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!

Thoughts of a College Student

  • Yay! Red cups are back
  • But the leaves are gone…
  • Wait, why is it still getting colder?
  • I CAN’T DO IT
  • 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!

Why Stay?

When I tell people where I’m from, the reaction is always pretty similar. In fact, ask any student that is from a state not in the Midwest which question they dread most and it is “why did you come to Iowa”. (I promise it’s even better when you and your roommate are both from a coast so you both have to listen to each other’s explanation about 100 times a day.) To be honest I’ve gotten used to the question and have a pretty good scripted answer or two, but a few weeks ago I got asked a question that really stumped me. While in an interview for a job here on campus I got asked “why stay?”. In my head it seems pretty self-explanatory why I stayed, but then I realized that they couldn’t see in my head, nor could they see the crazy jumps I make from one thought to another so somehow I was going to have to put my shambles into words. Honestly my answer in the interview was a complete mess I think I said something about the people I’ve met, and sure that’s true but now that I am spending more time thinking about it, I realize I have even better reasons for why I stayed. I stayed here because it never crossed my mind that I belonged anywhere else, because I know I didn’t. I stayed because I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I just wanted to be here… like all the time.

It’s funny, when I decided to switch my major, my parents wanted me to make sure that I was making the right decision. And again in my head it made complete sense, but for some reason I couldn’t quite explain it to them and then one day I realized something. Before ever coming to college I had originally gotten admitted to another nursing program before I got admitted to Iowa’s and yet I still committed to Iowa without hesitation. I committed on the off-chance I was never going to be able to graduate with a nursing degree, because I wanted Iowa that bad. Looking back I didn’t pick Iowa for nursing, I picked Iowa because I didn’t want to go to any other school, and well I stayed because I still don’t want to be at any other school. I wake up every morning beyond happy with the decision I made for school. I come to school knowing that I’ve made a home and a family here. I stay here because I have met people I wouldn’t have met anywhere else, I have found a version of myself I never would’ve found anywhere else, I have found a happiness I never would’ve found anywhere else.

So why stay? I stay because not once, not even when I am at home with strep throat just wanting my parents and my dog, have I ever considered not being here.

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

Fact or Fiction

Hi There! It’s been a while, but I’ll just blame it on the midterms and lack of sleep.

Going to school in Iowa I hear a lot of stereotypes about my school and this state, especially when I go back to California for winter or summer break. After dropping two emotional and intense blog posts a few weeks ago I decided to have some fun fact or fiction items from someone who lives in Iowa 9 months of the year, and loves it year round. (Too cheesy? – yeah probably)

  1. We bleed Black & Gold wherever we go. (Fact)
    We don’t care if it’s not a game day, we don’t care if we aren’t even in Iowa City a Hawkeye fan will make it known that we are a Hawkeye fan. No matter where you go around campus you will see hundreds of students and residents wearing black and gold. Let’s put it this way, if you don’t bleed black and gold you can get out of here.
  1. Iowa is Flat (definitely fiction)
    Anyone who lives, or has lived in Iowa City can attest for the fact that Iowa is most definitely not flat. There is at least one hill in Iowa and it happens to be smack-bam in the middle of our campus. If you walk up that hill once every day or 365 days you have successfully climbed Mount Everest, and although I’m not a mountain expert I know that they are certainly not flat.
  1. All we do is party (Fiction)
    I mean sure, we like to work hard and play hard but that doesn’t mean we aren’t well-rounded people. Any student you meet around campus, will be involved in some type of extracurricular or student organization. Not only are we involved in them, but you best believe we are passionate about them. I guess you could say we are just great at multi-tasking.
  1. “Iowa Nice” is a thing (Fact)
    People talk about Southern Hospitality, and considering I’ve never lived there I can’t speak on the truth behind it. But Iowa nice is most definitely a thing. The people in this state know how to treat people right. They are always respectful and kind, they are always ready to lend a helping hand, and it’s because they just want to. Don’t expect a hidden agenda because there isn’t one. And coming from someone who grew up in a completely different state environment, it is contagious.
  1. Iowa is actually the Hawkeye State (Fact)
    I’m pretty sure even the State fans know this.
  1. Iowa is a fly-over state (Fiction)
    This place, in the middle of “nowhere” is more special than you would think. Iowa and Iowa people have a special place in my heart. The memories created here make it so much more than just a place on a map. It makes it a home, and place where the friends I have made are so much more; they are family. There is a beautiful feeling when you come to Iowa that makes this place so much more than a fly-over state. And anyone who spends more than a minute here knows that.

 

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

Letter to my Freshman Year

Dear Freshman Year,

When I first came to Iowa I’m not going to lie you scared me. Being without my family so far away from home was something so new to me. 10 months later I want to say thank you.

Thank you for bringing me my best friends. Small dorm rooms and late nights have brought me friends that I will have for a lifetime. They are the people I want to spend every waking minute with. We never run out of things to talk about and continuously found ourselves on the floor of our halls laughing at the stupidest things. They are the people that know everything about me. They have become my Iowa family and I am forever grateful that we were brought together by Burge.

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Thank you for teaching me to push myself. When I graduated high school I thought I had learned everything there was to know about success. Then I came to college and it hit hard. Countless all-nighters and tears on the phone with my mom later I have learned just how strong I really am. I have learned that college is hard, but putting in the time and effort will pay off.

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Thank you for football. When high school ended so did my cheer career and anyone who knows me knows just how hard that was. But, because of Iowa my football withdrawals were short lived. I cannot describe the smile that I got on my face every time I was able to walk into Kinnick and be in my “happy place”. I cannot describe all the memories that I got to make in the 12-0 season that was my freshman year.

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Thank you for sisterhood. Being a part of Alpha Chi Omega has brought me more than I could ever imagine. Lifelong friends who I know I will have by my side no matter what, a passion for equality and domestic violence awareness, a new love for the color purple, a beautiful castle as a home and too memories to mention. Alpha Chi brings a smile to my face every day and I am forever grateful for the countless jokes in our group chat to the crazy mental breakdowns when we have been trapped in the house for what seems like days for recruitment practice. These 150 girls have truly become my sisters and I am so excited for countless more hours and memories together.

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Thank you for allowing me to grow as a person. When I came to college I was alone and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. After spending a year in Iowa City I have become a person that I am becoming proud of. I have become an adult who has learned so much about what I want from life and where I am going. You have allowed me to become independent, you have taught me that it is ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them, and you have taught me that everything you want is on the other side of fear. I have gained so much knowledge during my year as a freshman and I can’t wait to learn even more over my next three years at Iowa.

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Finally, thank you for helping me to create so many memories that I will cherish forever. The people I have met, and the things I have done have been amazing and I cannot describe just how in love with Iowa I am. A year ago I accepted this school, deciding to go out of my comfort zone and create new experiences and I can honestly say that it is the best decision I have made. I can’t wait for my next three years here where I know countless memories will be made.

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Until Next Year

Go Hawks!

Where Did the Time Go?

Well hello there! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Coming back from Spring Break meant one thing, school is coming to an end. Crazy to say that my first year of college is almost over. It sounds cliché but I honestly still feel like I just moved in yesterday. Being here for five months I have learned a lot of things. Although I am no expert I thought I would share what I know now.

  1. It’s completely acceptable to not have your life together… Let me put it this way I have worn my minion slippers out in public on numerous occasions.
  2. You aren’t a morning person. No matter how early you used to get up for high school, college time is different. 8ams now feel like 4ams and 10:30 classes are almost still too early. My schedule next semester has been updated for this change.
  3. Iowa is good at football. I know we all know this but I thought I would just remind anyone reading. 12-0 regular season.
  4. Winter actually means winter. Even though people have told me that this is mild and I’m still surviving. Winter here is not 65 degree weather with sun. But, I’ll admit spinning around in the snow is still fun, even when people look at me like I’m crazy.
  5. Diploe-Dipole bonds are the second weakest bonds. This fact is courtesy of my roommate Mags Dull. You probably didn’t care about this and don’t actually find it important, but honestly neither do I.
  6. You WILL be broke. No matter how much money you have you are always broke. Especially at the beginning of the semester when you are pretty much taking out a mortgage to buy books.
  7. You will have the most amazing time ever. No matter where you go, the experiences you have will be second to none. I have been here for less than a year and I can say I have made lifelong friends (shout out again to Mags Dull) and have learned more than I could have imagined. The amount of growing up I have done here is substantial. I am so grateful for being able to have this experience and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

 

 

15 Things to do as a Freshman

Less than 3 months from now I will no longer be a freshman. I am still in denial about how quickly this year has gone. Although it’s not over yet I have created a list of 15 things you have to do before your freshman year comes to a close. Many of these are do-able at every college but some are specific to the best university ever created (it’s Iowa if you didn’t know).

  1. Tailgating
  2. Go to a game at Kinnick
  3. Eat at both Burge and Hillcrest
  4. Have an all-nighter during midterms or finals
  5. Go to Java House
  6. Get a photo with Herky
  7. Go to kick-off @ Kinnick
  8. Take at least 1 class that isn’t required for your major
  9. Go to a $3 CAB movie
  10. Order pizza at 2am (Gumby’s or Mesa counts and is preferred)
  11. Cry over the cost of books at least once
  12. Touch the brain rock before an exam
  13. Shop local downtown
  14. Go to the museum at MacBride
  15. Wear pajamas to class or the dining hall

Until Next Time…

Go Hawks!

7 Reasons not to go to Iowa

It’s crazy but it’s that time of year again. Seniors in high school are choosing their colleges and figuring out where they want to spend the next four years. So I thought I would help out and tell you 7 reasons on why you shouldn’t go the University of Iowa.

  1. The university squirrels: anywhere you go you will find squirrel friends. In California they won’t come near you but don’t be surprised if they walk right up to you when you go to class in the mornings. You may also see a little tail sticking out of a trashcan late at night. Sadly you won’t be seeing them in the winter but you won’t want to go out then anyway.
  2. It’s central: whether you are going into downtown Iowa City or taking the I-80 to Coralville or even Des Moines the university allows you to have a small town feel without feeling completely trapped. It sounds cheesy but you really do get the best of both words when you go to the university. Staying in town allows you to get the typical college campus feel, but going 10 minutes in any direction allows you to get away from it and experience another world.
  3. World Class Colleges: The University of Iowa is home to some of the best education in the country. With a nursing program ranked in the top 10 and a national ranking in the top 100 it’s no surprise why so many people chose to get their education here.
  4. 10-0: This doesn’t really even need an explanation. Who wouldn’t want to go to a university with an undefeated football program and some history making statistics?
  5. Weekends: Let’s just say there is an adventure around every corner.
  6. Java House: Who needs Starbucks coffee when Iowa City has its very own personal coffee shop? Java House is central to town and the perfect place to cozy up in a giant leather chair and study. Every college town has Starbucks, but only Hawks have Java.
  7. Herky: I won’t lie we have the best mascot around. Herky is the homeboy and the amount of selfies you will get with him around campus, will assure at least one perfect insta pic.

Ok so maybe I lied, I can’t even think of one reason why you shouldn’t come to the University of Iowa. This time of year is stressful for seniors, especially when you are getting asked questions left right and center about your future. My only advice is to do what you want because you’re the one who will be living there for four years. When it comes to colleges everything happens for a reason, but selfishly I hope you become a Hawk and #bleedblackandgold.

Until Next Time

Go Hawks!

Summer Memories

Welcome back! Hope you had an amazing weekend. Last Monday it officially became fall, which is my favorite season, and not just for the PSL at Starbucks. Since we are done with summer I thought I would share some of my favorite memories from my past 6 weeks here at U of I. Here we go!

  1. Pittsburg Game: If you can’t tell from my other blog posts I am kind of obsessed with football, especially Hawkeye football. Although the other games, especially State, were amazing Pittsburg was by far my favorite football experience so far. The entire game was nail biting. A guy I met in the stands put it the best way possible, “it’s like a roller coaster that just got fixed, you don’t know if it’s going to break or if it’s going to work but it will be the best ride of your life”. Luckily the roller coaster worked and we won the game. How about that 57 yard field goal?
  2. My Daum Dolls: This probably makes no sense to anyone expect me and my Daum dolls, but people can relate to this in general. I think one of the most amazing things about college is the fact that I have been able to make so many new and amazing friends. Shout out to dorm (p.s. not a spelling mistake) floor 2 and all of our late night Disney karaoke in the hallways.
  3. Late Night Pizza: after a long Saturday of football and celebrating, which we have been doing a lot with our 4-0 record, the best way to end the night is late night pizza and Netflix in the dorm. Good tip- Dominos delivers to the dorms until 3am.
  4. 1st Day of Class: Although this may sounds cheesy my first day of class was actually pretty cool. One of my friends and I grabbed a Starbucks before our 10:30 and just sat the Pentacrest soaking it all in. The thought of lecture and college classes was scary but amazing at the same time. We were typical little freshman freaking out about being in college. In fact we loved starting our morning like that so much, that it became a Monday morning tradition.

Random Tip- As well as being a great place for morning Starbucks, the Pentacrest is also one of my favorite study spots before it gets too cold!

  1. Kick off at Kinnick: My last favorite memory I’m going to share was also one of my first. During OnIowa the entire class went onto the field at Kinnick and continued the tradition of creating the “I” which was followed by fireworks and photos with Herky. Although it was 6 weeks ago I still remember every moment. Being on the football field with the rest of my class made the University of Iowa feel like home. I felt like this was where I belonged.

 

What are some of your favorite moments?

Until Next Week

Go Hawks!