“Major” Changes. . .

I started off my freshman year wanting to be a psychiatrist. I’ve had my mind made up ever since I was in 5th grade. I was absolutely, positively, sure that I would NOT be one of the many people who change their major – or so I thought.

Wrong. Not even a full semester in I knew I wanted out. Not because the classes were challenging (even though they definitely were) but because I started thinking of my future. I always knew I wanted a family, kids, and to be able to someday be considered that “trophy wife” someone has. Being a doctor would simply not allow me to have that much open time. I would be working hours on end, and wouldn’t be able to just call in “sick” at any given moment. In my current internship, which is in the psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, I always see the doctors with an overload of work and hectic schedules. Being a doctor meant real, tough commitment.

I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. I’ve had this dream ever since I was a young girl. I promised my parents I would stick with it and didn’t want to let them down. However, after calling my mom for the 2034839th time bawling about how stressed I was about the situation I was in, she eventually slapped some reality in me:

“Lizbeth, it’s okay if you change your major. It does not mean you failed – it does not mean you’re a quitter. It simply means you finally saw the reality of life and are choosing a different path.”

My mom was right. I immediately scheduled an appointment with my academic advisor to change my major. I went in completely clueless. I told her that I didn’t want to completely give up my dream of working with people, but I also didn’t want that to someday become my life. I left with about fifteen brochures on different majors and careers and was able to explore new options.

That’s when the Kindergarten Education dream began. All of my close friends said that would be the perfect career plan for me. I was lively, I loved working with children, and I just overall fit the image of being a kindergarten teacher. I called my mom again and told her my plan – but mommas know best and she shut down my new dream right away. I was in denial at first and refused to listen to her advice, and stuck with the idea for a month or so. After emotions settled, I finally listened to her side. She told me that if I ultimately chose to be a teacher, I wouldn’t be able to travel for my career, compete with others in my field, and would just simply be “stuck” in one place. It opened up my eyes and I quickly realized it was an impulse decision and I needed an out.

Back with the academic advisor I went. I went in all frazzled again. Fortunately, my freshman year academic advisor was so sweet and truly tried helping me figure out where I belonged. We looked at many options. Towards the end she suggested clinical counseling since it was similar to my original field, just without the ability to prescribe medication. It would allow me to work on my own time, travel wherever I wanted, and I was always able to climb up the professional ladder. It all made sense. It was truly like a light bulb went off and I realized that’s what I truly wanted to do. I went back to my internship to look at the counseling unit instead of the psychiatric unit, and realized it was what I wanted to do. I could truly see myself there.

So here I am, working to get my PhD in counseling. A competitive field, where I wouldn’t be on call 24/7 or be “stuck” in one place.

My advice for any incoming freshman is to STAY OPEN! I came in confident that I wouldn’t change my major, choose a different career, or mix my life up. But here I am, with a different major, different career plan, and a different life plan. Nothing is for sure, and keeping an open mind about everything truly lets you figure out what you are meant to do.

Xoxo,

Lizbeth

Hawkeye Experiences

As a Hawkeye, I can promise that you’ll have at least one (or all) of the following experiences happen to you at some point. They’re kind of, basically, unavoidable.

Losing Your Dignity After Chasing A Cambus

I never used the bus system during first semester. I loved being able to clear my head by walking to classes, and the most time it’d take me was 20 minutes. Now, with the snow and below freezing temperatures, I’m kind of forced to use the Cambus. I have an app called Bongo (a must have) to check when the buses are running. It’s a pain though because at times it’ll say it’s 10 minutes away and a few seconds later it’ll be 3 minutes away.

Another annoyance about the Cambus is that they fill up quickly, especially during the winter months. I’ve only not gotten on a bus once due to it being so full but it happens to a lot of people. You just have to constantly check and leave earlier than expected to avoid it all. Either that or be late to class – your call.

Getting Attacked With Flyers in the T. Anne Cleary Walkway

There is always something going on in the walkway, and the best advice I can give is to put headphones in and keep walking. Most of the time they just want to hand you a flyer about their organization, or have you buy whatever they’re selling. It’s usually just a small snack or drink for $5 but I usually don’t have the time or money to stop.

Constant Emails About Different Student Organizations

As an avid email checker, this annoys me. As soon as I see a new notification for an email, I go check to see if it’s anything important but 90% of the time it’s just another mass email sent to every student on campus about a different organization. Although I have joined one or two due to emails, most of the time they don’t really interest me.

Missing the Dining Hall Hours

If I have a lot of homework or lose track of time as I study for a big exam, I often times forget to eat and by the time I realize it, it’s too late. Although the dining hall hours aren’t complicated, they are hard to keep track of. Another thing that sucks about the dining halls are waiting for them to open. Sundays are usually the hardest since they open later but close earlier.

If you’re anything like me and can’t seem to adjust your schedule to the dining hall, there are always Flex Meals available – and you can get those at any time you like.

Being Asked What Sorority/Fraternity You’re Part of

Greek life isn’t everything here at Iowa, but it is a big part. As you introduce yourself to people a lot of them have the tendency to ask what sorority or fraternity you’re in. At the beginning I got so annoyed with that question that I’d low-key carry something on that had my Greek letters on it so hopefully they’d notice before they asked. But 9/10 times, nobody really cares if you are or aren’t part of Greek life, and will continue talking to you anyways! So if you choose not to be part of it, do not worry.

Choosing “The Seat” On Your First Day of Class

In high school, you were kind of just used to having an assigned seat given by your teacher. In the back of your head you’d always say you’d sit somewhere different each day if you could. Wrong. In college the seat you sit in the first day or two is basically your assigned seat for the rest of the semester. That’s why choosing the right place to sit is crucial (no – I’m not exaggerating I promise). For me, it’s all about sitting next to someone I can see myself becoming really good friends with. That way, I’ll always have someone to talk to during that class and feel comfortable. In some of my harder classes, however, I usually sit by someone who looks like they’re really passionate about the topic since they’re low-key an unwritten tutor.

In College Algebra, I sat next to a girl who looked really nice and she became one of my best friends here at Iowa. We’re actually living together next year in our Villa! So thanks to the worst class ever for giving me my best friend ever.  Love you Holly.

 

As my freshman year comes to an end, I can’t wait to keep writing about my experiences and any advice I can dish out. Xoxo.

Dear Hometown BFF’s

Dear hometown BFF’s,

I’ve only been back at Iowa City for a week and I already miss you all. Being home for a month was truly needed. I wish we had more time, and we will again in 17 weeks. Coming home reminded me of a lot but taught me a lot too.

For starters, I found out who my true best friends are. I never thought I’d drift apart from some of the people I did, but it made me realize that our friendships weren’t as strong as I once thought they were. It showed me who put in the effort to keep our friendships alive even with all the distance, and for that I love you guys (you know who you all are).

Honestly, before heading up to college back in August I was nervous to see what all the distance would do to some of the friendships I had. I knew deep down that I wasn’t going to remain close to everybody, and that’s ok. It happens. But coming home to you guys who made it feel like we were never apart filled my heart. I’m so lucky to have found forever friends at home.

And to the friends I drifted apart from, I’m sorry. Whichever the reason may be, just know that you all have had such a special part in my heart as well and always will. I wish nothing but the best for you guys and your futures, and if you ever want to catch up I will always be here too.

It’s a scary thing to think about, but it’s neat to see everyone begin their own lives. Some of you guys are seniors in high school while others of you are in different colleges. Wherever you may be, just know that you’ll have me by your side through it all. Distance means nothing with friends like you guys.

Thank you for making the month at home one of the best times I’ve had in the old 712. Can’t wait to see each and every one of you. Love you guys.

Xoxo,
Lizbeth

Dear First Semester

Dear first semester,

You kicked my butt. While my grades aren’t horrible, they’re the lowest they’ve ever been. Honestly, I came in thinking it would be a sweep just as high school was, but you proved me wrong. You taught me that I will spend days on end not walking out of Java House due to the workload my major brings me. You taught me that I can’t go a day without caffeine if I want to be productive but also to squeeze in time at the gym no matter what. You taught me that I can’t do everything on my own, I will have to ask for help from time to time. You brought many highs, many lows, and many moments in between. It’s been real – real as in you’ve taught me a lot.

In these last few months, so much has happened. I feel like I just moved into Hillcrest and was introducing myself to my neighbors. How did time move so fast? Did this semester even happen? Many lessons were learned, new friendships were shaped, old ones reinforced, said goodbye to some important people, and experienced many new things.

I began counting down the days for college ever since I was a junior in high school. I was ready to be out of the small town I grew up in and finally become the individual I wanted to be – not the person others expected me to be. Things have changed however. The most important lesson I learned my first semester is that home isn’t a place for me – it’s the people I surround myself with. Home is where my family and friends are. Wherever I end up, it’ll all be okay as long as I’m with people who I love and love me in return. I still don’t know where I’ll end up. Maybe I’ll be back in the small town I grew up in or maybe I’ll move across the country. Wherever home may end up to be, I’m confident that it’s the place I was meant to be at.

Another thing you’ve shined light on is who my true friends are. I knew I would make a lot of new friends coming into college, but I never expected to have a big group of such amazing friends who are always going to have my back. It’s crazy because I feel closer to some of the girls and guys I met just four months ago than some people I’ve known my whole life. Thank you for reminding me what real, pure friendships are. And although it hurt saying goodbye to some, breaking off toxic friendships, and leaving some important people behind, it all worked out in the end. I’m still close to the people I was meant to stay close with from back home, and I love each one of them profusely. 

And lastly, although there were many many many nights where I would break down and cry due to all the stress and work, it’s been worth it. I’ve never felt as accomplished as I do finishing my first semester of college. So first semester, thank you for everything. Now that you’re over, I can truly say I haven’t felt as happy as I do in a such long time. I’m so excited to see what next semester will unfold. Iowa City, you think you’ve seen the best of me but you have a whirlwind coming for you.

Love,

Lizbeth xoxo

The Person You Become

That’s a wrap – first semester is officially over! As I look back at the last four months a sense of nostalgia sweeps over me. I made a lot of really good memories that will honestly last me a lifetime. Everyone says college changes you. . . but does it really? Then I think of the person I was at the beginning of the semester versus the person I am today. And honestly, I can see some changes but I still am the same Lizbeth everyone knows me as.

When I moved to Iowa City back in August I was convinced that I would become a new person. I was relieved that I had an opportunity to start fresh. I had a clean slate, and I was ready to mold into the person I thought I was supposed to become in college. I let the new adventure take its course and figured that it would change me into the new person I was “supposed” to become on its own. Instead, I realized I was in charge of the person that I wanted to be. I was in control of the person I’d mold into. 

With every learning experience, I learned more about who I am as a person rather than changing who I am as a person. Once I realized what was happening, I felt a sense of relief. I wasn’t changing, I was still Lizbeth. Instead, I was growing.

So if you’re anxious about that old saying, “college changes you” – don’t be. You got this, you’re in control. Ultimately, the environment change into the hectic college lifestyle only provides new experiences and opportunities for you. It does not force you to change who you are as a person. It’s not like high school, you don’t have to try to fit in.

Now curious, I asked my close friends when I got home for Christmas break if I had “changed” from who I was this summer. To my surprise, everybody said I was the same person they knew me as. There were only a few slight differences that they noticed. When I asked how I had changed, they said that I was in more control of my emotions, laughed more, and was a calmer person as a whole. Ultimately, I was the same person with new experiences in my pocket.

So remember these little pieces of advice, (solely based on my experiences)

  1. the people who truly want to stay in your life will put in the effort. . . do not let college be an excuse for anything
  2. you remain the same person you are. . . you just grow so do not let the fear of changing hold you back
  3. the amount of learning experiences you have the first few months are insane, so buckle up

One semester down, seven to go!

Stress Relief Day Before Finals

Finals are right around the corner and before we devoted our days to studying for hours on end, my friends and I decided to have a mini girls day! On Sunday, we went out for brunch at Atlas, did some downtown Christmas shopping, and ended the day with a musical held by the Theatre Arts department. Finals week can be very overwhelming, so I suggest having a fun day with a few friends before chaos slowly creeps in.

The day began with brunch at Atlas, a popular restaurant downtown here in Iowa City. They recently began serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to 2 pm. The food is delicious, the staff is friendly, and the prices aren’t too over whelming for the quality you are receiving! Whenever I eat there, I typically spend $12-15 dollars on myself. It’s also a great place to take your family or friends whenever they visit.

We then headed off to do some light downtown shopping in the few stores there are here. There are by far a lot more restaurants and bars than there are clothing stores, but the few options that are here are extremely cute. My favorite would be the White Rabbit Shop. It’s a small boutique only found in Iowa City. They sell just about everything you can think of in a small clothing store. My favorite thing to buy from there would probably be the jewelry or pins/patches/stickers.

To wrap up the day, we attended a musical performance held here at the University of Iowa by the Theatre Department. They hold a various amount of shows throughout the year. We attended Fun Home, a musical memoir that a young woman wrote about her father. I don’t want to give away too many details. . . but it was everything I expected and more! The actors, props, and music were all executed nicely and I really enjoyed my time there. I highly recommend attending a play, musical, or dance performance sometime in your time here at the University.

 

Theatre Arts Department schedule

Here’s a little vlog that my friend Bailey made of the day! 🙂

Christmas Wishlist

As I made my Christmas wish-list for this year, I realized how much I have truly… adulted? I would typically ask for whatever was trending, an electronic I wouldn’t really use but so desperately wanted, or extra clothes. This year, however, I decided to ask for things that I really just, well, need. Coming to a college five and a half hours away from home made me realize that I can’t just hop into a car, ask my parents for what I needed and come back. I really just had to depend on myself.

Here are a few ideas that I threw on my wish-list this year that you could possibly ask for too if you’re thinking of heading here next semester/year. PS: this list leans more towards girls but dudes, don’t be afraid to ask for these things as well – they’re useful trust me.

Redbubble Giftcards

It’s pretty common to deck out your laptop in stickers that describe what you’re involved/believe in etc. It’s a way to express yourself  and the good part is that nobody can say anything. Even better – nobody will say anything. Each laptop is unique to the owner. It’s fun to decorate your stuff and kind of “show off” what you’re all about.

Rebubble.com Stickers

Facemasks

If you’re planning on taking any chemistry class just bring these. Trust me.

Sephora Masks

Water Bottles

With Iowa being a spread out campus, you’re constantly walking around. Typically, it’ll take you about five to seven minutes to walk from class to class if they’re near each other. While you’re walking you’re fine, but as soon as you arrive you realize how hot or out of breath you are. My personal favorite is the HydroFlask. It’ll keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 6.

Hydroflask Bottles

Headphones

These kind of tie in with the water bottles. Since you’re constantly on the go then popping in headphones for those walks isn’t a bad idea. I also have to use headphones when I do homework so I can zone in and avoid distractions. I would also recommend brining more than one pair, because if you lose a pair it’s pretty much game over.

wireless Beats are on top of my list this year, check them out and browse for some 🙂

Hats

For those 8:30 am classes. Personally, I don’t have any of those since I knew right off the bat I wasn’t a morning person. But for my friends who do, they say that hats literally save lives here. 10/10 recommend. Even though I don’t have those early morning classes, I still find myself wearing hats at least two times a week since it’s just one less thing to worry about in the morning.

HawkShop Hats

Coffee Cards

If you’re like me, you can’t study in the main library. Isnt that weird? I always head over to a coffee shop to do all my homework and studying. I love the vibes I get from Iowa City coffee shops. It makes doing homework a tad bit enjoyable. It’s also just polite to order a drink since you are going to be taking up a spot in the shop and using the free wifi. However, I realized I was WAY too broke to afford studying there on my own everyday so I highly recommend asking for gift cards. I felt bad for asking my parents for “coffee shop” money but that’s seriously the only place I can focus. (I’m sitting at Java as I write this blog post).

Parka

Iowa weather is unpredictable (as we all know). A few weeks ago I would dread going outside because it was freezing, and now here I am getting by with a sweatshirt again on December 1. Having a parka makes those walks around campus so much better. These are pricey, but they’re that type of Christmas present that parents won’t complain about.

NorthFace, LuLuLemon, and Hollister are a few of my favorite Parka options!

Candles/Wax Warmers

OK so you’re not really supposed to bring candles into your dorm because it’s a fire hazard (whoops) but I still brought one from home. I figured that as long as I’m in the room while it’s on it shouldn’t be a big deal. If you don’t wanna risk it though an alternative would be a wax warmer/melt. Living in a residence hall, you’re constantly around other people coming in and out, and the air gets pretty mucky. Having your room smell good beats the icky hall smells. It also makes your room feel more cozy.

Bath & Body works Candles

Whatever may end up on your wish-list this year, I hope this post helped bring some insight on things you could ask for. I’m also hoping to slip in an one or two extra posts this month since #ChristmasBreak.

A Letter To Myself

Dear freshman 19-year-old Lizbeth,

It is November 22, 2017 and you never expected your life to be the way it is right now. You had many paths in mind, always intricate but always worth the trouble. Your dreams were big and your worries were small. But today, on this Wednesday afternoon as you sit in the library doing homework during break (bummer) you can’t help but reflect on the roller coaster of your life.

A little over a year ago you were so set on going to Iowa State University, eleven months ago you were set on going to the University of Colorado Boulder, nine months ago you were set on going to the University of Minnesota, and then in April you made the ultimate decision to attend the University of Iowa. You, out of everyone, should know by now that life never goes as planned so quit trying to pencil everything into your planner. It’s complicated, things pop up, situations occur, you lose people and you gain people. . . but in the end, everything happened exactly the way it was meant to happen. All the puzzle pieces fit, all the paths make sense.

It was a rocky start, but you pulled through – just the way you always do. If things change again, I want to remind you that IT’S OKAY! Do not set a concrete plan in your head, because when it changes you’ll be disappointed. Instead, focus on each day as they pass by and continue to keep those around you close. You’ve got such good people in your life, don’t let them slip away. Coming to Iowa not only gave you life-long friends, but sisters too. Be grateful because you never would’ve met them if you stayed home. They’re all so good to you. Don’t forget to tell them daily how much you love them just as they always remind you.

However, stuff is going to happen to you. The hurt, failures, and heartbreaks aren’t over yet. As a matter of fact, they’re just beginning. But you’ve pulled through it in the past, and you’ll continue to pull through it in the future. Do not let the failed relationship, bad exam grade, or homesickness hold you back. Take all of that and use it as motivation to keep chugging along. You’re unstoppable girl. Always remember that.

I know you miss the Lizbeth that shrugged problems off and always knew what she was doing. She misses you too. To meet her again, you must slow down from time to time. It’s okay to say “screw it” every now and then. Go do something you love. Stay an extra five minutes in the sauna, go buy one more coffee, sleep in a little longer. Taking one day off isn’t prohibited. Just be smart about it when you do it.

Even though I want you to have more answers than you do questions, don’t quit asking them. At the same time don’t overthink everything. Don’t wait around for that over-due apology, that invitation to talk, or explanations to past situations. Let it go, because I can assure you that they already did.

I also know you’re struggling with the thought of transferring and changing your major. Don’t. I know it’s hard, I know the workload is insane, and I know that there’s an easy way out to all of this. But let me ask you this: when has taking the easy way out led you closer to your goals? Psychiatry is a pain in the butt, all the sciences and maths are hard when all you want to do is go out and have fun. However, you’ll be thanking yourself profusely in six to eight years when you’re doing what you love. Stick with it. And Lizbeth. . . don’t leave Iowa City. I know that a lot of your friends who left Sioux County are transferring back. Don’t follow the trend. Stick with the decision you made. Being home feels good, but when will you ever leave if you don’t leave now?

Most importantly, I want you to know that you are thriving. You’ve accomplished more than you give yourself credit for. The new reality of life is that it’s always going to be messy – but that’s okay because you’re handling it. Quit being so hard on yourself girl. You’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing. I am so proud of you.

You got this.

Love,

Lizbeth xoxo

SALT

I come from a very religious hometown, where there are approximately 20+ churches in a town of 7,000 people. Deciding to come to Iowa made me realize that I was going to be in charge of keeping up with my own faith. My parents weren’t going to be there to wake me up for church on Sunday mornings. My friends weren’t going to be there to pick me up for church on Wednesday nights. Ultimately nobody would really know if I attend church regularly here at Iowa.

Honestly, I rejected the idea of going to church and keeping up with my faith the first few weeks here. I felt free, and in a sense that meant I didn’t have to attend church if I didn’t want to. The people I was surrounding myself with weren’t all that into religious stuff, so I never felt the pressure to go. I thought I decided that it wasn’t as important in college as it was at home.

Wrong.

In the weeks following, I felt empty. I was always surrounded by friends and had good company, but something just felt off. I was starting to think that I chose the wrong school and that I would eventually end up transferring back home. I joined various clubs, attended multiple events, and would always be open to meeting new people. I didn’t know what was happening.

There was a lot going on in my life at the moment that very few people knew about. And although everyone was being an exceptional friend, I didn’t feel 100%.

In the bigger scheme of things, I decided to re-connect with my faith and begin building my relationship with Jesus once again. My roommate was nothing but supportive of my decision, and joined me in my journey. She began reading daily devotionals with me right before bed, which allowed us to talk and de-stress about situations going on.

I made the decision to start attending The Salt Company. The goal of the Salt Company is to give every student at the University of Iowa the chance to meet Jesus and develop a meaningful, impactful relationship with the idea of faith.

“We believe that Jesus will satisfy every longing of the human heart and that by dying on a cross for our sings he offers his unconditional love to everyone”

The Salt Company meets every Thursday night at 8 p.m. during the school year at the Englert Theatre (right next to Java and Ragstock!). There are over 400 students who gather weekly to hear teachings from the Bible and worship through live music. I promise that even if you go alone, you won’t feel lonely. Everyone you meet in there will have open arms for you.

If you want to dive deeper with your faith and worship outside the larger community, there are Connection Groups available too! There are over 100 student leaders, so there is always room for new members. Within these groups there are approximately 10 to 12 students. Connection Groups meet in various locations, both on and off campus. These groups are smaller bible study groups to create more authentic, raw relationships with the leaders and peers around you. You commit to whatever works around your class schedule, so there is never pressure to attend if you’re swamped with homework.

As I walked in to my first Salt session, the first thing the minister said was that there are people hurting, heartbroken, alone, and people who cried for the wrong reasons that day sitting in the same room as I was. I was not alone. In the same session, the message was loud and clear to me: It’s hard to trust God sometimes, but that’s okay because He’s writing a better story for you than you are for yourself. It was at that point that I knew I made the right decision attending.

Thanks to the Salt Company, Iowa City has finally began feeling like a second home for me. There will always be hurdles crossing my path, but I just need to stay connected to my faith to hurdle any of them. I highly recommend the Salt Company to anyone looking to join a religious student organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ladies, if you want to sign up for daily online devotionals join this thread of emails: http://girlfriendsingod.com

Devotional Books: The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyer

Dear Bestfriends

To the amazing girls I’ve met in the last three months:

 

Dear Emma,

I hit a home run when I got you as my roommate. Thank you for the constant pep talks, celebration cheers, and endless love. I used to pray every night that I would get a roommate who would double up as a best friend, and my prayers were surely answered. People know when we’re together, because what other roommates scream at the top of their lungs when something (anything) happens? Nobody but us. There is no one as determined and focused as you, and that’s something that rubs off on me. I want you to know that you’re one of the biggest role models in our friend group – and that’s something to be really proud of! Thank you for being honest with me in everything, even the tough situations where you have to tell me I’m doing wrong. Thank you for telling me that that boy isn’t worth all the trouble and that my next exam will go better. You’re the serenity to a lot of the madness that goes on, and I love you for that.  I know that if I got to go back and find a roommate again, I would always pick you. Continuously. I love you.

Remember when we were locked INSIDE our room for two hours? And one of us almost jumped out the window because of a panic attack. One for the books.

 

 

Dear Camille,

Through you, I have found the thrilling perspective about college. It was hard for me in the beginning. You were one of the few people I told about wanting to transfer. However, you didn’t push away when I showed you I was breaking. Instead, you kept picking me up. Thank you. From that, you made sure I would always have fun. You’ve made college what it should be – fun! Our memories are one in a million. I’m going to look back at these years and cherish all of our wild, hilarious times together. You’ve made every single day here a little better than the last. I know I’ve found a forever friend in you. Thank you for making Iowa City feel like home. If it wasn’t for your constant support and encouragement, who knows how I would be feeling up to this day. I used to be upset thinking about the future. . . I thought I wasn’t going to have you across the hall anymore. Wrong. I can’t wait to be living with you all over again next year! We’re a power duo and we’ll continue to be.

 

Dear Holly,

The story of how our friendship became will always be one I’ll remember. I hate math, and in some ironic way that is the one class that has brought me the best of friends I have here at Iowa. Sitting next to you on the first day of class is a choice I’ll never regret. Little did I know that through you, I would find my twin. There is nobody who can keep up with me as much as you do, and for that I thank you. You’re always there to hug me when I have my little mental breakdowns (which are daily, haha). You’re always there to make me laugh and keep me motivated to finish anything I have to do. I’m so lucky that we continue to become closer with each passing day. You have such a passion and drive to achieve your goals. I admire that about you. No matter what ends up happening with your major these next few years, I want you to know that you’re such an intelligent girl. You’re going to gain so much from having such a bright head on your shoulder. I can’t wait to be your roommate next year. I want to thank the worst class ever for giving me my best friend ever.

   

 

Dear Kennedy,

You once said to me, “Lizbeth I’ve never met anyone like you”. Well Kennedy, I’ve never met anyone like you either! You’re the funniest, quirkiest, smartest girl I know here. I love everything about you. I wish I could balance everything out as well as you do. Thank you for being as fun and lively as you are on weekends yet so engaged and driven on weekdays. Someday we’re going to look back at all of the pictures and videos we have together and clench our stomachs from laughing so hard. You’re such a great neighbor. Thank you for giving me some of my best memories here at Iowa. I’ll never forget you Ken.

    

 

Dear Emma N.,

Even though I don’t see you nearly as much as I did at the beginning of the school year, I want you to know that you will always be one of my best friends here. I love you so much. You have seriously been with me since day one. Through all the ups and downs I’ve been through here at Iowa, you have never left my side. You have such whole, caring heart for others and that’s something that I noticed about you right off the bat. You watch out for all of your friend’s well-beings. At times you remind me of my older sister, and that brings a part of home here. Becoming close to you was so easy, because you understand me in so many ways that others just don’t. Thank you for always being a call or text away. You have such an impelling attitude that it’s contagious. You’re hardworking and always test your limits, which is something I try doing daily but don’t always have the courage to do. Even though we have different friend groups, always remember that no matter where life takes us, I will always be your friend.

 

Dear Ally,

Remember when I refused to talk to you since our fathers tried so hard to make us become friends? I laugh every time I think about that. Now, I can’t fathom a world without you. You’ve taught me so much in the three months I’ve been here. Thank you for taking me under your wing and showing me the ropes of Iowa. You play the role of a big sister and best friend in my life. There are so many things I look up to you about. On my tough days, you’re the person I can confide in. You listen, you’re honest with your words, and you don’t think twice about lending a hand out. You give so much and never expect anything in return. You have such a big heart and that’s going to get you so far. Thank you for being with me through the roller coaster of my freshman year. In a sense, you’re a piece of home. There isn’t another sophomore I’d rather be closer with than you.

Remember when my date accidentally elbowed you in the face and gave you a black eye?