5 Differences Between Elon and Indiana University

Recently, I made the trip to see my best friend who goes to Elon University in North Carolina. The journey was filled with laughs, memories, and a few hiccups, but overall I was surprised to find how seamlessly I was able to blend into campus life for the weekend. That being said, coming from a Big 10 university, I noticed some major differences as well. Here are the top 5 differences I noticed between Elon University and Indiana University.

The Campus Look

Indiana University is famous for its size and limestone buildings. On every campus tour, perspective freshman are told the famous “mix-up” story as to how we ended up with two brick buildings at the top of Sample Gate Hill. However, Elon University is not shy with its love for bricks! Giving the campus a more historic, cozy feel, the brick pathways and buildings are a stark contrast to IU’s mostly gray facade. I personally like a modern look for a college campus, but Elon had a great balance of historic brick on the outside, and an updated and fresh look on the inside!

Extreme Night Owls

Perhaps the most noticeable difference was the night-life scene at Elon University. If you’re going out at IU, events will typically start around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. and will last until about 1:30 a.m. At Elon, we did not start doing our hair and makeup until 11:15 p.m. before eventually going out. Needless to say it was a big adjustment. Many of the students who I spoke to about the difference said that they wished things started earlier, but over the years it has become a social norm at Elon to party until the sun comes up.

Living Situations

At Indiana University, freshman don’t typically live in the best conditions. Unless you want to jazz it up and live in Spruce, you are probably stuck in a cramped dorm, sharing a bathroom with potentially girls and guys, and will have to carry your laundry to a far, underground location. At Elon, you live in what’s known as a “pod” or “suite," which is a nice way of saying a giant apartment. My friend lives in a suite with 7 other girls. Each girl has a roommate within the suite, making four bedrooms in total. There’s a laundry room, a full size kitchen, and two full bathrooms with two sinks each for the girls to share. A common room with a couch and TV also comes with the suite. My friend lives in a place better than any off campus apartment I’ll ever get at IU. Count your blessings, Elon students!

Campus Slang

Slang is going to change no matter where you are in the world. However, at Elon there were a few terms I picked up on that I couldn’t help but question. One of the funniest things I heard was the term “send," used as a replacement for “going to” or “at.” For example, if we were going to the baseball house, you might text your friend “send baseball.” It’s something I’ve never heard before! Another funny term I heard was “Oasis." here at IU, Oasis is a program underaged students are sent to when caught drinking. At Elon, Oasis is a frat house. It was definitely funny to say we were going out to Oasis to have fun!

  1. Knowing Everyone

On a large campus like IU, running into friends is a rare but fun occasion. Elon’s smaller size makes running into people you know a common thing. While walking around with my friend, not a moment passed where she didn’t say hello to someone she knew. Seeing familiar faces makes going to class and going about your general day much more bearable, and it was a great way for me to meet people!


It was so wonderful to see my friend for the weekend. We were scared the distance would make it difficult to plan visits, but after having a chance to meet her friends and see her city, I definitely want to go back someday! Getting a chance to explore a smaller campus helped me understand what it looks like to go to a more intimate school. 




title image