All About My Major: Sport and Recreation Management

I’m currently a second-year student with a double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication. Like many people, I grew up loving sports. I was a manager for my high school’s football and basketball teams, and I’ve always enjoyed the behind-the-scenes work in sports. To me, pursuing a career in the business side of sports was a no-brainer when applying to colleges.

Now that I’m in college, I’m on the video staff for the Iowa football team, I’m a sports videographer for DITV Sports, I’m a social media marketing intern for a start-up sports company, and I write blog posts for the Office of Admissions.

In this post, I’ll address frequently asked questions about the Sport and Recreation Management major (more on Journalism & Mass Comm. in a future post) to serve both those who want to learn my reason for studying it and those who are looking to study it themselves.

What is Sport and Recreation Management?

It’s considered one of the fastest growing and most interesting fields offered.

In short, it’s the business side of sports. With a degree in Sport and Recreation Management, you can work in sales, marketing and promotions, communications, event management, operations, administration, public relations, journalism, social media, and the list goes on. The difference is that you’re doing that work in sports.

But you need more than just a degree in the major itself to land a job in the sport industry. You also need experience, whether through an internship or something else. It’s a combination of what you know (through classes and experiences) and who you know (the people you network with over the years).

Thankfully, the faculty within the Sport and Recreation Management major do everything they can to help get you the experience you need to land the job of your dreams.

Why Did I Choose Sport and Recreation Management?

As I previously said, I grew up loving sports. The summer before my junior year of high school, I shadowed the Manager of Business Analytics for the Chicago White Sox. From that point on, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to work in the sport industry. It was just a matter of figuring out exactly what I wanted to do in the industry and how to get there.

Along with sports, I’ve also always had a passion for writing. I learned about the Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication majors during my Junior Day visit to the University of Iowa. And then I heard about The Daily Iowan. And then I was offered a position working with the Iowa football team.

I realized the University of Iowa was the perfect fit for me, and now I’m here.

What Do I Do in College?

First we learn how the sports business world works through classes involving sales, promotions, communications, finance, operations, and so on. And then we apply that knowledge to practicums and internships, which give us real world experience.

To give you a quick breakdown, the major requires you to complete 27 semester hours of foundation courses (Sales in Sport, Sport and Recreation Promotion, etc.), 12 semester hours of concentration courses (concentration areas include Business Studies, Event Management, etc.), and nine semester hours of guided or independent field experience.

Guided field experience can involve working with Iowa Athletics, the Iowa Wolves, the Iowa Wild, the Iowa Speedway, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Chicago Blackhawks, the San Diego Padres, and more. These opportunities are through the program and involve submitting an application to be accepted to a practicum.

However, you can also complete the field experience requirement independent from the program. This means it’s your responsibility to identify an opportunity and make arrangements with an organization. For example, you could intern with the Chicago Cubs over the summer and use that as field experience. But it’s important to remember you also have to meet with the Director of the Office of Field Experience to ensure your independent job or internship meets the field experience requirement before it starts.

You can learn even more about the curriculum here.

Another cool opportunity the Sport and Recreation Management major offers is the ability to network with industry professionals on field trips. Last spring, I went on a field trip to Minneapolis and had the chance to tour U.S. Bank Stadium, Mayo Clinic Square, and the National Sports Center, as well as ask questions during Q&A panels with executives from the Vikings’ and Timberwolves’ organizations.

This spring we’ll be heading to Nashville and Memphis to tour more facilities and meet with executives from the Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies, and Nashville Sounds. Keep an eye out for a post about this trip in March!

What Will I Do After College?

There are so many different directions you can take your career with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management. Personally, I’ve found a passion for digital communications, which can involve storytelling, content creation, and social media.

I still have a year and a half left of college, but I already have my eye on a few post-grad jobs and internships with intercollegiate athletic departments, major and minor league sport teams, the NCAA, and the NFL.

For now, I’ll continue to grow my network and gain valuable experience in the industry.

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Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you want to see more of my daily life as a Hawkeye, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

6 Things You Need to Hear

It’s been a minute.

The last few weeks have been crazy. I don’t think I’ve posted anything in almost two months. My life is basically a mess.

I got back from spring break and I was hit with paper after paper and test after test. Things finally started to cool down a little, but now it’s the week before finals week. I still have a project and a couple smaller assignments to finish, but after that I need to start studying for my final exams.

It’s just crazy to think I’m almost done with my first year of college. I’ve made some mistakes, but that means I’ve learned some things as well.

If you’re an incoming freshman, these are things you need to hear:

1. It’s OK to make mistakes.

You’re only human, after all. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes.

2. It’s OK to get a bad grade.

It’s not the end of the world. Your grades don’t define you — how you spend your time does.

3. It’s OK to miss home.

Being away from home for the first time is kind of scary. Or at least it was for me. Talk to someone about it — your roommate, a friend, or whoever. It’s not something you should be ashamed of.

4. Make the most of your time here.

Join clubs. Apply for jobs and internships. Network. Don’t just sit around and wait for things to happen to you — make them happen.

5. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you have to do what — seemingly — everyone else is doing. If it’s not something you want to do, don’t do it. Fight the peer pressure.

6. You can do this.

It may not feel like it yet, but you’re an adult. You still have a lot to learn, but you can do anything you put your mind to.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media! Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

 

Life at Iowa: February 2018

February 2018 started off in the best way possible with dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was followed by a long weekend of working at three Iowa athletic events, and the fire alarm going off late Saturday night at Hillcrest.

I woke up the day after Super Bowl Sunday to snow falling outside and received an e-mail shortly after saying that my only class that day was cancelled. Maybe that was the universe’s way of making up the Vikings’ NFC Championship loss for me. (I’m still salty.)

On February 6th, I ate ice cream at Carver for the first time during the men’s basketball team’s almost-upset win over Michigan State. At least now I know what all the “Carver Cone” hype is about.

After a busy few days because of classes and athletic events, I spent the following weekend reading books, watching movies, and (finally) doing my laundry. It felt nice to sit back and do nothing for a couple days.

By Monday, it was time to get back to work. My school week would be cut short because of a university field trip to Minneapolis, and I was going to need to make up two exams for that reason. The trip, however, was awesome because we got to tour US Bank Stadium and Mayo Clinic Square, attend the Timberwolves-Lakers game, and meet with executives from the Vikings, Timberwolves, National Sports Center, and the MLS Sales Center.

After that, classes started to get a little crazy. I was slammed with assignments and papers, but I still made time to volunteer a few hours in the event management office at Carver. I spent most of my time there making 120 credentials for the 19th annual Musco Twilight, which is on April 14th, and cutting and laminating stuff for gymnastics.

My roommate and I also watched 17 Marvel movies in two weeks (from the 5th to the 19th). I had never seen any of the MCU movies before, but I really wanted to see Black Panther in theaters since Chadwick Boseman is one of my favorite actors. So, despite not really having the time to do it, we started a Marvel movie marathon. And on February 20th, we went to see Black Panther.

Barely having a life (not that I usually have one anyway) for two weeks was definitely worth it. Wakanda Forever!

Next month: Alternative spring break trip to Columbus, Ohio to serve with the community in criminal justice reform.

Thank you for reading and watching! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

Getting Involved: Student Organizations

One of the easiest ways to get involved and make friends is to join one, or several, student organizations on campus.

There are over 500 student organizations to choose from at the University of Iowa, ranging from hundreds of members to only a few.

As a double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication, my interests include things like marketing, public relations, and journalism.

Current Student Orgs

I’m currently a member of these two student orgs.

Sport and Recreation Management Club

“The mission of the organization is to further the professional development of The University of Iowa Sport and Recreation Management students. It provides a platform for people to network amongst others in the program, gain valuable experience alongside program courses, and learn more about the local Iowa sports community.”

This student org is in its first year at the University of Iowa, and is always looking to add more members. I found out about it through one of the SRM (Sport and Recreation Management) classes I was taking during first semester.

During meetings, we often have a guest speaker and talk about upcoming networking events or ways to volunteer with the athletic department. I currently hold the Sports Information Chair, but, due to schedule conflicts, my attendance at meetings is limited this semester.

KRUI

“KRUI provides a real opportunity for students to be introduced to the radio broadcasting field. Although the University offers courses in radio broadcasting and audio journalism, only KRUI gives all students a chance to go beyond the classroom and experience the live atmosphere of broadcasting while still in school. Exposure to these actual situations allows students to gain confidence in themselves and their skills.”

KRUI happens to be the second largest student organization on campus. I found out about it through my Hawkeye Guide during orientation, who had been trying to recruit more members. He’s currently the Sports Director.

I joined specifically to write about sports online, but, admittedly, I have been slacking when it comes to that (really, really slacking). I also have the opportunity to produce athletic events or go on-air and talk about sports.

Future Student Orgs

I plan on becoming a member of these two student orgs within the next year.

PRSSA

“The University of Iowa Public Relations Student Society of America is a pre-professional organization for University of Iowa students interested in the field of public relations.”

I actually first found out about PRSSA by searching the web for ways to get involved in public relations and marketing at the University of Iowa. I’ve had other people recommend it to me since then.

It’s a great way to network, get tips for success, build a resume, and gain experience.

STAR

“STAR assists the Office of Admission in the recruitment of high school, transfer and non-traditional students through programs, activities, and events. We provide information about The University of Iowa’s programs, services, and special opportunities to prospective students and their families. STAR promotes The University of Iowa through contact with other students, parents, and alumni.”

I found out about STAR through the Office of Admissions’ Communications Coordinator when I was looking for ways to get involved with marketing.

This is a good way to gain some experience.

Honorable Mentions

These aren’t technically student orgs, but I wanted to include them.

The Daily Iowan

This is a student newspaper that works out of the Adler Journalism Building. It’s run by students and is independent from the University of Iowa. It’s definitely the best way to get your foot in the door on campus when it comes to journalism and communications.

I found out about The Daily Iowan during my campus visit junior year of high school. I planned on joining during my first year, but it hasn’t been in the cards for me yet. As of right now, I’m aiming to apply at the beginning of next school year.

Admissions Blogger

I found out about blogging for the Office of Admissions towards the beginning of my senior year of high school (don’t quote me on that). I really enjoyed reading the experiences of last year’s bloggers and I love writing, so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity for me.

And now here I am.

 

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

College Q&A: Here’s The Truth

By this time last year, I knew where I would be attending college.

It came down to a battle between the University of Iowa and Florida State University. Truth be told, despite being born and raised in Iowa, FSU had been my dream school for as long as I can remember (for many reasons).

In the end, I chose the University of Iowa because of its location (it’s a lot closer to home) and cost of attendance (out-of-state tuition is insane), and because it felt like a place I could call home when I visited during my junior year of high school.

Let this be known: I don’t regret my decision of choosing Iowa over Florida State. Not even a little bit. (OK, maybe a tiny bit on days when it’s below zero here and I check the weather in Tallahassee.) It was the best decision for me at this point in my life, and I’m happy to call Iowa City my home.

I’ve truly grown to love the University of Iowa since starting classes a few months ago. I love the campus. I love the faculty. I love my classes. I love my job.

And I’m not just saying this because I blog for Iowa Admissions. It really is a university anyone would be happy and proud to say they will graduate (or have graduated) from.

Despite visiting and making the decision to attend the University of Iowa, I still had a lot of questions. I’ve thought back to this time last year and decided to answer the questions I had (as well as other random ones) with the knowledge I have about the University of Iowa today.

Did I make the right decision when choosing between schools?

I know I already touched on this, but I wanted to add on to what I said.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t attend your “dream school.” Dreams change all the time, and chances are you’ll love the school you choose just as much…if not more.

I’m going to be completely honest and tell you I really struggled with this decision. When I accepted my offer of admission to the University of Iowa, I spent days scolding myself for giving up on my dream. It took me a while to realize I hadn’t given up on my dream, but that I was putting that specific dream on hold. I wasn’t ready to move 1,200 miles away from home. I also didn’t want to go that far in student loan debt. In the end, I made a decision that was right for me and I’m happy.

It may sound ridiculous, but weigh the pros and cons of the colleges you’re choosing between. Rory Gilmore did it in “Gilmore Girls” when deciding between Harvard, her dream school, and Yale. (I won’t spoil which school she chose.) Decide what’s most important to you, and go with it.

I came to terms with my decision when I realized I have another dream—a bigger dream—that involves working for a collegiate or professional sports organization. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a dream. It’s an end goal (an outcome I won’t compromise) for me, and college is a means goal (a path in which to reach my end goal). The college I attend isn’t going to stop me from reaching my end goal, but how I spend my time in college can.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Florida State is a dream I’ll probably never give up. Because who knows? Maybe someday it’ll be in the cards for me.

What I do know is this: I will be proud, and privileged, to graduate and have a degree from the University of Iowa. What I do with that degree, however, is up to me.

Do I have to choose a major right away?

No. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like most people wait a year or two to decide on their major. Work on completing the general education requirements and think about what your interests are, where you see yourself in ten years, and so on.

And if you do pick a major but want to change it later on, then change it. Talk to your advisor. Talk to your parents. You’ll be fine.

I came into college knowing I would double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication. It wasn’t a hard decision for me, but it can be for others. It’s scary to think about what you might be doing for the rest of your life.

(I will talk more independently about my majors and the opportunities they provide in the future, specifically the Sport and Recreation Management program.)

What if I can’t find someone to room with and I get randomly matched?

Searching for a roommate is an awkward experience, or at least it was for me. It felt weird messaging and talking to random girls about possibly being roommates. Eventually I decided I’d let fate run its course.

I’m thankful to say my roommate and I get along incredibly well. We went to schools that played each other in some sports, and we have quite a bit in common. I’d go as far to say one of the biggest differences between the two of us is that she’s a Green Bay Packers fan and I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan, but we make it work.

I may have lucked out in the roommate department because I have heard horror stories about getting randomly matched. Just remember, it’s only temporary and, if you don’t get along, you can always swap rooms.

How do I manage my time?

That’s a good question, and I’m still trying to figure it out.

There are a lot of ways to keep track of your time, but actually getting in the habit of doing it is the hard part. You can use the calendar on your phone, a physical calendar, a planner, a bullet journal, and the list goes on.

It’s all about figuring out what works for you and getting in the habit of doing it.

Should I get a job?

Technically, I had a job during my first semester at the University of Iowa, but I was only a volunteer (I will start getting paid in Fall of 2018).

In general, I think it’s fine to wait a semester or two before getting a job unless you absolutely need one. And when you do decide to look around, you can use Hire A Hawk to help.

 

How are classes different from high school?

The easiest answer is they’re harder. You have to put more time in when it comes to assignments, papers, and studying for tests. If you fall behind, it can be really hard to catch back up.

What’s my favorite class and why?

I only have one full semester under my belt, but I’ll go with Introduction to the Politics of Race. It fulfilled a Gen Ed requirement, and it was unrelated to my major, but it’s a class I think everyone should take. I learned a lot about race, mass incarceration, and immigration law.

How is college in general different from high school?

You have a lot more “free” time. When I was in high school, I was stuck at school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and after school was time for extracurricular activities or work.

When it comes to college, your classes are more spread out. You might have three on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and only one on Mondays and Wednesdays. You have all this open space on your schedule to do whatever you want, right?

Wrong.

You still have homework (readings, assignments, papers). You still have extracurricular activities. You still have work.

So it’s up to you to make sure you spend your “free” time the right way before you sit back and relax.

Is the food good?

In the dining halls/market places, it’s all-you-can-eat. One day you can eat a salad, and the next you can have a plate full of pizza. Or you can have salad and pizza all at once. It’s really up to you. If you ever want to see the options you’ll have to choose from, take a look at the menus for the three dining halls on campus.

There are a lot of non-dining halls to choose from when it comes to places to eat on campus. My favorites so far are the Street Hawk Food Truck and Union Station. I’ve heard that River Room Cafe and Black’s Gold Grill are good, but I haven’t eaten at either one yet.

I will say this: There are a lot of places to eat on and around campus, but dining hall food can get a little old after a while. Try to switch it up every once in a while.

Do I need a car?

No. At least not as a freshman.

If you want to go home, someone can come pick you up or you can catch a ride with another student. Or you can buy a plane ticket, if necessary.

Bringing a car means having to spend more money, and we’re already spending enough as is. Honestly, Iowa’s campus is close enough to everything you might need and more.

 

How do I get around campus?

A combination of walking and using the Cambus. You can download an app for the bus schedule, and you’ll catch on quickly to which routes you need to use. A lot of people have a moped, but I don’t have a very good history with them.

Getting around campus is not as hard as some people make it seem.

Should I purchase season tickets for football and basketball?

YES. All other athletic events are free for students, but I definitely recommend getting season tickets for football and basketball.

I didn’t have to purchase season tickets for football because of my job, but I would have if I needed to. The environment is insane. Kinnick Stadium is one of the toughest places to play—just ask Michigan and Ohio State. You definitely want to be a part of that, even if you’re not a huge football fan.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

 

Life at Iowa: January 2018

I’m going to be trying something new this semester. I will be using an app called 1 Second Everyday, which allows me to take a one-second clip each day, to share my everyday life as a student at the University of Iowa. At the beginning of each month, I will mash together all of the clips from the previous month and give a short-ish recap.

I wanted to do this last semester as well, but I was adjusting to life as a college student and it just didn’t work out.

So, without further ado…

January 2018 was all about getting back into the groove of classes and extracurricular activities. I ordered my textbooks for the semester, walked to class in the snow, and started waking up early enough to eat breakfast at Hillcrest Market Place almost every day.

I experienced what it’s like to be crammed on the Cambus with no room to move at all because no one wants to walk in the cold (and we’re probably feeling a little lazy after a long day of classes).

I started volunteering at Iowa athletic events for the Fans First Practicum. The hours are long, and constantly smiling at strangers and answering their questions can be tiring at times, but it’s worth it in more ways than one. Thankfully, I did still manage to catch two men’s basketball games as a regular fan.

After two and a half weeks of classes, I’m looking forward to the many weeks ahead.

Next month: Sport and Recreation Management field trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Thank you for reading and watching! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

A Semester of Trial and Error

They say you learn a lot about yourself during college, and I definitely learned a lot about myself (and life) through trial and error during my first semester at the University of Iowa. I was away from home for the first time, experiencing life on my own, and I had absolutely no clue what I was doing.

So I tried different ways of doing things. Sometimes I was successful, and sometimes I failed. But I learned a lot – that’s what matters.

Before I get into the main part of this post, one thing I learned about myself is that I really, really love lists. To-do lists, TV show lists, book lists, bucket lists, blog post lists, and so on.

So, in list form, here are the most important things I learned during my first semester of college:

Study, study, study

I didn’t expect college to be easy. I knew it was going to be harder than high school.

And I knew I was being ridiculous when I didn’t really study for a few of my midterms, but I thought maybe – just maybe – my scores would be fine despite not studying. But I was wrong. 

I got my act together after that and studied for my finals, and I did well. 

Had I studied for those midterms, I definitely had a good shot at a 4.0 GPA. But I didn’t, so the only thing I can do now is make sure I study smart for all future exams. 

It’s easy to fall behind

I procrastinated. A lot. 

And it’s really easy to fall behind in college. Professors aren’t going to stop and wait for you to catch up. (But you can go to office hours for extra help!)

It was stressful having to rush to write papers and put together presentations at the last minute. I’d like to avoid doing that next semester.

Ask for help if you need it

There’s no shame in needing help, whether it’s academic or mental. 

Go to office hours. Get a tutor. See a therapist.

Do whatever it takes to be successful, but make sure you’re healthy while doing it.

Don’t put yourself down

Perfection doesn’t exist. You can try to be perfect, but you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment.

Don’t put yourself down if you don’t get an A or a B. Don’t put yourself down if you struggle in an “easy course.” Don’t put yourself down if you have to withdraw from a course for whatever reason. Don’t put yourself down if you decide to change your major.

College is the time to find yourself. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to change your mind. And it’s perfectly normal to do so.

Stop being afraid

Go outside of your comfort zone once in a while. Put yourself out there to truly experience life. 

In the sports industry, making connections and knowing the right people is incredibly important. I have to put myself out there, and that’s not something I’m used to doing.

I missed out on a couple opportunities during first semester because I was too “afraid” to go outside my comfort zone, but I’m aiming to change that during second semester.

Rent textbooks online

Last semester, I rented textbooks through a site called Chegg. It’s a lot cheaper than buying textbooks at list price because you can save up to 90%.

When it’s time to return the books, you can print off a prepaid shipping label and drop the box off at the nearest UPS location. And you can highlight the rental books (just don’t write in them).

I’ll be using Chegg again for textbooks during the spring semester.

Don’t rush into getting an apartment

The day before finals week, my roommate and I decided to find an apartment to live in during sophomore year. That was on Sunday.

On Monday, we met up with another girl and decided it would be the three of us living in the apartment.

On Tuesday, we visited the apartment, and a few hours later we were signing the lease.

We hardly looked around. We just saw a picture, decided we liked it, and were like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” We could’ve found a cheaper place. A way, way cheaper place. Not to mention, the apartment is a 30-minute walk from Kinnick Stadium and the football facility, which means I’ll probably need to invest in a bike to get to practice every day. 

I’m taking it as a learning experience. Next year, I’ll start looking for an apartment (or a house) a lot sooner and I’ll spend a lot of time looking to make sure I’m making a good decision.

Don’t order take-out all the time

During the summer I downloaded an app called Grubhub, which is an food ordering and delivery company. My parents knew it would prove to be a problem, and they weren’t wrong. 

I didn’t spend an insane amount of money, but I did order take-out a lot more often than I should have. My savings started to dwindle to a point where I had to delete the app because I apparently have no self-control

Don’t force yourself to become someone you’re not

When you go to college, you can re-invent yourself. You can be whoever you want to be; you can be whoever you were afraid to be. 

But make sure it’s still you. Make sure you’re still proud of yourself when you look in the mirror. 

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

 

How I’m Spending Winter Break

Now that my final exams and papers are completed, I can finally enjoy a month away from campus. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun first semester and I learned a lot about myself, but it was a hard life to adapt to and I definitely deserve some time off from classes and homework.

The way I look at it, I have two options for break.

1) Do (literally) nothing

2) Be (somewhat) productive

While I do think both are practical, one is probably smarter than the other. I do deserve a break, but, at the same time, I can’t let myself become a complete couch potato. My time off should be a mix of productivity and relaxation.

So here’s what I’m looking forward to doing during Winter Break:

1. Seeing my family

I may fight with them a lot, but I still love my parents and siblings more than anything in this world. I know for a fact we’ll be playing a lot of Trivial Pursuit during the month I’m home.

2. Binge-watching TV shows

I have a long list of shows on Netflix that I need to watch (Black Mirror, The Crown, The Punisher, Scandal, Friends From College, and so on), and I hope to make at least a small dent in this list.

3. Reading (a lot of) books

Reading is my favorite way to pass time and I’m always looking for a good book. Since I’m a broke college student, I like finding websites that offer free books for me to indulge in.

4. Searching for a spring semester job

Last semester I was on the video staff for the football team, but I was only a volunteer so I wasn’t getting paid. And that was perfectly fine. I received a lot of free clothes and was able to stand on the sideline during home football games, as well as gain valuable experience in the sports industry. I’m still on the video staff as a volunteer (there’s a chance I’ll start getting paid Fall 2018), but I won’t be filming any football until late spring.

But being a broke college student – for the lack of a better word – sucks.

For that reason, I need to find a paying job to fill the void and start saving money. I’m hoping to find a job that involves a career I’m interested in, but, honestly, any job is a good job. I’ll still gain experience and improve certain skills.

5. Developing new routines

Looking back on this past semester, I didn’t really have much of a routine. I did homework whenever I felt like it and went to sleep at odd hours. And, honestly, that worked well for me. I only had four classes, a volunteer job (that I only worked two, maybe three, times a week), and a few student organizations. I had plenty of time to slack off and get away with it.

Next semester, however, is a different story. I’m going to be incredibly busy and I’m going to need some kind of routine to keep me from falling behind.

6. Catching up on sleep

Aforementioned, I went to sleep at odd hours during first semester. Some nights I’d go to bed at 10 or 11 p.m., while other nights I’d be up until four a.m. reading a book. On average, I probably got around 5 or 6 hours of sleep every night.

My goal for break is to try to go to bed early and then wake up at a respectable hour. Hopefully I’ll be getting at least seven, if not eight, hours of sleep each night.

7. Going to basketball games

I plan on going to a few of my high school’s home basketball games. Mostly because I like basketball, but also so I can see some people from high school that I haven’t seen in a while.

8. Writing and/or blogging

I love writing, but I have a lot of work to do if I want to become a really good writer in the future and (maybe) make a career out of it.

And it all starts with simply putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

9. Learning code

Code has always been something I was interested in learning. I never had the chance to take a class during high school, though, because I had other classes I needed to take to graduate, and I never knew where to start online.

Recently, I’ve been searching the web and found a few sites (Codecademy, Free Code Camp, and Codewars) with good reviews.

10. Learning a foreign language

I took four years of Spanish in high school and I really enjoyed it. I decided not to take any foreign language classes while in college, but I’d still like to stay somewhat fluent.

I haven’t been very on top of it lately, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot, but I plan on changing that during break.

11. Applying for scholarships

College is expensive. I can only work so much while in school. I’m broke (have I reiterated that enough yet?).

And what’s better than free money? Absolutely nothing.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

 

 

Finals Week: Avoiding Burnout

It’s almost Finals Week. 

Those two words are a lot more terrifying now that I’m in college compared to when I was in high school.

At my high school, I don’t remember there being a specific week dedicated to finals. Not to mention, the classes, in general, were a lot easier. Outside of a few math and science classes, I never really had to study in high school.

Now that I’m in college, however, I have to study. I learned that the hard way when I didn’t study for two midterm exams (oops, my bad).

And since I need to study for multiple exams taking place in the span of a week, I’m in danger of facing education burnout, which is defined as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.

I’d like to avoid that fate, if possible. For that reason, I put together a short list of ways to avoid burnout.

1. Make a study plan

I have two papers to write and three exams to study for within the next week. I’m getting anxious just thinking about all of that work, which is why I made a study plan to spread out my work evenly and avoid being overwhelmed.

2. Have three or four achievable goals each day

If I have a long list of things to do each day, I’ll just end up feeling bad about myself if I don’t accomplish all of it. In a sense, this goes hand-in-hand with spreading out my work evenly, except I’m not just talking about writing papers and studying for exams.

I have other tasks, unrelated to school, that I’d still like to complete each day despite devoting a good amount of time to school.

3. Take care of yourself

It’s important to remember to take a break. Don’t spend all day doing work.

Sleep. Eat. Shower. Talk to friends. 

Don’t isolate yourself in one room all week. You’ll go crazy.

4. Celebrate your accomplishments

Watch Netflix after studying. Go out to eat with a friend after taking an exam. Buy a new book (or something else you love) as a reward for your hard work.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

College Classes: Creating Your Schedule

Back in June when I was creating my first semester class schedule at orientation, I didn’t really know what I was doing. My goal was to pick classes I thought I would enjoy and hope it all worked out in the end.

And, somehow it did.

However, I took a far different approach when it came to scheduling my second semester classes. Even though it’s my first year on Iowa’s campus, I’m a sophomore based on credit, so I plan on graduating in three years. While scheduling classes for next semester, I tried to include as many SRM (Sport and Recreation Management) and JMC (Journalism and Mass Communication) classes as I could in order to stay on track for both majors.

Here are a seven tips based on how I scheduled my classes:

1. Map out your (future) class schedules

You definitely don’t have to do this, but I’m the kind of person who loves to plan ahead.

A few weeks prior to picking second semester classes, I decided to make an excel document where I map out all of my future class schedules. The document includes a list of all the classes I need/want to take and the years that I should take them in order to graduate in three years, and a few other important details.

My plan will probably change, but it’s nice to have something to fall back on.

2. Maintain a balance

First semester, I had four classes (12 semester hours) because I was easing myself in to college. Second semester, I’m going to have six classes (18 semester hours, which is a full load).

If you can, I suggest taking a full load of classes as long as you maintain a balance. Try not to schedule all of your hard classes in one semester.

3. Make sure you have time for homework (or online classes)

I am taking one online class next semester for my SRM major. I made sure to make time in my schedule to work on homework for that class. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I don’t have class until late afternoon, which gives me plenty of time to focus on my online class. The last thing I want to do is fall behind.

4. Take your personality into account

During first semester, I confirmed that I am not a morning person unless I have something to really motivate me to get up. When I had to go to work and film football practice, I was able to wake up just fine. However, when I had a lecture before 10 a.m., I struggled to get out of bed because I knew no one would notice if I missed class.

I took that into account when scheduling my second semester classes.

5. Make time to eat

One of my biggest concerns was making sure I have time to eat lunch. I wanted to avoid having back-to-back-to-back classes during lunch hours.

6. Look at a campus map

I’d rather not have to run all the way across campus in 10 minutes to get to my next class.

7. Talk to your advisor

It’s possible that talking to your advisor is the most important part of scheduling college classes. Your advisor is there to advise you for a reason. They aren’t going to enroll in classes for you, but they will give you advice and lead you in the right direction. Use their knowledge to your advantage.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy