Fall in Bloomington

Fall is finally here in Bloomington!  So far the season has brought the usual cooler temperatures, changing leaves, mid-term exams, and darker beers.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m enjoying every bit of it.  Fall is definitely my favorite season.  I always found it paradoxical that as the leaves on the trees fall and much of the plant life fades, the students at Indiana University are just getting their feet under them, settling in, and discovering all the new wonders of Bloomington.  It’s a strange juxtaposition how student life blossoms as much of the natural world fades and slows to prepare for winter.

Brown County Hike 10202013

Hiking in Brown County. Photo courtesy of Amy D.

It is an appropriate contrast however, given the wealth of opportunities that each new academic year brings.  This is truly an exciting time of year when the outdoors is beckoning for us to enjoy it and new avenues of involvement, study, and leadership open up as we roll into a new school year.  I was fortunate this past week to have to chance to meet several promising prospective students at the Getting You Into IU event hosted by the University Graduate School.  Over the course of dinner at Uptown Cafe, I heard many inspiring stories from students across the country that truly touched me and for that I am grateful.

GU2IU 2013 BW

Dinner at Getting You Into IU 2013. Photo Courtesy of Aminta M.

The tales that some students shared truly humanized some of the challenges that are faced by first-generation college students and highlighted the hard work that students across the country are putting in to set themselves up for success after their undergraduate studies.  While they were thanking me for showing them around, I was bursting with thanks to each of them for inspiring me and renewing my enthusiasm for graduate school, helping others, and sharing stories and experiences with others.  I am excited at the prospect of having some of these students join our ranks here as graduate students and wish all of them the best as they continue to consider their options for graduate school.

Cooking! Affording grad life through eating.

Cooking in graduate school. Photo courtesy of www.chronicle.com

Through my assistantship, I am fortunate to have a stipend.  However, I am not rolling around in cash, and my stipend is just enough to feed me, house me, and have a little lift for entertaining me (movies, dinners with friends, and yes, shopping).  Yet, I have to be Continue reading

My Favorite Place in Bloomington!

After living in Bloomington for two years, I’ve found a place that feels like home! That place is the Black Film Center/Archive located in the basement of the Herman B. Wells library on campus. After spending an entire semester conducting research in the archives, I became a part of the family this past summer as a Graduate Assistant. Continue reading



Bowling Green Falcons vs. Indiana Hoosiers                    10  -  42 Photo by L. Gregory Campbell

Bowling Green Falcons vs. Indiana Hoosiers
10 – 42
Photo by L. Gregory Campbell

You’ve read a million chapters, completed assignments, and conquered your email inbox. What’s next?

College football Saturday is here. Put on your cream and crimson and grab your student ID (I’m assuming you already purchased your student season tickets). Walking to the stadium be sure to stop by tailgates hosted by departments, graduate student groups, and fellow classmates. Play a round or two of cornhole and begin your walk into the stadium.

Often graduate students become isolated in their research and work, it’s nice to take a Saturday and enjoy some football. I realize that football may not be everyone’s cup of tea…so college basketball is just around the corner.

Take all of this with a grain of salt as these are the confessions of a PAC 12/ Trojan alumna.

Why come to IU?

If you are checking out this post, you should be scheduling a trip to Bloomington soon! Indiana University Bloomington has high caliber academics and a vibrant campus life and community.

If you are a fanatic sports fan, join us at the football tailgates and basketball game watches. Don’t forget to buy your season tickets to see the game live too! You will love the atmosphere in Assembly Hall. WOW! The cheers and screams exhibit our school pride! Also, don’t forget our championship soccer and baseball teams. Most sports events are free of charge for students!

If you aren’t into sports, the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music has amazing ballet and opera productions. Watching a show in the Musical Arts Center is like being at the Metropolitan in New York City. Really! Don’t believe me, come and check it out yourself! Also, our IU Auditorium has traveling Broadway shows and concerts, and don’t forget the Union Board events in the Indiana Memorial Union. I’m watching a movie there tonight in Whittenberger Auditorium!

A short stroll off-campus through our front door – the Sample gates – brings you to Kirkwood Avenue. A downtown vibrant with ethnic food, nightlife, shopping, and leisure activities is a good excuse to take a break from studying. Festivals and events line the streets during the spring, summer, and fall. Don’t forget the Farmer’s Market at Shower’s City Hall.

If you are an outdoors person, go hiking in our rolling forests and watch the leaves change colors in the autumn. Brown County, one of Indiana’s most beautiful places in the fall, is only a short drive away. Check out boating and fishing at our lakes, and if you are a novice, check out and be a member of IU Outdoor Adventures.

IU and Bloomington is filled with fun activities to keep you busy! Come for a visit and you will feel right at home! See you soon and GO IU!

The Lotus Festival

Every now and then I find myself thanking or apologizing to my future self.  Eight years ago I visited Bloomington with my seminar group for dinner and the Lotus Festival our freshmen year.  There were so many great performers that evening and I was truly impressed by the ambiance of the city.  Walking around at one point I remember thinking to myself “I would like to live here one day…” Continue reading

Love nature, art, and microbrews?

One of the Nashville shops selling trinkets and homemade snacks. Photo courtesy of www.browncountyshops.com

Nature, art, and microbrews are just a few minutes away in Nashville, IN.  This quaint little town is located about 15-20 minutes west of Bloomington in Brown County.  I especially love going to Nashville, IN Continue reading

Living within the means of your new life as a grad

Yikes!! Reality can be painful but completely doable.  If you’ve been out in the workforce this return to school will require adjustment to your usual spending habits.

Here are some ideas on reducing costs:

-Housing: Do share the cost and get some roommates.  The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) has its very own housing guide to get you started.  To furnish your place check out Freecycle Network, a website dedicated to saving good furniture and household items from being thrown away and keeping you furnished for free.

-Food: Do cook; and if you don’t know how check out these blogs

Clearly Delicious        The Graduate Student Food Blog            Frugal Cooking

-Entertaining: Do get creative and check out all the free events on campus, there is always something going on.

Happenings Calendar                    Bloomington: Things to Do

-Car: On a campus like IU, you don’t need a car.  You have the campus bus which takes you to major shopping areas, the city bus which  has various campus routes and connects you to the rest of Bloomington. If you need a car you can always rent one from zip car, or get on one of the various shuttles to get to the Indianapolis airport.

Depending on what your income looks like now, the sacrifices may seem many but remember this is temporary and from my perspective well worth it!