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My Butler Story | Matthew Aspinwall


Matthew Aspinwall ’23
College of Education
Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Matthew Aspinwall knew that he wanted to explore colleges far from home. And, outside of geographic location, it was most important that the college he chose offered the major he wanted, Elementary Education, and that he would have opportunities to be in the classroom early on. 

"In order to be a teacher, you should learn by actually teaching," he says. "Compared to the other schools I was looking at, Butler offered the most classroom experiences." 

When he learned that College of Education (COE) students would be in the classroom starting with their first year, he was sold. The cherry on top was when he learned that he would have a full year of student teaching—as opposed to just one semester—during his senior year. "That didn't happen at any of the other schools I was looking at." 

Not only did Butler offer him the experiential opportunities he was looking for, but he also found that Butler's faculty truly care for their students—another quality that helped set Butler apart. 

"I remember a time last year when I was looking for crayons for an assignment and asked my professors if they might have any," he says. "Five teachers in the College of Ed were all looking with me to find these crayons. It wasn't a big deal, I was just asking to ask, I could've bought them, but I think that is just one example out of many that shows how much they care about me, which you just can't say for so many schools." 

Watch more My Butler Stories


My Butler Story | Matthew Aspinwall

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Matthew Aspinwall knew that he wanted to explore colleges far from home.

Exploratory Studies: Debunking the Myths

Whitney Ramsay – Assistant Director of Admission

When considering which college to apply to and attend, you don’t make a decision after simply hearing its name. You make a decision after thoroughly researching it, visiting it, and asking yourself if it feels like home. Similarly, when considering choosing a major, there’s something to be said for doing the same.

Despite the fact that Exploratory Studies is one of Butler’s most popular first-year majors, there are several myths around applying as an Exploratory Studies major.

Myth #1: Students who apply Exploratory Studies graduate on time at lower rates than those who don’t.
False! Students who apply Exploratory Studies graduate on time at the same rates as those who don’t, thanks in large part to Butler’s Exploratory Studies advisors, housed in the Center for Academic Success and Exploration (CASE) office. Their one-on-one advising helps majors create their own roadmaps and follow their own paths.

Myth #2: Students who apply Exploratory Studies have lower employment or graduate school placement rates than those who don’t.
False! Students who apply Exploratory Studies have the same placement rates as those who don’t; a placement rate of 98%! You’re probably thinking...let me finish high school and apply to college...but we’re already thinking about what happens when you finish college. Not only are Butler grads securing jobs and admission to grad school, but they’re fulfilled and engaged in careers they love.

Myth #3: Students who apply Exploratory Studies look aimless.
False! For many, applying Exploratory Studies is an intentional choice. Some students are attracted to the Exploratory Studies course, designed to explore all 65+ majors at Butler through class shadows, job shadows, and interviews, while some are attracted to the Majors Fair, an opportunity to explore the majors through laid-back conversations with faculty and other program representatives.

Myth #4: Students who apply Exploratory Studies graduate with General Studies degrees.
False! While there is no major declaration deadline, students cannot graduate with an Exploratory Studies degree. About half of our students declare their major by the end of the first year, while the other half declare throughout their sophomore year. This ensures students have adequate time to explore, but ultimately graduate on time.

Interested in applying to Butler as an Exploratory Studies major? Learn more about the program and about how to apply or reach out to your admission counselor with questions. 


Butler University

Exploratory Studies: Debunking the Myths

Whitney Ramsay – Assistant Director of Admission

What is it Like to be an Honors Student at Butler?

By Cassandra Stec ’23

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design.

When I was first applying for college, I noticed a section in the Common App that asked if I wanted to participate in the Butler University Honors Program.

Intrigued, I looked up more information and learned that the Honors Program at Butler allows you to graduate with University Honors, as well as finish college with a published thesis. In order to complete the Honors Program, you need to attend eight honors community events, complete four honors classes (including a First Year Seminar), write a thesis on a topic of your choosing, and maintain a 3.5 GPA.

After reading about the program, I immediately applied. I enjoy education, as well as being involved, so the Honors Program seemed right up my alley. A few months later, I received my Honors Program acceptance along with the news that I had been accepted to Butler.

During New Student Registration, I attended the honors luncheon, where my dad and I got to sit with current honors students and hear about classes and professors. Dr. Jason Lantzer, Assistant Director of the Honors Program, provided details about the Honors requirements, as well as the various study abroad opportunities offered through the program. Later on, right before moving into my dorm and starting my first year of college, I was also assigned an Honors mentor, whom I could go to for help or questions regarding the program, Butler, or college life in general.

Since then, I have completed almost all requirements of the Honors Program. My first year, I took an Honors First Year Seminar (FYS) called “Women Writing the World.” The class was taught by English Lecturer Dr. Natalie Carter and delved into the different experiences of women around the world through pieces of literature written by women. For me, that class instilled a sense of togetherness and community among my Honors peers. Thanks to the Honors Program, I met some of my closest friends through that class that I likely would not have met otherwise.

I also participated in a variety of Honors events, including lectures (I went to a really cool one about Abraham Lincoln.), the Nutcracker ballet, and game and pizza nights.

My second year, I took a 200-level Honors course in the fall, as well as a 300-level Honors course in the spring. The 200-level course was called “The Wonderful World of Disney,” taught by Dr. Lantzer. The course delved into who Walt Disney was, as well as the company that came from his creations. It has been one of my favorite classes so far at Butler.

The 300-level course was called “Paris: The City as Text,” taught by History Professor Dr. Paul Hanson. The course examined Paris from a variety of disciplines and approaches. As part of the course, I also did a study abroad program to Paris over spring break to see and experience what we had discussed in class. Traveling to Paris and exploring alongside my classmates really made me appreciate what I had learned in the course.

Also during my second year, I joined the Student Honors Council. This organization helps plan events (such as “We Love Honors Week”) and get-togethers for Honors students, as well as helps connect mentors and mentees for the mentorship program. I also became a mentor for several first-year Honors students, not only helping them with life at Butler and college in general, but also becoming close friends with several of them.

Now, I am beginning work on my thesis by planning the proposal and searching for a thesis advisor. While I have finished all my other Honors requirements, I plan to stay involved with the program by continuing to take more Honors courses and study abroad as my schedule allows—just because of how much I enjoy not only the content of the courses, but also the professors who teach them.

If you are a prospective student interested in the Honors Program, make sure to apply by November 1. If you are a current student, it’s not too late! You can still petition for admission to the program.

For more information about the Honors Program at Butler, visit our website.

Butler University

What is it Like to be an Honors Student at Butler?

Cassandra Stec ’23 shares her experience with the program

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

Hailey Radakovitz is a senior at Butler with a major in Strategic Communication and minors in Spanish and Marketing.


Even if it now means ordering takeout or finding a seat outdoors, Butler students enjoy access to Indianapolis’ amazing assortment of restaurants and cafés. Here’s a tried-and-true list of some of the best spots to dine near Butler’s campus—just be sure to stay safe.


317 Burger

(GF and Vegetarian options available)

Located in the center of nearby Broad Ripple, 317 Burger’s specialty is—you guessed it—burgers. Their beef burgers are made with 100 percent premium Black Angus beef, and they also serve bison, turkey, veggie, and impossible patties. 317 crafts meals with high-quality ingredients, which helps set their burgers apart from the rest.

What to try: The 317 Burger & a side of Garlic Parmesan Fries

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.


Café Patachou

(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

A favorite Sunday brunch spot among students and locals alike, Café Patachou offers delicious breakfast and lunch favorites with their own unique twist. Their menu is filled with sandwiches, omelets, soups, salads, and specialty coffee drinks. Located just a short drive (or even a long walk) from campus, Café Patachou is an easy and dependable go-to for many students.

What to try: The Omelette You Can’t Refuse

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.



(GF, Vegetarian, and Vegan options available)

Patachou’s artisanal pizza joint is the perfect place for a night out. With multiple locations around Indianapolis, a delicious pie is never far. Napolese’s menu features fresh salads, pizza made with hand-formed dough and homemade sauce, and a wide array of wines for those 21 and older. With a modern and stylish atmosphere, Napolese is a great place to unwind and enjoy a weekend dinner.

What to try: The Margherita Pizza & the Napolese Double Chopped House Salad

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.


Ripple Bagel & Deli

(Vegetarian options available)

Broad Ripple Bagel & Deli is the place to go for bagels near Butler. With a wide array of spreads and toppings, their bagel sandwiches are anything but basic. This place is great for breakfast, lunch, or a snack any time of day.

What to try: The Banana Surprise & The Morning Mess

Open for carryout, dine in, and patio service.


St. Elmo Steak House

(GF options available)

For special occasions such as Family Weekend or graduation, St. Elmo is the place to be. As one of Indy’s most well-known restaurants, it is notorious for its incredible shrimp cocktail and steaks. Not only does St. Elmo serve great food, but it also has history and a consistent reputation—the restaurant is Indy’s oldest steakhouse still in its original location, and it has also been named one of Forbes“10 Great Classic Restaurants Well Worth Visiting.”

What to try: The famous St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktail

Open for reservations.



(Vegetarian options available)

If you’re looking for an inviting coffee shop where you can study and grab a latte, Provider is an ideal spot to check out. With a cool, modern interior and plenty of seating, this coffeehouse is the perfect place to grab a drink and catch up on assignments with a few friends.

What to try: The Ginger Latte & a pastry

Open for curbside pickup or walk-up window with outdoor seating.


Chatham Tap

(Vegetarian options available)

With a location right on Butler’s campus, this laid-back pub emphasizes sandwiches and appetizers and also serves a wide array of draught and bottled beer for the 21+ crowd. Conveniently located just a short walk from Hinkle Fieldhouse, Chatham is an especially great place to pick up a quick and satisfying meal on game day.

What to try: The Fish and Chips or any order of wings

Open for carryout, delivery, dine in, and patio service.

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

If you're looking to grab take-out or sit down to a socially distanced meal near campus, check out these Bulldog favorites

Chatham Tap

Where to Eat Near Butler

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

By Catalina Gallegos ’21



These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. They are masking up or logging on for classes, and they’re finding ways to stay safe while making new friends. So, what has it been like? 

VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Catalina Gallegos ’21, Journalism major, Digital Media Production Minor

first-year students

Bulldogs Adapt: First-Year Students Share their Fall Semester Experiences

These Butler students began their time on campus in a year like no other. So, what has it been like? 

‘One of the Best Places on Campus’: The Efroymson Diversity Center

By Cassandra Stec ’23

One of the most welcoming places on Butler’s campus is the Efroymson Diversity Center. While there are plenty of places to hang out, study, or make friends, the Diversity Center—or DC, as we lovingly call it—is home to some of my favorite memories at Butler.

I have met some of my closest friends through attending DC events and volunteering to be a Multicultural Mentor for Dawg Days, Butler’s pre-orientation experience designed to support underrepresented groups. Not only have I met amazing students through my work in the DC, but I have built relationships with several professors who sponsor and attend diversity-related events. I have also had the opportunity to get in contact with several alumni, making connections that have been valuable to my college experience.

The DC features several lounge areas, a boardroom, study tables, a kitchen, and two gender-neutral bathrooms. There is also an area dedicated to reflection, meditation, and prayer.

Gina Forrest, Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has her office in the space. Since day one, Dr. Forrest has been like everyone’s second mom: She’s someone we all know we can go to for help. Even students who don’t make regular appearances in the DC constantly see Dr. Forrest around campus starting conversations, making people laugh, and showcasing students and their talents through her social media.

The DC also serves as home base for several diversity-related organizations on campus. These groups have offices in the space, where they hold office hours and plan for their next events. Most afternoons, you can find different organizations hosting events in the DC, ranging from hangouts and meetings to celebrations and learning opportunities.

Some of the student organizations that have offices in the DC are the Asian and Pacific Islander Association, the Gender Equity Movement, the Black Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, Butler’s LGBTQIA+ Alliance, and Latinos Unidos. Each organization serves a different group of people and has a unique outlook regarding the programming they do and in what capacity they choose to do it.

The Asian and Pacific Islander Association aims to educate the Butler community about a wide array of different Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, as well as provide empowerment for those within these cultures. One of my favorite events from this organization was a Lunar New Year celebration, which featured a discussion about the importance of Lunar New Year and its traditions, as well as traditional home-cooked food that we could all try and enjoy.

The Gender Equity Movement, or GEM, is Butler’s intersectional feminist organization. Their name is a homage to the first black woman who graduated from Butler, Gertrude Amelia MaHorney. The organization seeks to be a support system for Butler students through education, activism, and celebration. GEM recently got a complete branding makeover and has big plans for ways in which they can support students both on and off campus.

The Black Student Union (BSU) is one of the oldest diversity organizations on Butler’s campus. They seek to support Black students at Butler, as well as to raise awareness of Black cultures. Every year, BSU hosts a week in February that celebrates Black History Month. One of my favorite events in that week is the Unity Ball, which brings together students from Butler and surrounding universities to celebrate and dance.

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is an organization that works for the freedom, justice, and equality of the Palestinian people who are under Israeli occupation. My favorite event that they host is the Palestinian culture night, where they provide education on their culture, teach those in attendance their dances, and showcase their food. SJP often also collaborates with other DC organizations, as they believe that all struggles for freedom, justice, and equality are interconnected.

Butler LGBTQIA+ Alliance is a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as allies, to find community through education, communication, activism, and celebration. Events range from game nights and discussion circles to the annual Alliance-hosted Drag Show and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival (held annually at Newfields). While the Drag Show is always a fun time, my favorite event has been the Faculty and Staff Dinner this group hosts during Coming Out Week, which helps students find allies and fellow LGBTQ+ individuals among the staff and faculty at Butler.

Latinos Unidos is an organization that is dedicated to advocating, educating, celebrating, and helping Latinx students transition from high school into college through community programs. Similar to BSU, Latinos Unidos hosts a week of events during Latinx Heritage Month. One of the most popular days during that week is Salsa Night, during which a local dance company comes to teach students how to dance, and chips and salsa are served.

But the DC is not just for these organizations. Plenty of other diverse, equitable, and inclusive groups utilize the space, along with individuals looking for support. Even a scholarship program calls the DC home: the Dr. John Morton-Finney Leadership Program supports students who have taken a leadership role promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their communities. 

Everyone is welcome to come to the DC to hang out, study, meditate, go to an organization meeting, or just enjoy a snack in the kitchen.


Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design. She’s involved in many student organizations across campus, including several within the Efroymson Diversity Center.

Diversity Center

‘One of the Best Places on Campus’: The Efroymson Diversity Center

Located in Atherton Union, the Diversity Center is home to a wide range of programs and student organizations

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to at Virtual Open House

Open House is Butler’s cornerstone event for high school seniors and transfer students in the college search process. This year, we’re going virtual on three different dates so you can connect with current students, faculty, and staff, all from the comfort of your own home and in only two hours. This evening will include lots of breakout sessions featuring highlights about everything from living on campus to academics to health and wellness, and much more. So, what are the top 5 things to look forward to at Open House

1. Halftime show with Butler Blue IV 
That’s right—halfway through the event, we’ll take a break for you to meet and greet with Butler Blue IV, our new official live mascot, and his handler, Evan Krauss ’16 in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Blue and Evan will take your questions via Instagram about life at Butler, academics, and even about Blue himself. This is your opportunity to meet the famous puppy mascot and learn more about life on campus. This brings us to the second thing to look forward to...

2. Giveaways 
If Blue and Evan pick your question and answer it live, you’ll win a prize package from the Butler Bookstore. The giveaways are a surprise, but expect some pretty great, future Bulldog swag. You’ll have to tune in to see exactly what is in the giveaway, and to submit your questions via Instagram for a chance to win. 

3. Dive deeper into our six academic colleges 
The first sessions of the evening will feature our academic colleges. Led by faculty and current students, you can get a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a college student in any one of our six colleges. Choose from the College of Communication, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Jordan College of the Arts, and the Lacy School of Business. Browse the list of Butler’s majors and minors ahead of the event to get a feel for our programs.

4. Get a glimpse of what life’s like on campus 
There is no doubt that this year is unprecedented, extraordinary, uncommon, and just plain weird. While we wish we could have this event on campus, we’re bringing you the next best thing through our breakout sessions focused on student life. You can choose to learn more about student involvement, living on campus, the Efroymson Diversity Center, or health, well-being, and recreation. These 25-minute sessions will give you a taste for what your life could be like next year. 

5. Ask admission counselors your burning questions 
We know the college admission process can be overwhelming and you probably have questions. To close the event, our admission counselors will be available to answer your questions about anything, including our test-optional admission policy, scholarship availability, important dates, or the admission process as a whole. 

We hope that you’re excited to join us for one of our Virtual Open House dates on either Wednesday, September 16; Wednesday, October 14; or Wednesday, November 4, from 6:30–8:30 PM ET. Register and learn more here. See you then! 

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

By Cassandra Stec ’23

Cassandra Stec is a junior at Butler studying Computer Science and Art + Design. She’s involved in many student organizations across campus, including the Student Government Association.

Butler University’s Student Government Association (SGA) represents the student body by supporting student organizations, addressing student concerns, and providing engaging programs. Similar to the United States government, SGA has legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

The legislative branch contains the Speaker of the Senate, Senate Secretary, 40 senators, and four different commissions. The Student Senate encompasses the majority of what the legislative branch does in that the Senators are in charge of taking questions, comments, concerns, and ideas from students regarding campus, and then enacting those changes. Each Senator is elected by peers in their residence hall, college, or class. Besides enacting changes, the Senate also approves new student organizations and often hosts outreach events to promote unity and bonding with the students they represent.

The executive branch is comprised of the Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance, Chief of Staff, and Executive Secretary. In addition to these positions, the Board of Directors also falls under the executive branch. Director positions include the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEIB), the Director of Marketing and Communications (MarCom), the Director of Programming, and the Director of Service and Philanthropy. Each director (and the VP of Finance) works with a board of other students that helps them enact their responsibilities.

  • The Finance Board makes sure SGA is allocating money fairly and also distributing funds to student organizations through grants.
  • DEIB hosts diversity-centered events on campus that range from educational to celebratory.
  • MarCom manages SGA social media and promotional materials.
  • The Program Board handles SGA’s fun and educational events. There are several boards within Programming that are in charge of running concerts, taking students off campus, bringing groups onto campus for fun activities, making sure Homecoming runs smoothly, and ensuring that programs and funds are being used intentionally.
  • The Service and Philanthropy board oversees the three big service projects that occur at Butler each year: Butler Dance Marathon (BUDM), Butler Ambassadors for Special Olympics (BASO), and Bulldogs into the Streets (BITS).


The judicial branch includes a Chief Justice, Court Clerk, and six Associate Justices. This branch is designed to hold SGA and all its members accountable. Some of the things it oversees include making sure all legislation passed by the legislative branch is constitutional, that elections are fair and impartial, and that the constitution and bylaws of SGA reflect the organization as it changes and grows.

I, myself, have been involved in the legislative branch through the Program Board. My first year at Butler, I joined the concerts board and helped bring Jesse McCartney to campus for Exam Jam. We also took students off campus to see Luke Combs and Lizzo. After two years on the board, I am now the Director of Programming and in charge of 20 or so students who are excited to problem solve and create programming for students to enjoy (even in the middle of a pandemic). Joining SGA was one of the best decisions I have made at Butler so far. I have made so many friends, learned many skills, and helped overcome many challenges and obstacles.

If you want to join SGA, elections for board positions occur twice a year, while Senate elections occur in the fall semester. To learn more about SGA, visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter. SGA can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and there is an office dedicated to SGA in Atherton Union.

Atherton Union

What’s the Role of the Student Government Association?

One SGA member explains the organization's structure and responsibilities

How to Get the Most Out of Your Time with Your Academic Advisors

By Hailey Radakovitz ’21

As Butler undergrads navigate through their academic programs, various opportunities and challenges are bound to arise. Luckily, Butler provides all students with an academic advisor to provide guidance along the way.

Academic advising isn't just about scheduling classes. Rather, advisors can help guide you through your academic journey, providing information and guidance about educational opportunities and working with you to plan a path toward academic and (ultimately) professional success. At Butler, academic advising is a critical piece of the teaching and learning relationship.  

For many Butler students, academic advisors serve as valuable, trusted resources. Advisors meet with students at least once each semester, but often, students and their advisors meet throughout the academic year to discuss academic developments, goals, successes, and challenges. In order to get the most out of your time with your advisor, there are a variety of ways to prepare.

Understand that they are busy but will make time for you

Butler faculty and staff members have packed schedules. Between lectures, office hours, and other responsibilities, your academic advisor might not always be available right when you want them to be. But they will do their best to assist you as soon as they can. As an advisee, it’s important to be patient and respect their time. Don’t panic if your advisor hasn't responded to you within a few hours—wait a day or two before circling back.

Be prepared for your appointment

Since advising is a collaborative relationship, it’s important to be prepared for any meeting that you secure with your advisor. To make the most of that time, make sure to always come with any relevant information and materials that your advisor might request from you. Typically, your advisor will let you know in advance how you can best prepare for a meeting, so treat those suggestions as a plan of action for the days leading up to it. That way, your meeting time can be utilized effectively, rather than being wasted by sorting through old academic records.

Know your requirements, and have a plan to achieve them

Advisors will do their best to guide you through your time at college, but you should understand that it is your responsibility to keep track of your progress within your program. Each semester, set aside some time to look through your academic requirements and check that you are on the right track and timeline. Think about your academic goals, and make sure your course schedule matches up with them. If you have questions, be ready to bring them up when you meet with your advisor.

Form a strong professional relationship

Students are typically paired with advisors who have experiences and connections in the student’s area of concentration. This means that advisors themselves (or their peers) likely have first-hand knowledge about the careers you are interested in. By making an effort to build a strong professional relationship with your advisor, you can connect with them and gain deeper insights into your future career path.

Be open to new ideas, and ask questions

Always go into meetings with your advisor with an open mind. Occasionally, they may suggest a course or academic path that you haven't considered or that doesn't necessarily seem to line up with exactly what you want to do. Before you reject those ideas, hear out your advisor and find out why they believe these experiences outside your comfort zone might be beneficial. A change in perspective can often be positive, helping you discover new interests and paths that you might not have considered in the first place.

Ultimately, your relationship with your academic advisor is based on respect, trust, and a mutual understanding of each of your responsibilities. As a student, if you go into advising meetings prepared and with an open mind, your advisor will be able to help you position yourself on a path to academic, personal, and professional success.


BONUS: Tips from an Academic Advisor

  • Get to know yourself, who you are, and what you like.
  • Meet early and often with your academic advisor.
  • Use your resources, and ask your advisor how you can get involved.
  • Educate yourself on all the academic possibilities at Butler. Ask a lot of questions.
  • Be flexible. This is crucial when building your academic schedule each semester.
  • Don't be afraid to make a four-year plan once you have chosen your academic path.
  • Have a back-up or parallel plan.
Butler University

How to Get the Most Out of Your Time with Your Academic Advisors

Academic advisors do more than help with class schedules. Check out these tips for building a strong relationship that can set you up for success.

Four Ways to Stay Active Near Butler University

By Katie Grieze

If you’re looking for a break from homework and want to get your blood pumping, check out one of these options for exercising on or near Butler’s campus.


Go for a walk or bike ride along the Central Canal Towpath

The Indianapolis Central Canal runs right through Butler’s campus, separating the west-side Farm and athletics fields from the main campus to the east. Despite its proximity to the university hustle and bustle, this path—which stretches more than five miles from 30th Street up to Broad Ripple—is quiet and calm any time of day. Nature-lovers are sure to see geese, ducks, cardinals, and maybe even a great blue heron.


Spend a day at Eagle Creek Park

At Eagle Creek, a 3,900-acre park near the northwest corner of Indianapolis, you’ll forget you’re just 20 minutes from the heart of a busy capital city. As one of the largest municipal parks in the nation, this destination provides hours of outdoorsy fun and wildlife sightings in exchange for just a $5 per car admission fee. Start your Saturday morning with a hike on one of the park’s six major trails, bring a blanket for a lunch-time picnic on the beach, then rent a kayak or canoe for an afternoon out on the water. If you’re looking for a more thrilling challenge—and you’re ready to splurge a bit—check out the zip-line-filled Go Ape Treetop Adventure.


Explore Broad Ripple on the Monon Trail

The nearby neighborhood of Broad Ripple is packed with chill coffee shops, cute cafés, casual taco joints, and trendy storefronts. Connecting them all? The popular Monon Trail. This asphalt walking, running, biking, and roller-blading path runs all the way from downtown Indy to Sheridan, but the Broad Ripple section alone makes for a great workout—albeit with the temptation of trail-side ice cream parlors.


Take advantage of the Health and Recreation Complex

Going to the gym is probably one of the most obvious ways to get moving. While opting for outdoor workouts is the safest option during the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler’s beautiful Health and Recreation Complex (HRC)—including cardio and strength equipment, a 0.1-mile track, a pool, and more—provides a great alternative for days when you need to escape the rain or lift some weights. For the fall semester, HRC staff members are taking extra measures to keep guests safe, reducing capacity and upping the cleaning requirements.


Four Ways to Stay Active Near Butler University

Whether through an early-morning bike ride or an afternoon walk, working out makes for a great study break

Meet Incoming Transfer Student—Amelia Ball

Amelia Ball '23
Hometown: Nashotah, WI
Major: International Studies

Why are you transferring to Butler University? 
I decided to transfer to Butler because of their small student-to-faculty ratio and the ability to explore different academic interests with ease. I also loved the campus location and the dedication Butler has to volunteering around Indianapolis and beyond. 

How did you initially hear about Butler and what interested you in the University? 
I was looking for a smaller school that had similar ideals to my own such as a dedication to service and academics. I also really liked the high ranking business school, as well as the study abroad program. The emphasis that Butler places on the arts (such as through the Butler Cultural Requirements) shows me that they are interested in giving students a well-rounded education that is not just limited to their field of study. 

What is your favorite part about Butler? 
I really enjoy the dedication that the professors and advisors have to the students. I feel they really try to get to know me as an individual, not just as a student, and work to help me achieve the best experience possible at Butler. 

If you’ve visited Butler, when did you first visit? Was it a planned event, a guided tour, or just an informal walk around campus? 
I first visited in Spring 2020 with an informal walk around campus before committing fully to the university. The location—set in the suburbs, close to a college town, but also near the larger city of Indianapolis—was perfect for me.

What do you hope to get involved with or be a part of at Butler? 
I hope to be involved in the Student Government Association, Club Climbing, Greek Life, and various volunteer opportunities. I’m really excited to meet new people through classes, clubs, and other extracurriculars.


Five Tips for Your First Year of College

By Katie Grieze

Whether you’ve read all those books about what to expect in college or you’re waiting to see for yourself, read on for a few quick tips on how to make the most of your experience.


1. Give yourself space to meet new people.

One of the best things about college is the chance to build lasting relationships. You’ll meet so many people from so many backgrounds. Get to know some of them! Maybe that means joining a club or chatting with classmates. Maybe you even walk up and say hi to other students around campus (while staying socially distanced, of course). College is a unique place where putting yourself out there is the norm, so take advantage of that welcoming atmosphere while you’re here.

BONUS TIP: If you’re starting college alongside close friends from high school, that’s great! But make sure to branch out. If you spend all your time with people you already know, you might miss opportunities to meet more friends.


2. Explore your interests, and fill up your schedule. (But don’t take on too much.)

Over these next few years, you’ll probably have more freedom than ever to learn and do what you want. Even if you’ve already declared a major, don’t stop there. Interested in something different? Consider a minor (or two)! Want to volunteer, join a faith-based community, or explore even more new things? Check out a student organization! (At Butler, you’ll have more than 130 to choose from.) 

College is an ideal time to find what’s right for you. But make sure to also find your limit: know when to say “no,” and don’t feel bad for letting go of things that aren’t a good fit.

BONUS TIP: Early in the semester, many student organizations will host call-out meetings to share information and provide a sense of what the semester will hold. These are great opportunities to “window shop” clubs before you join!


3. Stay in touch with your family.

Many first-year students experience homesickness at some point. And hey, chances are people back home are missing you, too. COVID-19 might make things harder this year, forcing Butler to discourage campus visitors and ask that students refrain from travel during the semester. But even a phone call helps, or you can get creative by holding a family game night over Zoom!


4. Use your campus resources.

As a college student, you have access to so many services and amenities that are either free to you or included with tuition. Take advantage of those now, because after graduation, things like gym memberships and counseling services don’t come cheap. All Butler students can work out in the Health and Recreation Complex, and you’ll have access to a variety of counseling and therapy services. You can also get personalized career guidance from the Office of Career and Professional Success (CaPS), database access and research help through Butler Libraries, and free or discounted admission to several on-campus events. Trust us—it’s cliche, but when it comes to college, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.


5. Pay attention to how you’re feeling.

In the rush of all these new experiences, it can be easy to lose touch with how you’re feeling about all of it. It’s good to stay busy, but don’t forget to check in with yourself. Even good change is hard. Adjusting takes time, but it will be easier if you pause and acknowledge your feelings every day instead of waking up one morning in second semester and realizing how overwhelmed you’ve been all year. And remember that whatever you’re feeling, that’s okay.

BONUS TIP: Find a way to stay mindful that’s enjoyable and easy. Maybe that’s journaling before bed. Maybe it’s keeping a detailed planner, or using a mindfulness app. You might try yoga or meditation—or take a walk through Holcomb Gardens. Find what works for you!


Five Tips for Your First Year of College

Keep these things in mind as you transition from high school to life on a university campus