University of Southern Indiana

Student POV: More Than an Institution

Anna Ardelean

by Anna Ardelean '22

I have always been honored to call myself a Screagle. With every class I have felt myself growing into a scholar, with every meeting I have felt myself growing into a professional and with every passing day I have felt myself falling more in love with the school I call home. From the moment I toured the University of Southern Indiana as a senior in high school,

I knew that I would be happy here. What I didn’t know was that this University would be my absolute favorite place. In fact, I didn’t fully realize this until I had to leave due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Of course I was upset that the semester was being cut short, but sitting at home gave me a lot of time to think about all that I was missing.

I missed sitting in the UC with my friends chatting about the lecture we were just in. I missed scrambling to plan meetings for my organization and really believing the font on the poster was the absolute most important thing. I missed sitting in the Multicultural Center and feeling the chaotic energy of the room as everyone rushed to welcome each other and ask about their days. I missed walking across The Quad and seeing a professor, with me with excitement. I missed laughing with my classmates before the professor walked in.

I missed my friends challenging me to take on new leadership positions. I missed the loud rumble of Starbucks contrasting with the click of my shoes as I walked toward the silent library. I missed hanging out in the Honors office. I missed seeing the wonderful theatrical productions. I missed sitting in the basement of the library until 10 p.m., discussing and debating philosophy. I missed arguing with professors and classmates over which policy would be most effective. I missed the late nights of studying or planning. I missed seeing all the friendly faces in the administrative wing. I missed the thrill of seeing my favorite parking spot being empty. I missed fist bumps with James the bus driver. I missed the excitement of seeing Dr. Rochon walking around campus. I missed my friends and acquaintances because they were all part of my world and the life I had built at USI.

The University of Southern Indiana isn’t just a school. It’s a life. It is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and last when I fall asleep. It is my journey to becoming the opportunity and second chances. It is help when I need it and service when I can give it. The University of Southern Indiana was the first thing in my life that was really mine. I could shape my experience here into whatever I wanted. I could be as successful as I dared. I could push boundaries and explore my interests.

USI is constantly changing and moving. Growing. Improving. It allows for the self- actualization of its students. If we see something missing, we can work to improve it. We can create concrete change in this ever so stubborn world. We can make an impact here far beyond our short time as students.

The University of Southern Indiana has proven to be the steppingstone I needed to take me from a kid with big dreams to a young adult with tangible skills to make those dreams a reality. USI has become the home I didn’t know I was missing and the family I never want to leave. And that is why I will always be proud to be a Screaming Eagle.

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