and Chicago. Most of my closest friends were headed downtown, either to Loyola, Columbia, or The University of Chicago, and I wanted more than anything to be living there with them. When it came down to it, however, as much as none of us like to admit it, money is a roadblock. I argued my heart out for the chance to go to the school of my dreams in Chicago, but the cost of tuition was nearly twice that of Indiana. After weeks of arguing, crying, and flat-out ignoring my parents’ opinions, it was decided-I was going to IU.
I’m not going to lie, I was pretty upset about the whole ordeal, I was even dreading going to orientation in June. Orientation, however, actually changed my whole view on things. It made me remember why I was so in love with this school in the first place. The campus is gorgeous, there are hundreds of majors and minors to choose from, the entire place is full of opportunity. By the time move-in day rolled around, I was just as excited as anyone who had chosen the school as their top choice from the beginning.
Living here now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and having little choice in my future school was no exception. I absolutely love it here, and although sometimes I wonder what going to school in Chicago would be like, I know that I’m better off here. I love the atmosphere of a university and of a huge campus full of libraries, old, historical buildings, and gorgeous trails surrounded by trees-all the things I would never find the environment of an urban school. I love that it’s easy to find a quiet place to study and the opportunity to study nearly anywhere in the world within the next few years. I know it’s only freshman year, but Bloomington is my home. I feel like this is where I belong, and I know I’m a true Hoosier at heart.