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!