Tyra Baker was in her senior year at IUPUI studying psychology with minors in International Studies and Culture Diversity when she landed an internship at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. As an intern, she wrote a blog post for Learn More Indiana, which has been edited here for Next Indiana.
Wake Up Call!
My day starts at 6:30 or 7 a.m., depending on my class and work schedule. I get up, make breakfast of either oatmeal or eggs and make a delicious cup of French roast coffee to wake me up. After I eat a nice warm breakfast, I do a 25- to 30-minute yoga routine to wake my body up for the day. After yoga, I shower and get dressed for the day, get my backpack together and leave my apartment to either wait for the shuttle to take me to class or get in my car to go to my internship.
Classes and More
During the spring 2020 semester I was registered in only five courses, including three psychology courses, a history course, and the most fun of all: a yoga course! Each of the courses are weighted differently ranging from one credit to three credits. I’m very lucky to only be taking 13 credits this semester, which was a lighter load compared to the 18 credits I’ve taken in all previous semesters.
Time in between my classes is always filled up with something different depending on the day. Some days I go to my on-campus job in the Study Abroad Office, to my internship with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education or hang out with my friends either in the Multicultural Center at IUPUI or grab food or coffee.
Finding Time to Study
Working on your campus is one the best things you can do. It’s really nice to work on-campus because they will work with your class schedule and not work you more than 10 hours a week to make sure that you are getting enough time to balance work and school.
When I study it’s normally from 7 to 11 p.m. in either my dorm room or in the university library. I have to study late at night because my day schedule is very busy with class, work, and social time. I typically focus on a subject for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on what needs to be done first. I use my planner and my course syllabi to know how to organize a study session. I also use an app called “Flora” to help me stay focused and off my phone while I study.
Finding Time for Fun
I love being able to go to events hosted by organizations I’m involved in or events on campus. Off campus, I enjoy local café adventures, yoga classes, painting, studying Korean at a church in Carmel, attending first Friday events, going to concerts, and singing. One thing I really enjoy is going to Newfields (students get in for free!) to see art on weekends. When I’m with my friends, we watch movies or dramas, cook, bake or go out for food and drinks.
Love Campus Life
Living on campus gave me a network of other students in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] field. From living in a traditional shared dorm room my first year to living in the Riverwalk Apartments and having my own private room and bathroom, I gained a sense of independence. I also had access to more on-campus resources, events, and experiences that allowed me to build a community at IUPUI.
Travel Abroad Changed Everything
My favorite part about college may sound cheesy, but it’s the memories! My last semester really wasn’t ideal at all due to COVID-19, but I am glad that I was super-involved on IUPUI’s campus since my freshman year. One experience that I’ll never forget didn’t even happen at IUPUI. I saved up my own money to pay for a study abroad program in Seoul, South Korea. I was there for seven weeks and loved every moment of going to my two classes and exploring all around Korea. I’m so very proud of myself for making that happen!
Note: Baker is now a graduate student at the Indiana University School of Education, working toward a master’s degree in International and Comparative Education. “One step closer to achieving my academic dreams and a huge LEAP closer to achieving my career dreams. Will I continue to achieve? Yes! I’m ready for my next step in my life!”