Monday, April 20, 2009

Butler's Top Ten

I'll be graduating from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana in just a few short weeks (May 9), and as my tenure as a Butler undergraduate student comes to an end, I'd like to leave a few suggestion for posterity. If you plan on coming to Butler this fall or just haven't quite figured the ropes yet, you might find this helpful. In no particular order:

1) At Butler, you're going to need some excellent all-weather footwear. When it rains, campus is like a giant bird feeder. That is to say that there's a three-inch pool of water that will get in your way anywhere you try to walk. You're better off having a pair of rainboots (girls) or some water-repellent shoes (guys). Also, be prepared for winter weather! It normally snows in January 'round these parts and cold feet are no fun. You may think they look dorky, but I swear you'll thank me later.

2) Most will do this anyway, but make sure you're bringing a laptop to school with you. We've got a completely wireless campus and the printers are wireless too. You'll definitely want something easy and portable for group meetings and study sessions.

3) If your degree plan is in Media Arts, Recording Industry Studies or another tech-heavy major, you might want a desk top for ease of use. If this is the case, make sure you purchase a flash drive and external hard drive for portability. (Heck, you'll need those things anyway, no matter what your degree!)

4) Buy a Butler Gavel! The Gavel is the day-planner published by the school's Mortar Board Society. I suggest the Gavel over another day-planner because it has event information published on the dates they are happening throughout the school year.

5) Don't forget your sense of humor. Butler is what it is: an over-priced liberal arts college. You will see hilarious things like every girl on campus wearing Ugg Boots and North Face jackets. You will experience the phenomenon of everyone having a car on campus. This is what you're getting yourself into. I find these Butler nuances hilarious in a lot of ways, but I know some people who let it irritate them. Don't come here expecting diversity on the economic scale. Laugh it off.

6) Also, don't expect diversity of races. Butler lied to you when they told you they were focused on diversity. We are whities here-- don't let anyone tell you differently. Students joke that the Diversity Center is a terrarium for minority students at Butler. It's sad, but true. That's not to say we aren't accepting, because we are. We're just white people.

7) Buy your books online. And, no, I don't mean at the Butler bookstore's website (although there is a cool pre-order feature that allows the staff time to put all your books together for pick up at a later date). Unless you need the CD that comes with the book or something, you'll find it far more cost-effective to buy your textbooks from or another service like it.

8) Take a JCFA class or two. Everyone is required to take at least one fine arts course to satisfy the Core Curriculum. However, I suggest taking one or two more than that. Butler has one of the best performing arts schools in the Midwest, so take advantage of it while you can! There are non-major music, dance and theatre courses at every level if you're interested.

9) Study abroad. This is the one piece of advice I am giving that I haven't experienced myself. My situation in school has been interesting, but I never had time to study abroad between transferring schools AND changing majors. However, I hear it is the experience of a lifetime. To me, it seems like one of the best things you can do for your education.

10) Go Greek. The Greek community at Butler is not your typical television drama stereotype. Butler Greeks do great things for their campus and community on a regular basis. Furthermore, your membership in a fraternity or sorority will give you a lot of access to campus organizations, activities and happenings. This campus has a great, strong Greek tradition that anyone would be proud to be a part of.

The overarching piece of advice I have is to HAVE FUN! College has been the best four years of my life thus far. I have made my best friends and experienced so many great things. I am a different person than when I started school and I am better for it. That said, congratulations, good luck and happy trails. You're about to embark on a whirlwind journey you won't soon forget. :)

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