Monday, October 8, 2012


photo by @iubloomington on instagram

i love autumn.  i really do.  i love summer more, but i love the change.

i hate that it's so brief.

i love the sweaters, the boots, the chill in the morning.  i love the feeling of the heater on my toes in the car in the morning.  i love the feel of the steam of my coffee, floating up and swirling around my nose.

autumn will forever remind me of college.  i went to indiana university, which was my dream as a little girl.  when i was small, the biggest thing in the world was indiana university basketball, and, specifically, bobby knight.  i knew who bobby knight was before i knew who the president was.  that's just the way our house operated.  dad and i, and sometimes mom, watched every single game.  i knew every player, their hometown, their stats, their jersey numbers.  and i decided when i was young, that no matter what i decided to be when i grew up, i was going to go to that school.

now, fast forward to high school, where this young and naive girl managed to earn the title of valedictorian, but by all rights did not earn academic scholarships to cover this schooling.  i applied to valparaiso, indiana university, university of saint francis.

the Big Guy Upstairs really knows His stuff, though, because when the financial packages came through, IU was the clear winner.  i had to work as a work-study in the office of the registrar, and i had to take student loans, but my once bigger-than-life and bigger-than-my-small-hometown dream was realized.

and the picture above is just a tiny part of the gorgeous, historic campus that i was blessed to call home for four years.

during those four years, i learned in class.  sure.  i majored in biology and minored in chemistry and spent endless hours in the chem building, in jordan hall eating bagels on the floor of the lobby, cramming for tests, and in the union, sleeping between 8am lecture and 10am lab.  but i learned a lot more.

i learned independence.  i learned nostalgia.  i learned a lot of values, and i learned a lot about people in general.  i learned that there are somethings that are okay to let slide, and there are other things that you just can't let go.

i learned more than academics.  i learned school spirit, pride, self-indulgence and self-control.  i learned what i wanted out of life.  i learned how to work hard, and how to play hard.  i learned what i could handle.  and i learned responsibility.

even to this day, the smell of an autumn morning reminds me of walking to class, fingers chilled, nose pink, rain or shine.  certain songs, too, remind me of the experience that i share with a lot of good people, some still here, some gone on to other adventures.  but the one thing that all of us have in common is that time, that place, and that excursion of being miles from home, and yet feeling at home all at once.  that bittersweet feeling of homesickness and independence, tempered with laughter and antics.

indiana, our indiana.  indiana, we're all for you!
we will fight for the cream and crimson
for the glory of old IU!
never daunted, we cannot falter.
in a battle, we're tried and true!
indiana, oh indiana!  indiana, we're all for you!

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