Indiana University is a huge campus that can be so intimidating when you start out. How are you supposed to find friends when there are so many people? How are you supposed to make campus feel small? How are you supposed to make IU home?
Through the IU 2020 documentary film series, we get to see these questions answered through the journeys of 12 IU students who all began their college careers in 2016.
After watching the stories of Doña, Yash, and Emily, I was left with the profound feeling that they found their home here at IU and proved that so many others can too. I felt specifically connected to all three of these IU students for many different reasons, which is something very attractive about IU—you will meet many people and feel connections to all of them for different reasons.
Doña’s story especially stuck with me. Like Doña, I came from a city fairly close to Indianapolis, and for my family, financial aid was a very big variable in my college decision. While it wasn’t the only factor, having the stability and safety net of financial aid is huge when you have to spend your own hard-earned money on college. I couldn’t help but want to be Doña’s friend after seeing how goofy, sweet, and hardworking she is with everything she does.
Doña said something during the episode that really resonated with me. She said, “Mostly what I told myself to make this place more at home for me is to make sure I make Bloomington seem smaller for me.”
That is a huge takeaway that I wish I had learned earlier on in my college experience. Bloomington is huge, but I promise you, there is a club and a group of friends waiting for you.
Yash spoke a lot about his family and how they mean the world to him, and honestly, I couldn’t agree more. Having a support system that pushes you out of your comfort zone, pushes you to try new things, and pushes you to be the best you can be, is all that I can ask from my parents. My parents worked their whole lives so that I could have the same experiences they have had. They are some of the most selfless people I have ever met, and I spend every day away from them wondering how I can be more like them when I grow up.
Yash said, “At the end of the day, your parents are the people who support you and they are the most important, so you need to take out time for them no matter what.”
While listening to Emily’s portion of the documentary, I realized how incredibly grateful I am to be here at IU. This is truly a blessing that not every 21-year-old woman gets to experience. Emily’s hard work and perseverance with music push me even further to find my true passion.
Emily said, “I’m so happy to be here doing these sorts of things,” and it reminds me to be grateful for every experience I am so lucky to have on campus.
We should all be happy to be here, to be learning, to be surrounded by passionate professors, students, and faculty. It doesn’t matter where you come from or how your life was in the past. When you come to IU, it’s a whole new beginning. A whole new chance to find yourself. A chance to make your mark on other people. A chance to make a mark on yourself.
Doña, Yash, and Emily made me feel proud to be a Hoosier, and you should too.