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Student Writing

Come Home to IU

With one hand firmly gripping the ornate railing and the other wrapped around the torso of her leopard Build-A-Bear, the girl began her careful descent down the steps leading out of the Rotunda. Planting her sparkly Mary Janes in the grass, the 5-year-old peered around. She was standing in the midst of a sea of graduates, who, decked in black caps and gowns, were laughing and gleefully accepting an endless stream of congratulatory remarks from friends, family and professors. The child was looking for her family.

Nevertheless, she was not lost. Over the past four years, visiting on weekends and sometimes several times a week, she had come to know Immaculata as well as her own kindergarten and love it like home. Now, cheerfully skipping around back campus, weaving among the graduates, the little girl heard a familiar voice calling her name. It was her sister, one of the graduates of the class of 2008, who had been standing at the bottom of the Rotunda staircase the entire time.

“Come take a picture with me, Rosie!” Colleen eagerly shouted. Retracing her path, Rose ran directly into Colleen’s loosely robed arms, and their mother took a picture of them sitting on the bottom step outside of the Rotunda.

I still have this photo, and the 5-year-old child is me. It is now 15 years later, and I am a sophomore at Immaculata University studying elementary and special education. While quite a few years have passed since my sister graduated, the impression that Immaculata left on me as a child has not. Immaculata is home to all who enter; it is my home under the dome. Immaculata can also be your home, where you will undoubtedly be given a quality education, be provided with the tools and support to explore your talents and be part of a tight-knit community.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Immaculata University is one of the leading universities nationally, and my experience is a testimony to this. Throughout my time here at Immaculata, every course that I have taken has challenged and presented me with more demanding information than I learned in high school. Simultaneously, these courses furnished me with ways to approach, consume and understand this information. I was not left to flail amidst the rigorous academics but was given the tools to learn and grow from them. Furthermore, every professor at Immaculata wants their students to succeed and is willing to put in the extra time and effort to meet with their students and answer questions, whenever and wherever. I am a student who asks a lot of questions, and it is inexplicably comforting to know that my professors are rooting for me, want me to do well and are personally invested in my academic journey. The professors at IU take the seemingly mission-impossible task that is college and help their students transform it into mission-possible.

Immaculata also offers a multitude of opportunities for its students to grow in their unique gifts and talents throughout their college experiences. Because Immaculata has over 30 organizations and clubs and 22 varsity teams, it is guaranteed that you, as a student at IU, will be able to find your own niche. For example, music has been a part of my life since I was that 5-year-old child running around back campus. As a result, I took part in the Music Department’s Chamber Choir and Chorale in freshman year. With Immaculata’s diversity of ways to get involved on campus, you will positively be able to pursue what you love, what makes you tick.

Additionally, the entire staff of Immaculata is devoted to IU’s mission, to form “the whole person for leadership and service.”  I have observed multiple staff members and professors notice what students are good at and encourage us to pursue and build upon our individual talents via leadership and service opportunities on campus. Even when we, as students, are doubtful of our own abilities, someone is consistently and enthusiastically championing us.

A university’s community can either make or break a student’s college experience. If the environment and the people within it are not welcoming, a student will lack the necessary support that will make excelling and thriving accessible. I have had a lot of time to reflect on my Immaculata experience that began when I was only a toddler. While I may not recall all of the people I met throughout my sister’s undergrad experience, I remember how they made me feel: at home. I was not simply the sister of a student but a part of the IU community. I can still remember the warm smiles and big hugs from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters–whose beautiful lives of Christian service are an example to all. I remember amiable greetings from faculty and staff, and a lot of time spent with students. I was included in the IU family.

Now a student at Immaculata myself, I am not just an I.D. number or the sum of my academic successes or failures, as students at larger universities can be. Due to Immaculata’s small size and the loving environment cultivated by the IHM Sisters, each student is seen as an individual and a member of the IU family. At the start of this semester, I overheard a new student telling her friend, “I still can’t get over it…everyone is genuinely so kind and welcoming here,” and this is a wonderful way to describe the feeling on our campus. Immaculata’s tight-knit community cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

While writing this essay, I had a quote from Helen Keller continually come to mind: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Immaculata provides its students with a top-notch education and the ability to become involved on campus in ways that cultivate what they love and pull them out of their comfort zones. However, all of this is impossible without the most important aspect of Immaculata: the unbreakably close community, the Mighty Macs.

Even if you come by yourself, you will immediately become a part of our IU family when you make the turn into our gorgeous campus. Together, we can grow and flourish throughout our college experiences at Immaculata, where we will all eventually stand on back campus, draped in our black graduation gowns. Can you see yourself taking a picture with your little sister or brother on the steps of the Rotunda? Perhaps they will ultimately follow in your footsteps. I encourage you all to enthusiastically say yes to Immaculata, your home under the dome.

By: Rose T. Lindsey
Class of: 2026
Major: PK-4 and Special Education PK-12

Rose T. Lindsey