Finding your Hoosier Home After All

I can still remember the night before I left for college… I was sitting in my room crying into my pillow for hours. I could not stop thinking about the fact that this would be my last night really living at home. I am not someone who embraces change; I absolutely hate changes, and I knew moving to IU would be a huge change. I wondered about my family and the friendships I would leave behind… what would happen? A hundred various questions ran through my head that night. Will I make new friends? Will I be lonely? Will I get lost? What if my roommate hates me? Do I even like my major? How fast will these four years go?

I will now never forget the day I moved home from IU to begin my student teaching. Not only did I cry the night before I moved, but I cried for weeks before I even started packing! The friendships I made at IU will last forever. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the best possible choice when I chose to go to Indiana University. Going to school in Bloomington forever changed my life and my outlook on life. I was forced to make huge decisions; I was forced to leave my comfort zone and make new friendships; I was challenged in the classroom. I became a completely different person at IU. Going to such a large school enabled me to leave my small town “bubble” and really see the world. I was able to meet some of the greatest people while at school, and I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to go to such a great school!

Here is some of my advice for anyone looking to make the best of their experience at IU:

1. Get Involved!! There are hundreds of clubs, organizations, classes, groups, and sporting events to enjoy! Getting involved in an organization can make an enormous school seem like a small one, and there has to be an organization you are interested in. There are religious organizations, business clubs, recreational sports, sororities & fraternities, and many, many more. You also cannot forget to check out the Hoosier basketball team! One of the best nights of my life was when I had front row tickets for the IU/ UK game!

2. Give it time!! If you are not absolutely in love with the school once you arrive, do not automatically start looking for transfer options! First semester of freshman year is a difficult one, especially because of all the changes, but college gets better and better every year!

3. Check out the local favorites!! Order Pizza Express & Mother Bears pizza in the middle of the night; go to Jiffy Treat for incredible ice cream; take advantage of Kilroy’s $2 Tuesdays when you are 21; Take a trip to Griffy Lake or Lake Monroe!

4. Live with your friends! Living with your friends in the dorms or an apartment is an absolute blast! Most of my favorite memories of my time at IU are ones that just happened while sitting on the couch with my roommates! Don’t sweat the small stuff like who is going to do the dishes… just appreciate being with your best friends! You’ll miss them when you move out!

I dreaded leaving for college four years ago, but I am forever grateful for the experiences I gained at Indiana University. They say home is where the heart is, and well, my heart is in Bloomington, Indiana. GO HOOSIERS!!

Name: Emily Starrett
Hometown: Newburgh, IN
Degree and Major: Secondary Education
Graduation Year: 2012

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