Best Moments of Freshman Year

I can’t believe my first year of college is almost over. Since it flew by so fast, it’s kind of a blur.

In order to remember everything that happened, I looked back at my Snapchat memories. I discovered that most of my freshman year was spent eating food (Popeye’s, Panda Express, and Buffalo Wild Wings, mainly) and attending or working at sporting events, which doesn’t really come as a surprise to me.

Best Moments

Moving in

Moving away from home and saying goodbye to my parents was sad, but it made me feel grown-ish. I was finally going to experience life on my own. It was also fun getting to know my roommate.

Filming football practices and games

I absolutely love my job. I filmed games for my high school’s football team, but I never imagined I’d have the opportunity at the college level. I was a little nervous at first, but I’m glad I didn’t back out. It’s been an incredible experience so far, and I’m happy I get to work with this team for a couple more years.

Rushing the field after the football team upset Ohio State

I don’t remember for sure, but this might have been the first game I filmed. Fortunately, I only filmed the second quarter, so I got to be on the field for the amazing second half. Rushing the field is something I really wanted to do, so I’m glad I was able to during my first year.

Volunteering at athletic events

For my Sport and Recreation Management major, we have to complete nine semester hours of field experience. During second semester, I participated in the Fans First practicum, which involves customer service at athletic events. I volunteered at men’s and women’s basketball games, wrestling meets, track and field meets, and baseball games.

Binge-watching all of the MCU movies

My roommate introduced me to the Marvel Cinematic Universe during second semester when I told her I wanted to see Black Panther. It’s safe to say I became obsessed. We went to see Black Panther on February 20th, and then we went to see Infinity War on April 26th (opening night). I’m still in shock from the ending of Infinity War.

Field trip to Minneapolis 

The Sport and Recreation Management major provides its students with an insane amount of opportunities, including traveling to different cities to network with industry professionals. During the month of February, I went on a field trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota 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.

Spring break trip to Columbus

The University of Iowa offers an alternative spring break program where students can travel to different U.S. cities during spring break to volunteer with a team. During spring break, I went to Columbus, Ohio to volunteer with organizations centered around juvenile justice.

 

Thank you for reading! That’s it for this school year! 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

 

3 Ways to Find a Job in College

College is expensive. Between paying interest on student loans and living in an apartment next year, my expenses are going to add up fast. Some don’t need a job while in college, but for the majority of us a job is a necessity.

I already have a job lined up for the fall (and technically the spring too), but there’s a chance I’m going to need a second job as well.

Here are a few ways to find a job while in college:

Use HireaHawk

HireaHawk is perfect because each Iowa student already has an account set up for them, and it’s free. You can upload your resume (and get tips!), check out recommended jobs and internships, search and apply, and so much more. It seems like there are new postings almost every day.

Look for “hiring” or “help wanted” signs around town

While eating at Buffalo Wild Wings a couple weeks ago, I noticed a “hiring” sign on the door. Upon further investigation, I noticed that quite a few places in and around the downtown area had similar signs.

Ask around (or get lucky)

It never hurts to ask around. Maybe someone has heard about an opening that would be perfect for you, or can at least lead you in the right direction.

I actually got really lucky when it came to finding out about the student video assistant job with the Iowa Hawkeye football team. The head coach for my high school’s football team heard they were hiring and immediately told me about it.

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

A Trip to Remember

Running on two hours of sleep, I finished packing my bags and headed outside to wait for my ride. It was 4:52 a.m. on February 15th — the day I had been looking forward to for weeks.

At 5:20 a.m., a bus full of professionally dressed Iowa students would leave for a four and a half hour drive to Minneapolis, Minnesota. For the next two days, we would tour professional and amateur facilities and meet with executives from multiple sports organizations.

The drive to Minneapolis was a little long, but I spent the majority of it watching downloaded Netflix films (I highly recommend watching the documentary “13th”) on my Kindle, so time flew by pretty fast.

At 10:40 a.m., we arrived safely outside of US Bank Stadium. Twenty minutes later, we started our all-access tour (courtesy of two Iowa alums working for the Minnesota Vikings).

THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS were incredibly close to becoming the Los Angeles Vikings. After years of back-and-forth discussions regarding the funding of the construction of a new stadium, an agreement was reached. In 2016, US Bank Stadium opened for its first professional football game.

As part of the agreement, the Vikings promised to invest more than two million dollars in artwork and photography to place around the stadium, including a beautiful re-creation of Prince using his lyrics and photos and paintings of former players and coaches.

The cool thing about US Bank Stadium (as well as other sports facilities around the country) is that it isn’t just for football games. In fact, when we were there for the tour, the stadium was being used for a home remodeling event. The field was completely covered. (No iconic photo on the field where Stefon Diggs caught the Minneapolis Miracle, but that’s OK. This trip was for far more than just taking awesome photos.)

It has retractable seats, which allows it to be used for baseball, hockey, concerts, showings (like the home remodeling one), and so on. Just because it’s the offseason for the Vikings doesn’t mean the stadium will go unused.

US Bank Stadium has a lot of unique features. It’s home to the five largest pivoting glass doors in the entire world, while the roof is made of ethylene tetraflouroethylene, which allows natural light to flow in, provides an outdoor feel for fans, and makes flyovers before games possible.

And while the Dallas Cowboys have a massive video board hanging from the center of AT&T Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons have a “halo-shaped” video board in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings went a different route.

The video boards at US Bank Stadium are located at both end zones, and they are at eye-level. Due to that, the Vikings lose out on around 5,000 revenue seats, but fans no longer have to strain their necks to look at the screens.

My favorite part of the tour was seeing the Vikings’ locker room. Since I’ve seen it in so many post-game speech videos, it was awesome to finally see it in person too.

After the tour, we went to a Q&A panel with six Vikings’ executives. They seemed incredibly happy to have us there, and it was interesting to hear how they each got to this point in their careers. They provided a lot of really helpful tips for a variety of topics.

When discussing resumes, one executive reminded us to try to keep our resume length to one page and to not exaggerate. Another said to make our resumes stand out by getting creative. They also mentioned some of the qualities they look for in an employee, such as passion and initiative.

However, there was one line I’ll probably never forget: “Never rely on just one face of the franchise.”

THE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES AND LYNX partnered with Mayo Clinic to open Mayo Clinic Square in downtown Minneapolis in 2014. The Timberwolves and Lynx have offices and practice courts inside the facility, and we got to see a little bit of both on our trip. This facility is seen as one of the best in the country, and I can definitely see why. While checking out the Timberwolves and Lynx practice courts, the GM of the Timberwolves, Scott Layden, stopped to talk to us for a few minutes, which was an unexpected (but very welcome) surprise.

We also had a Q&A panel with Timberwolves executives. I learned more about an Inside Sales program the Timberwolves have, and it’s something I might be interested in later on. If you know me, then you know I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do in the sports industry. Public relations? Marketing? Journalism? Sales? The list goes on. Good thing I have a couple years to figure it out.

After the Q&A, we went to the Timberwolves-Lakers game at Target Center. That night, they were honoring Flip Saunders, who passed away in 2015. He was a former head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It was my second professional sports game (I went to a Chicago White Sox game during a job shadow a few years ago), but my first professional basketball game. It was a fairly close game, but the Timberwolves pulled away for the win in the end.

After the game was over, we went down on the court to take a photo as a group. It was a really awesome experience and I look forward to possibly attending more games in the future.

THE NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER sits on 600 acres of land, which holds over 50 outdoor athletic fields, two indoor athletic fields, a golf course, eight sheets of ice under one roof, a 8,500 seat stadium, and a velodrome. It is considered the largest amateur sports complex in the world.

One sheet of ice inside Schwan Super Rink.

It is used for a variety of sports, including soccer, volleyball, skating, hockey, lacrosse, golf, football, and more. Not to mention, the National Sports Center is also the training facility for Minnesota United FC, a professional soccer team in the MLS. Another really cool fact is that “31 of the 48 USA men’s and women’s Olympic hockey players at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games have skated at the Schwan Super Rink at the National Sports Center.”

When we first arrived, one executive made a joke about how now we were seeing the more realistic side of the sports industry. A big part of getting a job in this industry is luck — a job opening at the right place and time. And that’s especially true when it comes to professional sports organizations like the Vikings and Timberwolves.

The National Sports Center has a really cool internship program that really relies heavily on its interns. You’re able to jump around and do a little bit of everything, but things will go wrong if you decide not to show up for work one day.

THE NATIONAL SALES CENTER office is located on the grounds of the National Sports Center. It is a training program that helps trainees learn about ticket sales through hands-on experience.

Trainees are able to stay in dorms at the National Sports Center during the program and get a monthly stipend while working. They do a variety of activities to help maintain focus and health, including yoga and a soccer goal competition.

I look forward to possibly applying for the program in the future.


 

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

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

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

8 Things I’m Doing This Spring

I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish during break. Instead of just lazing around all day, I wanted to be at least a little bit productive.

Ha. Joke’s on me, right?

In reality, my day went a lot like this:

  1. Stay up really, really late watching Netflix or sports, reading a book, or playing
  2. Trivial Pursuit.
  3. Sleep in until two in the afternoon.
  4. Eat a lot of food.
  5. Repeat.

Looking back on it, I think I was subconsciously trying to give myself a good amount of relaxation time in preparation for a busy second semester. Because I am going to be really busy this semester.

1. Full schedule of classes

First semester I had four classes (12 s.h.), which worked well for me. I eased my way into college, but now I feel comfortable enough to take more. So this semester I have a full schedule of classes (18 s.h.). However, two of my classes aren’t your typical classes (see #2 and #3 on this list). I’m even taking an online course, so I need to make sure I stay on top of all the assignments.

2. Fans First Practicum

For my Sport and Recreation Management major, I’m required to complete nine semester hours of field experience. Due to the fact that I’m a student videographer for the football team, fall practicums are a little difficult to do. For that reason, I’m doing one this spring. During Fans First, I will have a class from 5:30-8:00 p.m. every Wednesday night, and throughout the week I will volunteer at athletic events (men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, wrestling, and so on).

3. Alternative Spring Break

I heard about this during my last semester of high school when a graduate from my high school posted about joining a spring break team, and I immediately knew I would want to join one too. The class meets every Monday night, and during spring break I’ll be traveling to Columbus, Ohio to work with people in criminal justice reform.

4. Blogging/Writing

I’ve been blogging for Iowa Admissions for one semester now, and I’ve definitely enjoyed it. I slacked off at times, but I’m hoping to change that this semester. I’d like to try to get more involved in writing in other ways at the University of Iowa this semester, though. Maybe Her Campus or The Daily Iowan, but I haven’t decided yet.

5. Getting a job

Not sure exactly what yet, but I will be getting a job this semester!

6. Filming spring football

This won’t be happening until late March or early April, but I’m really excited to film football again.

7. Field trip to Minnesota

While writing this post, I’ve been waiting in line at the Field House since six a.m. to sign up for the field trip to Minnesota (registration isn’t until 8:45 a.m., but it’s on a first-come, first-served basis). It’s open to all majors, but the Sport and Recreation Management program organizes two field trips every year (one in the fall; one in the spring).

On this trip, we’ll be doing a lot of fun and exciting things: 1) Tour of US Bank Stadium, 2) Q&A with Vikings executives, 3) Tour of Mayo Clinic Square (Timberwolves’ new training facility and offices), 4) Q&A with Timberwolves executives, 5) Timberwolves vs. Lakers game, 6) Post-game photo on the court, 7) Tour of the National Sports Center, 8) Q&A with National Sports Center executives, and 9) Q&A with MLS National Sales Center executives.

8. Clubs and organizations

I’m in the Sport and Recreation Management Club and KRUI (although I really slacked off with my involvement at KRUI). I really hope to get more involved with those clubs, plus others as well.

 

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

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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