This Is Iowa

2017 was another amazing year to be called a Hawkeye. It’s was a year of new traditions that have become just as close to our hearts as the old ones. It’s was a year of new beginnings after the floods of ’07 tested Iowa’s strength. A year where we welcomed a number of new Hawks, but continue to be a close knit family. Personally, it was another year of personal growth and development, a year where I found a passion for something and finally got to pursue it. It was another year of unforgettable memories with the people I don’t consider friends, but instead consider family. Because that’s what this place is, a home. A home where we find family. Where we all come together for the strongest kiddos to create a tradition for something so much bigger than us. A place where we absolutely dominate Ohio State in a way that only Hawkeyes can do (and turn around two weeks later and lose to Purdue the only way Hawkeyes can do). A place where we learn that hard work and determination can get you pretty far in life. And where we learn that the people around us will be the ones we lean on when it doesn’t quite work out. This place is a community that stretches far beyond the 30,000 current university students or the boundaries of Iowa City. It goes to New York, California, Texas and far beyond. It’s the place we are proud to call ours. It’s a place in the middle of the country that has become our whole world. This place is Iowa, its people are the Hawkeyes and we are family.

So as the first few weeks of the semester come to a close. Here’s to 2018


Go Hawks!

This Time of Year

Ask any college student how they are doing right now, and the response will probably be a combination of mumbles groans and a tear or two. Dead week sucks. I’m not going to sugar coat it, and say that I’m not having multiple mental breakdowns every day. I’m not going to say that it’s all fine and dandy, but I will say something different.

Through the midst of all of the finals week chaos, I always seem to realize something. I realize that in these moments, I’m creating some of the best years of my life. It’s when I’m sitting in the library with my friends at 1am, knowing that we have to be up in less than 5 hours for PT, laughing about a guy next to us who’s screaming over the phone about statistics. It’s when I walk around campus in between classes and get to see the Old Capitol perfectly framed by the sunlight. It’s when I’m up before it’s even light out, and realize that the sun hitting the Iowa River perfectly as it is rising makes it all worth it. It’s when I seem to enjoy a night with friends 10x more than normal, because I remember that this isn’t going to be my life forever. It’s when the end of the semester brings about the realization that some of my professors are more like friends and mentors. It’s when I notice that I might have actually learned a useful thing or two during the semester. It’s the almost daily post workout breakfasts with the people I consider family. It’s meeting someone new, just when you thought you had already met everyone you could love. It’s when you notice that you’ve made it through yet another semester, and may actually be able to accomplish even the hardest things. It’s when something you’ve worked hard for becomes so worth it when it all works out. It’s when you have once and a lifetime experiences – like being on the field at Kinnick or running half way to Ames with the game ball. It’s when you take a minute and notice that you’ve actually created a life for yourself. One with friendships that will last a lifetime, and lessons that will help you through anything that gets thrown your way.

So yes, this time of year consists of projects and finals and a lack of sleep and unhealthy amounts of coffee, but it’s always this time of year I remember just how lucky I am to be a Hawkeye. Just how much I love calling this place home, and just how much I want to soak up every little minute, because a year and a half from now I’ll be having to say goodbye to some of the best years of my life.

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

Eating Your Way Through Iowa City

While I am all for the resident hall market places and cooking at home, sometimes it can be nice eating out. And because I take my blog posts very seriously and want to give readers the best advice and options, I took it upon myself to try out some different places in downtown Iowa City to find the best places to eat on a college budget. Oh, and I dragged my roommate along with me.

  1. Mosley’s: Hidden a little further from the main downtown eateries this authentic BBQ is pretty amazing. With a cute little outdoor patio that’s perfect for the summer nights, good deals on BBQ sandwiches and the best bacon Mac & Cheese you can’t really go wrong.
  2. Heirloom: While I am never one to shy away from the calling chocolate its own food group, having a healthy salad filled with greens can be nice every once and a while. This IC staple connected to the downtown Java House location has its house salads as well as a full build your own bar so you can let your creative salad juices flow. If you’re not in the mood for a salad I highly suggest their soup and sandwich combo – especially when it’s cold in winter!
  3. Bread Garden and Market: while this place isn’t always the cheapest, they have the most amazing fresh food bars where you can build your own plates and fill them with almost anything you can imagine. They also have a lunch special everyday which is only $5. Maggie and I find this a favorite location during the warmer months when their patio is open and you can people watch on the PedMall.
  4. Dumpling Darling: Even though this restaurant only opened a few months ago it has already become a popular eatery for Iowa City locals. Located in the heart of Iowa City, dumpling darling has everything from classic dumplings to brunch specials on Sundays that always hit the spot after a long Saturday cheering on the Hawks. And what makes it even better? You can get dumplings as a flex meal in the Main Library “Food for Thought” café.
  5. Airliner: While this location is famously known for the discovery of Ashton Kutcher, I think it is more famously known by college students for its $1 slices of pizza on Sundays. – Need I say more?
  6. Bruegger’s: I have to admit that I spend way too much of my time here. With salmon cream cheese, my favorite iced coffee and free WIFI, this location is my go to study spot in the mornings. While this is my favorite spot to hang out before classes I will warn that lines get long, especially at “breakfast” time on the weekend – which is really 11am.
  7. Cortado: This new local coffee and sandwich shop right across the street from the Pentacrest has started to become a popular spot for students. With some really good sandwiches and endless coffee/tea options it is a great place to grab a bite. Only downside- there isn’t WIFI so you can’t get much computer work done.

Until Next Time

Happy Eating!

Commonly Asked Questions

For almost a year now I’ve had the honor of being a university tour guide. That means I’m lucky enough to spend a few hours a week talking about how amazing the University of Iowa and Iowa City is. Because I spend a lot of time with potential students and their families I’ve been asked a lot of questions. Some quite random like – do people fall down the hill a lot in winter, others a little more common. Being able to answer these question in person is always great as it can ease the minds of nervous students and their parents. But for those who may not have traveled out for a visit yet I’ve decided to answer some of the most common questions.

  1. Would you say the academics at Iowa are hard?

This question can be quite hard to answer in a few sentences and it really depends on the student and what they choose to study. There are two things I always love to answer with though. Firstly, I think no matter who you are the transition from high school to college classes can be hard. That’s just the reality of being in a completely new environment with a completely different learning style so don’t worry if it takes a few exams or even a whole semester to figure out what works best for you. The second thing I always say is that if you pick a degree or path that you are passionate about it will never be impossible. Sure you will have classes that are hard and seem like they will never end, but if you enjoy what you are studying than you will get through them. I found that very quickly when I changed my major. Being a nurse I hated almost everything I studied and ended up really struggling, the minute I was in a major I loved I began to succeed. Sure the constant pile of papers to write and readings to analyze were hard but I enjoyed them so they never seemed as bad as even a chapter of reading for nursing.

  1. Do you feel safe on campus?

While I don’t always get asked this question, I think it is a very important one to address as I think it is a priority of a lot of parents when their children are looking at schools. I also believe that it is important to answer this question with 100% honesty. Yes, I do feel very safe on this campus. I’m not going to sugar coat it and say that I have never been worried or been on high alert when I walk home late at night, but that’s not because I go to school at the University of Iowa that’s because I am a young female living in the world we live in today. I believe the University and local city have done an amazing job of trying to make the campus and city of Iowa as safe as possible. There are a lot of precautions in place like the three police forces that work and patrol the university and Night Ride which allows students to be driven by an off duty police officer after 10pm. Things like this do make the campus a very safe place to be.

  1. Do a lot of people have cars at Iowa?

Unlike the first two, this is a pretty easy question to answer. As a freshman, I’d say it’s about 50/50 chance that students will have a car. Because quite a few students are from Iowa or neighboring states they will sometimes bring a car from home, but if they are like me and out of states chances are a lot smaller. What I always like to point out with this is that you don’t need a car on campus. The University of Iowa is an amazing walking campus and is not even close to as large as it looks on a map. Most of my walks between classes are 5-8 minutes. And if you need to get somewhere further away we have things like our Cambus system and public Iowa City transit.

  1. What is military science?

Although most people won’t ever receive a minor in military science, this question is one I get asked quite a lot. Military science is a minor that I receive by completing my school’s Army ROTC program. I like to talk about this though, because combining it with a Communication Studies degree and Event Planning certificate shows just how diverse your studying can be at Iowa. You never feel like you have to be put into a box.

  1. Being from California, do you find the winters really rough?

A lot of the times this question turns into a dad joke, but still it is quite valid. Coming from Southern California, I’m not used to cold weather, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t adapt. Going into my third year I can officially say that I am used to Iowa winters. In fact I can say that I actually love them. While a solid 60 degrees every day was nice,  once you get the proper winter clothing – especially those hand warmers, you’ll adjust really quickly and soon fall in love with the winter wonderland that Iowa City becomes.

  1. Are there things to do for people who don’t like sports?

This question comes up a lot after we discuss the athletic facilities at Iowa. While sports can be seen as a large part of student life on campus, it isn’t the only thing students get involved in when they aren’t focusing on academics. If I wrote about everything you could do on and off campus, I would be writing pages so I will just focus on some of my favorite alternatives. While our athletics are amazing, the arts at Iowa are just as spectacular. Whether you are watching a fellow student perform for their end of year assignments or watching a professional performance like Mamma Mia! at the new Hancher Auditorium there is plenty to do. If you are wanting to experience life outside of the university I always recommend students head downtown to the PedMall. There are plenty of local shopping and food to try. Take it from someone who has eaten their way through Iowa City, you won’t run out of amazing options. Being in Iowa there is also so many outdoor activities to do. A lot of students will head down to MacBride Lake or the Coralville Reservoir to do some exploring outdoors. No matter what you enjoy doing in your free time, the University and surrounding areas will have something to offer.

  1. Is it better to live on the West side of the East side of campus?

While I may be a little biased when answering this question, as Burge Hall will always be home, I think I can answer this question pretty fairly. Although it can seem like the two sides of campus are vastly different and everyone always wants us tour guides to say one is better than the other that just isn’t the case. Sure they have some differences but nothing drastic. Firstly the East Side is only a few minutes closer to the center of campus so you really don’t have to worry about the “longer” walk. And while East Side is closer to downtown Iowa City, West Side is right next to all the action during football season, and the student wellness center – for those students who are always sick. As for dorm life, they are pretty much all the same. Both have a brand new dorm that you can reside in and both have amazing dining facilities. As a tour guide this is the point in the answer that I am obligated to tell you that there is one huge difference in the two marketplaces. East Side serves hard scoop ice cream while West Side serves soft serve. So if you really can’t make up your mind which side to live on, which ice cream do you prefer? And if you really can’t decide I’d say go with Burge because I had the most amazing time and we all know that it is secretly the best dorm out there – in my opinion.


If you have any other questions about life at the University of Iowa feel free to comment down below. I’ll be happy to answer them!


Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

Welcome Back

Welcome Back! To the incoming class of 2021, I hope your first week of school went well! Being that this is my third year on campus, I would like to say I have quite a bit of useful knowledge about the University and Iowa City. Fall semester has so much to offer, so I broke down everything I think you need to know to make the most of this semester.

  1. Attend Hawkeye Football. Arguably the most important part of fall in Iowa City. Football season is not something to be missed. There’s something about spending time with your 70,000 closest friends in Kinnick stadium that you won’t find anywhere else.
  2. Explore the PedMall. If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes in Iowa City this one is pretty self-explanatory. We are so lucky to have a lively downtown a 30 second walk from campus and it would be silly to not use it. From the fun night life, to all the cute local restaurants and shops this is definitely the place to be during the warm summer months.
  3. Join a Student Org. No matter which one it is, or how you come across it, I think it is so important to find something outside of your academic world that you are passionate about. It can be a great way to meet new people and forget about all the stress that comes with college classes.
  4. Explore Outside of Iowa City. While Iowa City has so much to offer sometimes it can be nice to just get away. Going just a little bit out of Iowa City can give you a whole new world to explore. Some of my favorite places to go are the small shopping areas in Coralville and Lake MacBride.
  5. Be spontaneous. While this isn’t a specific thing to do, I think it is an important thing to do especially when you are just coming back to school. One of my best pieces of advice for anyone in college is to just go out and do things. We only have 4 years as undergraduate students and so many things to do, so make sure you don’t look back and realize you wasted all of your time thinking about it.

Welcome back to school Hawks. Personally speaking – it’s good to be home.

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!


A Thank You Letter

A year ago I wrote a “thank you” letter to my freshman year. I was on my way out of Iowa City heading home for summer break and I just had to put in words how amazing that year had been. Coming back for my second year at Iowa, I was worried it wouldn’t be able to top everything that happened while I called Burge my home. A year later I am sitting in my apartment getting ready to head home for yet another summer and I can honestly say that sophomore year was filled even more moments I will cherish for years to come. So here goes another love letter about another year I’m so thankful for.

Thank you for my studies. Although making the change was hard for me, and I had tons of people telling me I was crazy, becoming a communications major has allowed me to find new passions and actually enjoy going to classes – which I didn’t know could happen. If it wasn’t for the opportunities Iowa has given me I would have never made the switch and found a career path I’m actually excited about. Not only have I found a major that I love, but this year has helped me find a passion for event planning, and of course military science. There aren’t many places you can come up with a combination like that, but Iowa has allowed me too.

Thank you for ROTC. If you had told me before I came into college that I was going to get up every morning at 5:30 to workout and then choose to spend a weekend in the woods without real food or a shower I would have laughed in your face. Now I do it week in and week out, even crazier? Most mornings it brings a smile to my face. The people who I get to do all of it with are some of the most dedicated, hardworking and caring people I have ever met. The cadre I have been blessed to call my leaders have believed in me way more than I ever believed in myself. Hell I accomplished things in this program that I never, not even in my wildest dreams, thought I would have accomplished. It has taught me skills beyond just the army that I will be lucky to carry with me through the rest of my life. I could go on for hours about what this program has given me, but most of all I’ll say thank-you for the people I have because of this program. Sounds cheesy but they are my best friends and the ones I want to spend all of my time with, even if it is at Camp Dodge.

Thank you for letting me explore. When I first told people I was going to Iowa they asked why I would leave everything in California.  Funny thing is, coming to university here – which really could be considered the middle of nowhere – has allowed me to travel to upstate New York for Thanksgiving, small town Iowa for a weekend away, and 6 southern states for Spring Break. Never in my wildest dreams did I think coming to the middle of the country would allow me to see every other part of it.

Thank you for letting me share. Over the past year, I have been able to share my love for Iowa with so many other people. Becoming a tour guide has allowed me to walk around campus a few times a week, making awful jokes. But it has also allowed me to meet some of the funniest, most positive people on this campus. Being surrounded by people who love Iowa and are just as loud and crazy as me makes my job feel as far from a job as possible.

Finally, thank you for being Iowa. I don’t know how to put into words what this place has done for me in the past two years. I am now officially half way done with my college career, and continue to know that this has been the best decision I have ever made. Coming here allowed me to walk my own path, and figure out where I’m going. It has taught me to just be spontaneous and just enjoy where I am in the here and now. It has allowed me to get up every morning with a smile on my face and no other places has done that quite like Iowa has. So thanks for being the corn-obsessed, flat, Midwest nice, Hawkeye loving state that you are.


Here’s to two more years that I’m sure will be even more memorable than the last.

Until Next Year

Go Hawks!

The Small Big10

When people think of Iowa a lot of different things come to mind. We are a Big10 campus with over 20,000 undergraduates walking around and another 10,000 or so in the graduate programs. That’s 30,000 people walking around on what seems like a large campus. But while we aren’t a private school with a graduating class that is smaller than that at some high schools, the whole Big10 label isn’t as truthful as it may seem.

As a junior in high school I came to tour Iowa. It was my first college tour so you can imagine how excited I was. While I don’t remember much about the statistics they gave me, nor did I really care, I did remember two things. First, it was cold the rain was going sideways and I was convinced the wind was going to blow me away (just a normal day late fall day in Iowa really), but more importantly I remember my tour guide saying hi to at least 3 people on her tour. Every time it happened I was just a little confused. I knew that Iowa was a big school so I came up with scenarios about how this was possible. Either she was just saying hi to random people on campus pretending to know them or she paid her friends to meet her around the place.

Flash forward 2 years to my first week on campus, and I still thought about that day. I still wondered if I would ever see someone I knew on campus. Then it happened. A few days into classes, when I was no longer getting lost, I saw people I knew. Like not just one person, but lots. And it happened all the time. And it happened to everyone. That’s what makes Iowa’s campus so unique. On the surface we are just like every other Big10 school out there. Iowa has the numbers, it has the reputation and it definitely has the academics and extracurricular activities that a Big10 school would have but what we have that others may not is small campus feel. You can walk around campus surrounded by thousands of other people and not once feel like you are lost in the crowd. Our campus, which is really only a couple miles in circumference really isn’t that big at all.  It is a community where you will all of a sudden know more people than you thought possible, and you’ll run into them on the streets or that local coffee shop downtown that you just discovered. And as time goes on it will become smaller and smaller, and it will feel more and more like home.

Yeah, Iowa is huge. I’m not going to lie and say 20,000 people is a small number. But the Iowa campus and the Iowa people don’t make it feel that way. And that truly is one of my favorite parts of coming to school here. We are given all the opportunities a Big10 school has to offer, with a small campus feel.


Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

Going Greek. Trust the System

Going Greek can seem like a huge part of your college life, and recruitment can sound like the scariest thing. There are crazy videos online of girls popping out of doors and chanting at you, and let’s be real, the idea of having to stand in heels for hours on end never sounds like fun. But the two weeks of running around Iowa City in the humidity of late August/early September is all worth it when you get your bid.

Although it seems a while a way, we all know that if you want to go Greek the minute you figure out which college you are going to attend (hopefully it’s Iowa), you will be doing all the research you can to see which house will be right for you. And although google seems to know all, let me tell you that the anonymous rankings and the endless recruitment videos on Youtube don’t really help at all. Sure, they can tell you who has a nice house or who seems to love blowing glitter at the camera most, but it doesn’t tell you where you are going to fit in. It doesn’t tell you that the house you have never even heard of may be the one that makes you feel most at home. It doesn’t tell you that you could find a new best friend in the newest and smallest house on campus, it will tell you none of this. The only thing that can actually answer these questions is the process itself. It’s the long days going from house to house meeting hundreds of people until you find someone who you can spend 30 minutes with talking about finding spiders in your shower instead of telling the story of why you came to Iowa for the 50th time (shout out to my little).

So with all of this in mind the best advice I can give you, is advice I got before I came to school. Trust the system. That can sound really crazy and almost like a scifi book when you pick your district or faction but it is so accurate. The girls who are recruiting you know their house better than you think. They know who would fit in and if you don’t get invited back to the house that you were head over heels in love with, it isn’t because they don’t think you are an amazing girl; it is because they know that you will find a better fit, you will find your home somewhere else. Everyone I have talked to who ends up getting dropped or taking a bid from a house that wasn’t their top choice, always talks about how they are so glad they ended up in the house they did because it is where they belong. So go in with an open mind, sure do some research if it will put you at ease. Plan your outfits for each round six months in advance, or sign up the day before the deadline. But either way, trust that you will end up where you are supposed to be.

Take it from the girl who found a home in the sorority she didn’t even know was available on Iowa’s campus, because that girl is still at home there over a year later. That girl knows that it is the best fit for her and that girl is going to be forever grateful that she found people who love her for just being her.


Until Next Time…

Go Hawks!

Thoughts of a College Student

  • Yay! Red cups are back
  • But the leaves are gone…
  • Wait, why is it still getting colder?
  • Can school be over now?
  • Summer bodies are made in the winter so GYM!
  • I really want pie
  • I just want a hug from my dog
  • Wow I really miss my dog
  • I just saw a dog that looked like my dog and almost cried
  • I’m going to start studying for finals early this year
  • I’m not going to start binge watching a new series
  • Wow this series is SO good
  • I don’t want to study, I’m dropping out I don’t need a college education
  • Just kidding I really need to focus on my schooling
  • I just want my dog
  • And homemade cooking
  • Wow can it be winter break already
  • Wait but then I can’t see my college friends for a whole month
  • Only 3 weeks.. YOU CAN DO IT
  • Just focus for finals and then you can relax when the semester is over
  • This is all too stressful I am going to take a nap


To all those college students out there, only a few more weeks until our minds are filled with thoughts of homemade meals, 2 ply toilet paper, and naps instead of completely pointless finals knowledge. Just keep pushing through and use caffeine whenever necessary!

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

The Reality of Being Away from Parents

The Reality of Being Away from Parents

Although most teenagers hate to admit it, it is pretty true that most of us would be nothing without our parents. Coming to college it seems that every student is excited to finally be away from their parents with complete freedom, but after a year and a half of being on my own I have come to my own conclusions. It’s great….sometimes.

  1. You can do whatever you want. There have been so many times I will be eating dinner at 11pm or at the library on a week night feeling guilty because I think I have a curfew or should be updating someone on my whereabouts but then I realize that I have no one to report too and the only people who would notice my absence are my roomies and let’s be honest they are normally with me anyway.
  2. Laundry, food, money. Being on your own, especially when you are in an apartment and without meals being cooked for you, you realize just how much your parents did for you around the house. Not only are you now doing school and having a social life, but you have to cook and clean so that you can be a normal human. You realize very quickly that groceries get expensive… my advice when the parents are in town USE THEM! What better way to catch up then over a quick trip to the grocery store?
  3. You become stronger. Yes it is hard not having your parental support system right down the hall 24/7 but I do believe it makes you a stronger individual. You still know they are just a phone call away, but being on your own makes you push yourself and realize that you can get through more difficult moments than you thought.
  4. Sometimes you just want a hug. Going off that, sometimes all you want is a hug from the ‘rents and your dog and being over 3,000 miles away can make this difficult. Phone calls are a good substitute but not quite the same.
  5. You realize just how lucky you are. This may not be how everyone feels, but being away from my parents has helped me realize just how amazing they really are. There are so many times where I have caught myself thanking my parents under my breath, because they made me do laundry and clean before I even came to college or because they helped me grow into a strong adult who can get through bad days, and above all because they gave up so much more than I’ll ever be able to understand just so that I could pursue a dream and get a college education.

So yes being away from parents has its perks and its downfalls, but above all it just makes me realize how much they mean to me. So coming from a college student who has to go four months without getting that hug or being able to say thank you in person I have one piece of advice. Don’t forget about them. Don’t get so caught up in the amazing experience that is college that you forget about the two people who helped you get here. They are still the ones that put everything down when the crazy nights out are gone and you are up to your head in books and midterms and just want to cry. Call them- just take a second to say hi and thank you I promise they will get a smile from it.

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!