A lot of people ask me, "why IU Bloomington? Why not IUPUI?" It's a fair question since IUPUI is practically in my backyard. I'd love to say it was the size and beauty of the campus, but my decision came down to three things: financial aid, the diversity of courses, and the opportunity to truly be away from home.
To be honest, I barely registered anything about IU Bloomington on my first visit because it was so cold! But when I got here for Welcome Week, I was so struck by everything you see in the brochures. It was a huge, beautiful campus with an amazing atmosphere and so many opportunities to meet people and get involved. Things only got better when I moved in to the Global Village Living-Learning Community.
The Global Village feels a lot like an actual village. We have around 70 student residents who are all heavily interested in international issues and tend to speak more than one language. It's kind of perfect because I'm absolutely obsessed with learning languages—Spanish, in particular—and the cultures surrounding them.
One of my favorite classes so far has been Haitian Creole. My parents are from Haiti, and while I'm considered a "heritage speaker," I don't know the language very well. I was really surprised to learn not only that IU offers the language but that it's the only university where it's available.
When I'm not in class or participating in Global Village events, I'm studying. The Global Village, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, and La Casa lounges are the best places to crack open a book on campus. They're also great places to hang out in general. The Global Village, in particular, has a family vibe that helped me feel at home almost immediately. In fact, the sense of community might be one of the biggest reasons I haven't been too homesick.
If I have any takeaways from my first few months at IU it's that the college experience isn't as terrible or frightening as they lead you to believe in high school. There are so many resources that will not only help you succeed in class but also in finding community. I'm so glad I said yes to IU.