- Class: Junior
- Major: French Studies
- Gender: F
- High School: Terre Haute North Vigo High School
- Transfer Student: N
Being at a large school like IU has innumerable advantages; there are thousands of things to do, ways to get involved, and people to meet. Despite the stereotypes, there is a lot of diversity of interests at IU (I, for one, have never been to an IU basketball game, and I'm not ashamed to admit it). The town of Bloomington itself has amazing cultural opportunities - we get a lot of great bands at the Buskirk-Chumley, a local downtown theater. Although being at a large university means more bureaucracy and red tape, it also means there are more administrators trying to make you happy. My experiences with student government have shown me that administrators are more than willing to take student input into consideration when forming educational policies.
Although IU is a large school, most classes have fewer than 30 students, so you're still able to have a lot of one-on-one contact with professors. IU has offered some really innovative classes - one class invited students to study World War II solely through comic books. The amount of studying obviously varies based on the individual, but my rule of thumb is that you get out what you put in; it's possible to scrape by in many classes with minimal effort, but at the end of the day, your diploma is going to be worth less. Many students take academics very seriously; we have students who go on to study at Oxford, Harvard, and other highly competitive universities. Although the school is technically a research institution, my experience has been that professors really do love to teach undergraduates and are very willing to work with students outside of class.
Although IU does its best to invite diversity, at the end of the day, the demographics of the school largely reflect the demographics of the state, which means that the majority of students come from white, middle-class families. There are numerous groups on campus to support minority students, and the administration takes discrimination in all forms very seriously, but I can't claim that IU is truly a diverse environment. Certain departments, such as the Kelley School of Business, draw a lot of out-of-state students to IU, and because out-of-state tuition is so high, there's a large cross-section of wealthy students as well. As far as politics is concerned, there's a mix; the left-leaning groups seem to be more active, though being in the mid-west means that there are a lot of conservative Christians, too.
The Best Things
The size and the opportunities it affords
The Worst Things
The lack of diversity