Jasper native returns home for chiropractic business



JASPER — There was never a concrete sign that told Sydney Berger she should come home. It was just a feeling.

She knew it when she visited home for winter break. She had been finishing her clinical rotations on the other side of the country in Colorado. She loved her new friends, hiking and taking in the scenery. But coming home to Jasper, she felt she could breathe easier — physically and metaphorically.

“I don’t regret venturing out at all, but no place ever felt like this,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s the people that make the place.”

The 25-year-old Jasper native started her business, Berger Chiropractic, on Friday. She will be working alongside Lydia Mundy of Mundy Chiropractic off of Mannheim Road in Jasper.

Berger and Mundy were a year apart at Jasper High School but never crossed paths much until Berger shadowed Mundy at work. Mundy mentioned that she was swamped with patients, so when Berger started last week, she took over some of Mundy’s patients and already had a full schedule on her first day of work.

“It’s nice because I like to jump right into things,” she said.

When Berger went off to college, she attended Indiana University to study business and train to make the cross country and track team. But when she realized majoring in business was a no-go and the runners were a bit too fast, she transferred to Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis and joined the team as a walk-on.

It was there that she remembered that running and fitness had always been her passion.

“I realized I didn’t want to be working at a desk, that I wanted to do something physical and where I can be around people constantly,” she said. “And I liked health care and wanted to make people feel better.”

After IUPUI, Berger attended chiropractic school at Logan University in Missouri. She had also planned to do a rotation in the Netherlands — she had the plane ticket and everything — before the trip was canceled due to the pandemic and ended up in Colorado instead.

“I wanted to try out different things and liked meeting new people and getting new perspectives on things,” she said. “Living in different places just gives you a whole new view on the world.”

College-aged residents, or people ages 18-24, make up the second smallest age demographic in Dubois County at 8%, according to in.gov. This may be because many are attending college or pursuing other education elsewhere, but places like the Jasper and Dubois County chambers of commerce, Dubois Strong and other local organizations are always looking for ways to attract younger people to the county workforce and re-attract Dubois County natives back home after finishing their education.

Berger said her friends have asked for advice on whether they should move away and experience living in other places around the world. Of course they should, she tells them — but there's just something indescribable about returning to where you first belonged.

For Berger, being home in Jasper means she can have room to roam, go for runs and know where everything is. It means she can say hello to people she knows while going to the store. It means she can continue to build the community she had already been building her whole life.

It’s feeling like she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.

“I’ve tried to go more towards my feelings now,” she said, “and I think that leaves me in the right place.”

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