Indiana University - Bloomington Reviews - Bachelor's in English
Review of English Bachelors Degrees
IU is great because it is so large and offers so many different kinds of courses. Even if you're not sure what you want to do yet, you can explore many different majors all on one campus.
I went to one of the off-site, smaller campuses and it was cheaper and more convenient than other universities in my area and state. I enjoyed most of my experience there, they really help me to develop my critical thinking skills. I wish they were more involved with the job search process after graduation. I don't feel like the advisors cared as much as I would have liked about my education and future. I wish I would have taken advantage of more programs and made it a priority to further my different areas of interest. Most of my qualms where with my choice of study and not so much with the university itself. It was a hard time to graduate. Making smarter decisions would have helped me in the long run.
IU provided a fun college experience in addition to quality classes. I suggest starting your Freshman year in a Living Learning Community (presuming they still have those) as they connect you to people with similar interests who can become friends and/or generally helpful in whatever your academic/lifestyle focus is! There are drawbacks of IU, of course. There is an excessive focus on the "big" sports; mostly I never bumped shoulders with athletes (specifically male athletes whose primary goal in college was to improve their athletic ability in popular sports such as basketball and football) since I tended towards niche classes, but what I did see of them in larger classes was that they were often absent, only showing up for tests, or were present but markedly lacking in basic academic skills such as vocabulary, engaging in discussions, and oral comprehension. Additionally, male students of the "tailgating" or "party on Mom and Dad's Dime" variety were numerous and made their presence known in an unwanted way for female students. In conclusion, for students whose primary goal is academic advancement, the "learning is optional!" attitude of a visible percentage of students at IU may drag down the atmosphere into something that is exasperating at times, but for those who can shrug that off the school offers fantastic courses that are worth it! With diligent planning of your living situation, classes, and social life, you will find that there *are* others who share your passions and there will be ample opportunities to form lasting, productive relationships with them while having a good time.
The original Bloomington campus of Indiana University (IU) is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of higher learning in the state. The teachers are certainly some of the most accomplished professionals in their respective fields. The school has an impressive academic history that is respected not only in the region but in the world.
IU has a reputation for academic excellence so you can expect to receive the education for which you are paying. I studied English Literature on campus and was routinely impressed by my instructors. But, IU is more than just another university it is an experience. The campus grounds are beautiful; I still miss walking through the Dunn Woods, located right in the middle of the campus, on my way from Ballantine Hall (a place you will spend much time in) to Swain Hall. The Indiana Memorial Union building is also one of the great on campus attractions where you can find just about anything from a book store to a bowling alley.
As an English major one of the most exciting features of IU for me is the Lilly Library. It houses one of the largest and most impressive collections of rare books, manuscripts and personal papers of famous authors and celebrities in the world. During my studies at the school I was allowed to examine some of the library’s collections for a project. This included Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes’ handwritten papers and book collections. My most memorable moment from my time at IU was getting to handle and examine dozens of drafts of unpublished short stories by Kurt Vonnegut with his own markings and annotations.
Whatever your academic interest IU is likely to have features that will make your stay there more exciting and memorable. The school is also a major sports college that has a dedicated faculty and fan base for both Football and, of course since this is Indiana, Basketball.
IU was very expensive, but I was able to find opportunities which I wouldn't have had at a cost-efficient school.