A Life Update as a Second Semester Freshman


Oh how I’ve missed posting… I have been super busy these past few weeks trying to get all settled in back on campus. I have so much to update everyone on! I was satisfied with my performance during my first semester at Iowa, but thought I would just shoot for the stars second semester. I didn’t want to regret not taking any opportunities, so naturally, I applied for the jobs I wanted to apply for, joined the groups I wished I had joined first semester, and I even took an internship position!

Class Update

I absolutely love the classes I am taking this semester! I really like how every semester is a fresh start class-wise in college. I am a Marketing major, so I am taking Macroeconomics (I ABSOLUTELY LOVE PROFESSOR JENNIFER PARKER), Stats for Business, Interpretation of Literature (I ALSO ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY TEACHER THELMA TRUJILLO!! I highly recommend taking her section). I am also enrolled in Business computing essentials, and lastly, Hawkeye Service Breaks!

Hawkeye Service Breaks is a really cool program if you haven’t heard of it before! It is a 3 credit hour class that meets for about half a semester once a week, and pre-COVID, would go on a spring break trip to do community service! Because of COVID, I get to participate in three remote/local volunteer weekends! I am in the economic justice section which directly relates to my studies in Tippie!

Job Update

I am employed!!! I never thought I would want a job in college, but I had so much free time first semester that I was ready for a change. I applied and accepted a Facility Attendant position at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center! I had my first shift a few days ago and I can already tell I am going to love this job! Not to mention, the campus rec center is BEAUTIFUL!!!! I thrive in the gym setting so I am excited to spend some extra hours in the facility!

Internship Update

I was made aware of an internship position from Kyle Hughes, who is in charge of the Experience Iowa Program! He referred all ambassadors who were interested to reach out to Aly Shea, an Iowa Alumnus, who is currently a Social Media Coordinator for a nonprofit in Boulder, Colorado called Intercambio. This is a remote, unpaid internship position, but I was so excited and could not pass up the opportunity to gain knowledge from someone who had a lot of similar interests that I did. I am so excited to start working with Aly to research the nonprofit Instagram world, plan posts, and publish content for a few weeks. I am so grateful to be able to make connections with people like Aly. I have only been in the Tippie College of Business for a semester and a half, but opportunities like this will make my college experience so unforgettable!

Online school might not be so bad after all….

When I heard that classes were being moved online post-Thanksgiving until the start of the second semester, I’m not going to lie… I was bummed. The first semester was absolutely amazing and I was sad to see the “on-campus” part come to an end a little too soon, packing up most of my belongings as what seemed to be wayyyy too early to come home for break. I’m learning quickly that sometimes a change of pace and scenery is what has boosted my spirits and put some pep back into my step under the gloomy circumstances that were brought upon the world in 2020.

Being home has changed my mindset on school a lot!! When I wake up I feel like the day ahead of me is truly mine and I can shape it and fill it from start to end however I want. Of course, schoolwork has to come first, but I have been trying to add some very needed self-care into my daily routine. Take it or leave it, do what you will with the rest of this blog post, but I wanted to share some ways I am using my very open schedule to give myself a little extra love :)

….Tips on Self Care….

  • Journal when you wake up/ go to bed
  • Write a list of three things you are thankful for every night before you go to bed
  • Drink 8-10 whole cups of water a day
  • Schedule time away from your phone
  • Get outside and go for a walk
  • Create a fitness log (if you are into working out)
  • Bake something new
  • Clean your room/ rearrange it
  • Buy some cheap Christmas lights and hang them on your ceiling!! (Pictured)
  • Rearrange, deep clean, and decorate your room for Christmas
  • Call a friend from college

Rock climbing… As a class???

I have found the first hidden gem the U of Iowa has to offer… Lifetime Leisure Skills (LLS) classes!! Have you ever heard of them? I didn’t until I was searching through the course catalog and ran across them. Iowa offers loads of different outdoor rock climbing, orienteering, backpacking, and tons of other areas of outdoor leisure activities as classes! They are typically one credit hour than span over a selected week, where you devote some time to learn more about whatever topic your class is about!

I have a teeny tiny background in rock climbing so I thought I would put my skills to the test and enhance my skills!

The people I met in this class were so cool! It was really fun getting to meet like-minded people who had similar interests that I did. It was also refreshing to get outdoors and have some safe interaction with people I have never met before. I liked the class size because it was more of an intimate experience with only around 12 students and two instructors.

The class started out with a short zoom meeting where we got to meet each other and my instructor, Raud, went over key information and gave a short overview on climbing. We got to learn terminology too which was super cool! The majority of this class took place over a weekend.

On Saturday we all drove out to Centennial Park and learned how to boulder, which is basically climbing on a rock or wall without a rope, but there is a spotter and a crash pad on the floor. This is more of a brain exercise. Bouldering is used to practice the movements, grips, and foot placement you would normally use in climbing. Just not at the extreme heights. We then learned how to safely put on a harness, belay, and tie the correct knots.

Sunday was my favorite day! We all met at Pictured Rock Park in Monticello, Iowa. We strapped up, went over our safety checks, and began climbing! I felt extremely safe because my instructors Megan and Raud, did an amazing job at triple-checking everyone’s equipment. After about four hours of climbing different routes, we packed up and they took us on a hike to see the rest of the park as well as other climbing spots.

That was a shortened version but I hope that you get the idea! The LLS classes offer a safe environment for you to explore new potential passions. I definitely will be taking more LLS classes, and I know I will be continuing to rock climb in the future. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I truly will never forget it!

Dorm Decorating!!

Decorating my dorm was by far my favorite part of moving in. My roommate Katelyn and I color coordinated our room and made it look uniform and really pretty! I hope to give you a few tips and tricks in this blog to better prepare you to make your new home the dorm of your dreams!

You and your roommate will need to decide who is bringing the major appliances such as a comfy futon, a mini-fridge, and the microwave. I would say that the fridge and microwave are essential if you plan on eating or storing food in your room. If you plan on having guests, I highly recommend a futon as well! It doesn’t take up much space if you arrange the room correctly, and it provides a lot of extra seating! I also recommend purchasing a full-body mirror. My roommate and I have one that hangs over the door, so it doesn’t take up any space, but is still accessible!

For your desk area, I encourage you to find a few decorations that remind you of friends, family, or home. It is important to be reminded of the people who you grew up with that shaped you into the person you are today! :) I have a corkboard that is full of pictures of my two puppies and my siblings. I also recommend purchasing a desk lamp and a smaller mirror. The university provides desks that offer a lot of storage for books, pencils, and just about anything else that you might need for school supplies. I purchased string lights that I hung around my desk that make it feel even more homey. Don’t forget to buy pictures and wall decorations to hang on the walls too! It is super easy to mount smaller frames on the walls with command hooks! I highly recommend buying a wide variety of command hooks! They will be a life saver! If you plan on bringing multiple electronic devices, it is smart to find a charging station or method that works best for you to minimize the amount of cords showing. I decided to bring an IPad Pro, a laptop, my phone, and an apple watch, so I found a large decorative container that place all of my electronic at the end of the day so they aren’t all spread out. It makes your life so much easier!!

When I first moved in, I moved the two dressers into the closet area, which made the closet space look a lot more uniform. It keeps all of the clothes in one section, and gave us more room for our desks and futon. Try looking for some drawer dividers so you have a more uniform looking place to store t-shirts or shorts.

It is really fun to find decorative pillows and throw blankets to spice up the futon. Tapestries are another great way to fill a wall space. Almost every dorm room I have been in this year has had at least one tapestry hanging up on the wall. You can find them extremely cheap on Amazon!

I hope I gave you some creative ideas on how to make the room of your dreams!