August 24, 2015 / 12:55 pm

FAQ: What You Need to Know When You Become an Indiana University Hoosier.

By Jessica Yarvin and Sarah Thompson


Welcome aboard the boat, where our one stop is Hoosier Nation. Boat? You ask inquisitively knowing that Indiana University is landlocked in the midwest of America. Yes boat, we respond trying to gloss over logistics as the tour begins.

Indiana University is the home to many exciting things that will fill your future here. You might be studying in the Kelley School of Business or in the Jacobs School of Music. You could have classes in the new and beautiful International Studies building or on one of the inconsistently labeled floors in Ballantine. You might join an extracurricular, greek life, or get a job in town. The world is your oyster, and since we are on a boat that oyster of a world is easy to pick up and hold in the palm of your hand.

Now that we’ve made it full circle, WIUX is here to help answer some questions new Hoosiers might have.

What is a Hoosier?

That’s you. Congrats, like the animorph books you might have read as a child you have morphed into a Hoosier the moment you became an IU student.

Should I join a club?

Yes. Definitely. Find a group of people passionate about what you’re passionate about. It is a great way to make friends and get involved on campus. If you don’t know what you are interested in or what clubs there are to be a part of attend one of the Involvement Fairs. There will be one on Wednesday Sept 2nd in Dunn Meadow.

Help I don’t know what to do with my life and I’m unhappy in this pre-Kelley track and I don’t even want to do business and K201 is totally ruining my life!

No matter what major you come into school with, you don’t have to stick with it. You didn’t sign a contract in blood (hopefully). Talk to a career counselor or academic advisor, or just think about what kind of job you are interested in having. Take classes that test out what you’re thinking about. Maybe one informatics class, one education class, a PR class, music class, and a biology course.  If you don’t want to stick with your current major, the only difficult part is finding the major you are interested in sticking with.

Also K201 is a super useful class. You might not be enjoying it right now, but come internship season your skills at Microsoft Excel will set you apart.

What classes should I take?

Take the required classes early. You don’t want to end up having to take finite your senior year (Sorry Blog Director Jessica). This also gives you the opportunity to really figure out what path you want to take without having to retrace yourself every step of the way.  But make sure to pack in random fun classes too. Take History of Rock and Roll or Yoga,  find classes that simulates a different part of your brain than your required or major classes do.

Should I get a minor?

This one probably would be better for an academic advisor, but sure why not? Minors make you a more well rounded person and give you the chance to show off things you’re passionate about.

Do I actually have to go to all of my classes?

Well no, you’re in college. You live by your own rules. But check the syllabus to see if attendance counts for credit (sometimes it is up to 25% of your final grade) and see if you get any sick days (typically a teacher will give 2 or 3 of them). After you have all the information, it is your call to make. Sometimes it is worth it to get in a mid afternoon nap before a different classes’ review session for the midterm. Sometimes you have a project due you need to work on or maybe you just want an excuse to text the cute kid in your class for the notes. Just find out what works for you.

Where is the best place to study?

Boy Howdy studying is important. But sometimes it is difficult when your roommate or floor mates are marathoning Friends reruns or playing the long version or Seven Minutes in Heaven with their new pal from down the hall. The library is always a good bet and WIUX already has a finals week guide to the libraries of Indiana University for your reading pleasure. You can also cozy up in a coffee shop with a cup of joe to crank through your assigned readings.

Where can I get coffee in town?

Dorm coffee not fulfilling your needs? Probably not cause it sucks. Luckily Bloomington boasts some great, local coffee shops (honestly better than a lot of the coffee I’ve had in NYC). Here’s the names to know: Soma-two locations, one on the corner of Jordan and third, another on Kirkwood. Interestingly nutty iced coffee, really good green tea and good flavored hot coffees (they do them iced too, but when it comes to iced coffee I’m a purist). I’ve had peppermint coffees and one with black cherries and they’re all delicious. BBC iced coffee: BBC=Bloomington Bagel Company=probably the reason why I’ve survived three years of college so far. BBC iced coffee for a while ranked #1 on my list of best iced coffee in Btown. With locations on Kirkwood and on Morton St. downtown and other by College Mall, you will rarely find yourself somewhere that’s not within walking distance of the rejuvenating liquid that is commonly referred to as BBC iced coffee. Uelzing: Uelzing saves lives. Growing up into a real brick-and-mortar store this past year, Uelzing has quickly made itself a Bloomington staple. The cold brew specialists used to exclusively sell their coffee from a yellow cart on the corner of Indiana and Kirkwood, and you can still find it there on sunny days, but if you want your fix of Uelzing, then head over to their store on Kirkwood. or you can find it bottled in Bloomingfoods and BBC. But really, I recommend going down to the store to see the crazy contraptions the have set up to get the super flavorful and strong cold brew that is seriously the best coffee I’ve ever had. Also Village Deli has really good ~unlimited~ coffee. Also there a bunch of Starbucks littered across Bloomington.

Where can I get some good pizza?

Where to look entirely depends on what type of pizza your heart is searching for. WIUX already has set a course to cheese and deliciousness for you.

My eye is infected and I can’t wear my contacts but my glasses are broken so I’m walking half blind around campus and this must end, what should I do?

So funny you ask because that exact situation happened to me my freshman year! First, go to the health center and get your eyes checked out and get a prescription to de-infect your eyes and make sure you don’t go blind. Second, head over to Atwater Ave. to the Optometry building where you can get your glasses fixed, get new frames, or both! Also for super cheap (or at least cheaper than anything else) because it’s optometry students doing the fixing. That shouldn’t make you nervous at all, IU has a great optometry school. 

I’m stressed out! What should I do?

Take a walk, drink a big glass of water and talk to a friend (either a new friend or a friend from back home). If that doesn’t help you can contact CAPS which is a service through the IU Health Center that helps with counseling.

Whether it is a friend, an RA, a teacher, someone at the the health center or a stranger you have cornered on a bus there is always someone you can turn to to talk about what you are going through.

How do I make friends?

Smile and talk to people. Everyone always is looking for new friends, especially at the beginning of the year. Wave hello to your neighbors, invite people to do activities, accept people’s invitations to do activities, join a club and sit down and chat with strangers when at the food court. But most importantly be friendly. You are just meeting people, so you won’t have the same relationship with them that you have with the friends you have had since middle school, because that takes time. But you’ll have buds to go to the movies with, hang out with, and have adventures with.

What’s the cool way to party?

With ice.

Is it fine if I don’t drink?

Of course it is. No one will judge you, as long as you aren’t judging them. No one will care as long as you are friendly. Even if you don’t drink you can still go out, meet people and have fun. Feel weird about not having a drink in your hand? Get yourself the soda of your choosing (on campus it’ll have to be the Coke product of your choosing).

Is it fine if I do drink?

Of course it is.  No one will judge you, as long as you aren’t judging them. No one will care as long as you are friendly.  If you choose to engage in this activity make sure you are safe. Before going out know your way home, follow the buddy system, and know the laws. In the case of over drinking knowing Indiana’s lifeline law can help save a life. ( Also, at the end of the night if you happen to find a new buddy, it is your job to make sure that your previous buddy still makes it home safe.

I don’t know anything about basketball, will people hate me?

Probably not, that would be more than a little harsh. Try attending an IU basketball game with friends to find out what the hype it about or listen to the song “This is Indiana” 12 times. If you mean that you don’t understand the rules of how to play basketball try watching some solid basketball movies like Space Jam or Air Bud.

What are “The Quarries”?

Have you ever noticed that pretty much all of Indiana University’s buildings are made out of limerstone? No? Well you should probably sign up for a geology class.
The quarries are old limestone quarry mines in and around Monroe County, some of which have filled up to natural swimming holes. Lots of fun, and almost considered a rite of passage but be careful. Not only because some of the swimming holes are illegal to swim in or to trespass on, but some contain old garbage, equipment or boulders right under the surface. If you are planning on jumping in, make sure to have a good look into the water first to insure that it is safe.

Should I go home every weekend?

Weekends are the biggest section of free time. Use it making new friends or getting closer with the friends you have already made. Use it to explore Bloomington and relax. Get the most out of your college experience by being at college. If you are really missing home try to set up times when your family or friends can come visit you at school, and try to limit going home to only once a month.

Why is there always construction?

After the construction dust has cleared beautiful new buildings and pathways emerge. EX: Hodge Hall is finally done with construction and has nice flowers planted out front.

I’m drunk what should I eat?

Pizza X cheesy bread with a side of ranch ok next question please.

Who is Brother Jed and why is he calling me a slut and telling my that I’m going to hell? I’m just trying to walk to bio lecture!

Brother Jed is IU’s resident not-so-friendly preacher. Just ignore him/avoid walking by wherever he is that day. Some people like to engage him but it’s pretty dumb. He is in a freedom of speech zone which is why he is able to yell mean things at strangers.

My roommate just brought a guy/girl back and it’s 2 a.m. what should I do?

Invest in noise canceling headphones/ear plugs before the semester starts. They will eventually come in handy for one reason or another. But also set ground rules with your roommate right off the bat about how and when they can have someone over. Make sure both of you follow the rules so that it is fair. This is especially handy if your roomie already has a significant other.


Because math is important. I honestly think math is fun and interesting too. But that doesn’t mean you’ll want to take the class again and again. Form a study group so you only have to take this course one time.

Ed. note: finite is stupid and yes I’m that senior in your finite class hi

I drank too much grape Karkov last night and made out with 5 boys am I a slut?

No of course not! College is for making mistakes and figuring yourself out. If you feel awful the next day because you pounded shots of grape Karkov then you know to ease up next time. If you feel bad about yourself because you made out with 5 boys, don’t feel bad because society has forced women to hide their sexuality! Unless you did not consent to any of the 5 boys. If that’s the case then there are many ways to report any sexual harassment or sexual assault, anonymously. If you’re not sure if it was harassment or an assault, if it didn’t feel right then it probably wasn’t right. And also remember that the only way to consent is a verbal  “yes” from both parties participating. Sexual assault or harassment can happen to any gender or person and should be taken seriously. Grape karkov leads to questionable choices and consent is always sexy.

Help! I’m hungover what should I eat?

Hashbrowns with bacon and cheese does wonders. Bagel sandwiches or bagels with schmear also can help soak but the remnants of your previous evening. Did you sleep past breakfast? While breakfast may live on in your heart, it might not live on in what is left at the dorm cafeteria. So for a lunch hangover try to grab some pasta or a panini. A great way to avoid being hung over in the first place is to stay well hydrated. Make sure to drink a tall glass of water before you start drinking, before you go to bed, and have a glass of water ready for yourself when you wake up.

What is Oncourse and Canvas and OneStart and why do they all exist if they all do basically the same thing?

Oncourse and Canvas deal with your individual courses while OneStart deals with your time at IU as a whole. The reason there is both Oncourse and Canvas right now is IU is slowly transitioning to use only Canvas and is giving teachers and students a period of time to become acclimated.

Who is Lil Bub?

Lil Bub is an internet sensation and also a local adorable cat. She is owned by, and is sometimes seen at, the Russian Recording which has been the venue host to both local bands’ and indie-rockers. A  lot of her gear (mugs, shirts, the like) are shipped via the local Secretly Group. Following her on Instagram would probably give you the best idea of her adorable nature.

How do the buses work?

If it a campus bus, you don’t need an ID, if it a city bus like the 9 that takes you to College Mall, you’ll need your school ID. Part of your school tuition goes to paying for the buses, so it is a sunk cost that you may as well use! If you have a smartphone, the app “IU Mobile” can help  you track the buses to see if they are on time and what schedule they run on.

What is the hierarchy on the road?

  1. Bikers 2. car drivers 3. bus drivers 4. the Pizza X van that blasts music 5. pedestrians

What is the Little 500 (or Lil 5)?

The Little 500 is the annual men’s and women’s bike race that is held every spring. Bike teams train all year for a shot at the number 1 title. Watch the movie Breaking Away to get an idea of the bike race. Little 5 is also known for being a week long party at Indiana University. So rest up early, finish those group projects, and prepare your theme costumes.

What is Culture Shock?

Culture Shock is the annual free music festival held in the weeks leading up to Little 5 and is typically located in Dunn Meadow. It highlights up and coming under-represented acts, local music and has featured Foxygen, Mac DeMarco, War on Drugs, among others.

What’s the deal about dorm food?

It is food court food, it will be the same almost every day. It will not be as great as homemade cooking, but it can be pretty good. Try to mix it up by going to different food courts that have different options. The Collins Living Learning Center has a buffet style where for one price it is all you can eat (with soft serve machine), Wright Food court has grand pianos, and there is a new one that is in Woodlands.

Which door should I walk in to get into the Journalism School?

Always walk in the not-so-secret side door to show off your street cred.

Is the “Freshman 15” real?

Fifteen friends? Yes definitely.  Fifteen credit hours? Sure if your schedule is organized that way! Fifteen pounds? Maybe, but with the SRSC and HPER (pronounced ‘hyper’) there are plenty ways to combat it by keeping up with your cardiovascular exercise!

How do I find out more about what is going on in the world?
Besides via the internet? The Kelley School has the Wall Street Journal free and available to read, all you have to do is go in and get one. Check out the IDS which has free newspapers available to students in most campus buildings and dining halls. Also the WIUX News Hours (Wednesday mornings and Friday evenings) is full of international, national and local news.

What do you do at a tailgate?

First and foremost you need to wear cream and crimson. Don’t have cream and crimson? That’s fine, just wear red and white  – no one will be able to tell the difference. The parking lot is usually full of families tailgating or alumni, to find the students head to the grassy area across the street about 2 to 3 hours before the game starts. If you are trying to have your own tailgate,  you’ll want to arrive much earlier than that to claim your spot and set up where you and your friends are going to be! Either way, try to avoid getting a drinking ticket while blacked out like your parents feared you would be when you decided to go to IU

Why does everyone wear shirts that say KOK?

That is a bar. On Thursdays they give out a free T-Shirt or tank with cover.

Why is everything so far apart?

IU is a very large school. There are a lot of buildings to accommodate the over 40,000 undergraduate students that attend every year. So while it could take you 15 mins to walk from your dorm at McNutt to your Calc class in Swain West, that just means you are getting great exercise. Don’t want to walk? See the section on the buses.

I have a crush on someone what should I do?

Fave all their tweets then invite them on a date and tell them that their hair looks sexy pushed back.  Here is a list of inexpensive dates ideas to take your crush on in Bloomington.


The suggestions and comments in this article belong to the co-authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of WIUX. WIUX does encourage you to fave all of their tweets too @WIUX.