I graduated from a high school of only around 800 people total and college wasn’t necessarily expected of me, so I decided to start small on a satellite campus, IPFW, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I began my education in August of 2015 and actually really liked the small campus atmosphere, but there was something missing. I was missing out on a college experience—meeting with friends between classes for lunch on campus, taking part in an organization, attending sporting events—something I came to know as the Hoosier experience.
I decided to apply to transfer to IU Bloomington to continue my education and to fulfill my itch for a more immersive college experience. From the moment I stepped on campus for my transfer orientation I knew that IU was the perfect match for me; it felt like I belonged here.
Adapting to a new campus
I began my classes in August, spent my time in the Indiana Memorial Union and Wells Library studying, and tried my best to find friends in my classes and in organizations as I moved to Bloomington solo. Unfortunately I made friends with a few people who weren’t the best for me—we went to parties on weekends and didn’t pay much mind to classes.
I noticed my mental health started declining and I was less motivated to attend my classes or even do my homework and I was eventually placed on academic probation. Throughout this process I never realized what kind of consequences I could face for my actions; I was taking for granted this experience I had wanted for so long. A series of events led to my dismissal from Indiana University. I was forced to make a new plan and the options were clear: stay in Bloomington and work for readmittance or go home and give up. The answer was also clear, so I enrolled for classes at Ivy Tech and raised my GPA to be readmitted to IU.
Finding my way
While I was taking classes at Ivy Tech, I was still living with my roommates who were attending IU, I was still using the Wells Library for late night study sessions, and I was still taking scenic strolls through campus. While I occupied campus as a nonstudent, I realized the beauty of what I had taken for granted. I was missing out on what I came to Bloomington for, I was missing out on my immersive college experience. I came back to IU with the mindset that I would never again take my education or opportunity for granted. I was lucky to be able to attend Indiana University and I was even luckier to even have access to this experience. I was more attentive in my classes, I felt that I wanted to do my homework, and I wanted to go to class for fear that I might miss an interesting discussion if I didn’t; I was genuinely enjoying learning.
I graduated in May 2020, one year later than I was expected to, during a global pandemic, without any of the rituals I expected to take part in. I was sad to be ending this chapter of my educational journey, but Indiana University has inspired me to open a new educational chapter and attend graduate school to seek my master’s degree.
Throughout my transfer experience I learned about myself, I changed my perspective on the world, and I found my way.