The end of August is upon us, which means that fall is just around the corner. Schools and universities are back in session. For my money, there’s really no better place to be at this time than Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I’ve come up with a short list of 7 things that I will miss about being in Bloomington during this time of year.
1. Being on a gorgeous campus in a great university town. Before arriving at Indiana University for graduate school, I sort of had this preconceived notion of “state school” that really wasn’t all that positive. I certainly did not have the image of historic and beautiful limestone buildings set in the middle of a forest. Just being in such a setting puts a smile on your face as you walk through campus from building to building as you take classes (or teach). Additionally, the part of town – “the square” – that is adjacent to campus is very nice and boasts a lot of great shops, restaurants, and bars.
2. The beginning of fall and all that comes with it. Related to above, the start of fall in Bloomington is absolutely phenomenal. The changing leaves, the crisp fall air, and the temperature all combine to make Bloomington an awesome place to be at this time.
3. The start of classes and arrival of students. A lot of graduate students bemoan the arrival of a bunch of undergrads on campus. Some people like campus better as it clears out quite a bit in the summer. But there is just something about seeing the campus become infused with life – people! – that is really cool. To see the population increase by 25,000-30,000 people in just one weekend is neat. I love it.
4. Our little house. We spent our last year in Bloomington in a great little house that was an easy walk to campus and downtown. It was a cozy little house with affordable rent in a very pretty area. We were a part of campus, but not necessarily in the thick of everything. The place we are at now is actually bigger than our house was, but there is just something that feels a little different about living in a house versus an apartment.
5. Missing out on two of our good friends and their new house. By the time we left Bloomington, many of our friends had already left or were about to move themselves. However, two of our good friends were just getting settled into Bloomington and just recently bought a house there. It would have been great to have helped them move in and then be available to spend time together and hang out!
6. Walking and biking everywhere. In under 10 minutes! One of the great things about Bloomington is that if you’re near campus, you can walk or bike just about anywhere you need or want to go. And it’s a lovely walk or bike ride (see above), and is really quite bike friendly. I can’t overstate how nice it was to be able to walk/bike – to campus (work), to bars, restaurants, events, etc (all with very affordable college pricing!). We currently find ourselves driving quite a bit more to get anywhere. It’s not the worst thing that could happen, but I liked the ability to get where I needed to go quickly and easily.
7. Tailgates. Indiana kicks off its season against the Indiana State Sycamores at 7pm this evening. IU football may not be all that impressive to watch, but the tailgates that accompany them certainly are. In fact, the shirts that say, “We may not win the game, But we never lose the tailgate” couldn’t be more right. The tailgating at IU is unreal, and I will miss the walk down to the stadium and fields to take part in that atmosphere.
As you can tell, I have very fond memories of Indiana University and Bloomington, Indiana…Especially at this time of year! This time of year it is second to none. That being said, we are both very happy with our situation here in our new home. In a few months, I may very well find myself writing about how grateful I am to avoid the Bloomington winters!