By: Chris Norris
Having now lived on the sixth floor of University Tower at IUPUI for a full academic year, I could not be more pleased with my decision to live in the Kelley House for my freshman year of college. Although it may sound cheesy, living in the Kelley House for my first year at IUPUI was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Until I really started reflecting on my freshman year experience, I didn’t realize how much of an impact the Kelley House has had on me. Now that I have had time to really think about it, I am going to share what I find to be the greatest benefits of living in Kelley House as a freshman business student.
“Kelley House is an on-campus, residential-based learning community for business students at IUPUI.”
That was the extent of my knowledge on Kelley House before I arrived at IUPUI for my first day of college. “Sure, why not?” I thought, as I selected “Kelley House” for my housing preference. Sure enough, I have yet again been surprised and amazed by the positive experience that resulted from an unsure decision. For anyone unfamiliar with my background, I almost attended IU Bloomington instead of IUPUI, but I changed my mind when I got a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. Similar to my experience with deciding to attend IUPUI, I am very thankful that I chose to live in the Kelley House even though I didn’t know what I was really signing myself up for at the time.
If nothing else, living in the Kelley House is very convenient. Our Resident Assistant, Ali Graves, coordinates study tables and tutoring sessions that are located right inside University Tower. Instead of walking to a different part of campus to get help, it is much easier and faster to go downstairs to study with a group of people in the same class. When the other Kelley House students and I were at first unfamiliar with each other, Ali had us fill out our business class schedule on a paper in the hallway so that we would know who else from our floor shared the same classes. Now that we all know each other, when we have homework questions or are confused on a subject from a business course, we just walk a few feet and knock on each other’s doors for help.
Another convenience of living in Kelley House is how little of effort students have to put in to stay in the loop. Since we have our own Kelley House Canvas course as well as a Facebook page, we are always notified of upcoming events, such as “Dinner with the Dean.” Just in case we don’t check our phones, Ali also posts fliers in the hallway and in front of the elevator so we are sure not to miss out on any events. One of the most helpful events I attended this year was a panel discussion with current and former I-Core students. During this event, I was given a much better feel for what to expect in taking I-Core junior year.
Although convenience is a luxury to have and I am very thankful for it, by far my favorite part of living in the Kelley House is having friends in and out of the classroom. Over the course of my freshman year, most of my closest friendships have been developed through living in the Kelley House. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been saved from dinners spent alone and weekends with nothing to do because of the friends I have made in the Kelley House. However, I do not mean that living in the Kelley House limits one’s friendships to only business students. This was an initial fear I had in joining the Kelley House, but just like my other fears, it has been proven false. In fact, I have developed friendships with several students who are not involved in business whatsoever, such as students in the Herron School of Art.
When classes get hard and life gets stressful, there is no greater feeling than knowing that I’m not alone. As a part of the Kelley House, “we’re all in this together” has been the motto that best describes my experience. It’s nice to know that I can attend professors’ office hours, but no one has office hours past 9 p.m. except for the students cramming for the same test two doors down. Procrastinating is not ideal, but in the situations where it can’t be avoided, it is very comforting to know that my friends are only a few doors down and are willing to help. That is where the friendship aspect of our relationships plays yet another important role in the Kelley House community. I know that my friends in this community have my back when it comes to coursework, but our friendships in the Kelley House go beyond that. It is one thing to make acquaintances that I see in class every day and never talk to outside of the classroom, but it’s a whole different scenario to walk back home after class with my best friends and make plans for that night or weekend.
I would describe the relationships I have formed through the Kelley House as meaningful friendships that go far beyond the classroom. In other words, Kelley House is not just a house. It is home.