Apr

18

Course Breakdown

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As my time at UIowa winds down I have become very nostalgic reminiscing about the academic course I’ve taken and wanted to make a quick list of my personal favorites organized by year. Working for Orientation Services last summer I was often asked what classes were the best or easiest. I usually did not divulge my opinion. Rather, I remained impartial and directed the student toward course aimed at their specific interests and for the benefit of their personal growth as a student and individual. But, for you, my readers. I am throwing restraint to the wind and imparting my favorite courses in no particular order! Oh, happy day!

Living Religions of the East. This class offered me a glimpse into a topic I know little about:  religion. It really opened my eyes to new perspective and concepts that I still remember and utilize in my personal, academic, and professional life. Plus, my professor was so cool. She had the quirkiest clothes and seemed out of this world. She was also SO helpful to answer questions as the material was pretty tricky. Truthfully, I did not excel academically. I took it my first semester at Iowa and had no clue how to study, but regardless I look back on it fondly.

Trauma Throughout the Lifespan. This class that was directly related to one of my minors, human relations, s had so many awesome discussions regarding counseling in hypothetical and real-world settings. The topics covered dealt with sensitive subjects, but I remembered looking forward to learning new material even though it was a 3-hour night course. I really solidified my passion to help other people during this class as a result of the information we were learning, and started volunteering at the Crisis Center of Johnston County. The professor was a doctoral student with many years of clinical and practical experience who was always willing to stay after class and answer questions.

Calligraphy: Foundational Hands. As I approached my senior year I realized that I had never taken a fun course. By this I mean a class that did not fulfill something for my major or minors. I have always taken an interest in my own handwriting — a mesh between cursive and standard script. I was very challenged during this semester artistically. The teacher is a remarkable artist who produces such beautiful pieces, I aspire to be like her one day. I garnered a good grasp of 3 different foundation hands by the end of the semester and I am still practicing!

Psychology Seminar: Numerical Cognition. I despise mathematics. This was one of the reasons I was very nervous to take this course. It provided research about how humans and even animals understand numbers and equations. Primarily a discussion-based class, we discussed multiple rigorous articles twice a week and learned about the underlying mechanism of numerical cognition. This course was an exercise in utilizing flexible thinking.

I can  now say I have a new appreciation for mathematics as a study and as a discipline. This was the second class I had taken with Professor Cook and I really found it quite valuable and challenging.

While this list is certainly not comprehensive, it gives a good idea about some of the different courses offered at the university both specific to a certain major and not. If I could do it all over, I would double major and take a wider variety of courses, but that is a story for another post 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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Feb

28

Friends, thank you!

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When I came to college at the University of Iowa, I imagined my dorm floor to be like it was in the movies: bustling with energy and friendly people who would pop by my room to invite me and my roommate to some cool cultural event on campus. I soon found that my floor was vastly different than my pre-conceived notions. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I lived on the Reach female floor. The Reach program designed to help cognitively challenged young adults with their interdependence skills. I loved the girls in the Reach program and still keep up with a few of them almost three years later! But I had to extend myself beyond my floor to meet more people, which turned out to be a blessing. I turned to student organizations, my sorority, and class discussion sessions to discover individuals that I clicked with! Throughout these four years I’ve garnered some pretty incredible friendships that as cliche as it sounds will last far beyond my college years. I’m getting pretty nostalgic as my time at the University comes to a commencement in May. I may not be able to see some of these friends with as much ease post graduation so I’m taking a vow today to really YOLO (remember when Zac Efron made this saying big? #highschoolmusicalforever) these next two months. I now implore you, readers, to reach out to one person you’ve met and tell them how you value their friendship and then maybe even hit up Aspen Leaf because today is $5 fro-yo day. I REPEAT! $5 FRO-YO! Who knows, you may even see myself and a few of my pals there!

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Feb

14

Tip Tuesday: Procrastination

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With midterms around the corner, hopefully everyone has started to study for their exams! If you’re like me my freshman-junior year, you most likely plan on waiting until the day before an exam to delve into the powerpoint and texts like a frantic ninja. If you identify with that last sentence in any way these next 5 tips are going to be super applicable to you. Procrastination is an inevitable part of college acclimation but it is a truly horrible habit!

1. Take 5-10 minutes after class to look over the notes you’ve taken. This will help the information sink in. If you come across any question, usually professors stick around for a few minutes and this would be a great chance to have the question answered while it is still fresh in your mind!
2. Get a planner! The Iowa Hawk Shop has great options that help keep students organized and fully aware of their busy schedules. Scheduling free time may sound tedious, but trust me, it works!
3. Find a study buddy. As a senior, I’ve learned that if you find someone who is in the same class as you, it can be super motivating to have a peer that can answer questions or even quiz you. I’ve always been intimidated to go into my professor’s office hours, so this is a great alternative!
4. Look at your notes before bed. I recently read a study that found looking at phones or electronics disturbs the quality of sleep that one can achieve. A quick peruse over notes could help you sleep better and make you less stressed when it comes time to start studying for a big exam.
5. Live by the quote, “why do something tomorrow that you can do today?” This has stuck with me this past year and really motivated me to stay on top of my schoolwork.

So, armed with these five tips you should be motivated to stop scrolling through Instagram and start studying, the earlier the better!

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Nov

14

Food Roundup: Deal Edition

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As Iowa City residents we have SUCH an amalgamation of different types of foods at our fingertips. This past summer, my friends and I set a goal that we would try a new restaurant or cafe each week and boy did we come through. Each week we sampled little tastes of Iowa City: Chinese food, Italian, diner-esque, indian… the options were seemingly endless. I’ve compiled a list of restaurants that have deals on certain days for when you are tired of Burge food or have only ramen noodles and a jug of semi-expired milk in the fridge (no judgement… we’ve all been there!). So, enjoy! Listed below are some of my favorite deals.

Monday

Shorts Burger & Shine $6 burgers 

5 pm – 10 pm

Tuesday

Airliner 1/2 price large pizzas

Formosa Sushi (majority of rolls discounted!)

Wednesday

Brothers Bar & Grill Wing Wednesdays 

0.25/wing (bone in or boneless)

Starts at 8pm 

El Patron 1/2 off burritos

Thursday

Formosa Sushi (majority of rolls discounted!)

 

Sunday

Airliner $1 pizza slices

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Aug

21

Come on Hawkeyes, Now Let’s Get in Formation!

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Hey everyone!

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work for Orientation Services as a Hawkeye Guide. I, along with 32 other Hawkeyes helped welcome the largest freshman class The University of Iowa has ever seen!!

Last October I filled out an application for the position because my experience with Orientation as a freshman did not fulfill my high expectations. Orientation is often the first impression new students and their families have of our university so I was incredibly happy when I was chosen to help usher in the class of 2020, and help present our university in its full glory.

After training for three hours every week for the entire spring semester as well as a two week summer session, the team felt confident in our ability to help ease our students to college life at a Big Ten University. Throughout the summer I was able to develop my public speaking skills, assertiveness, as well as becoming a stronger team player. My colleagues were awesome. Each had cultivated their own interests within our University and the diversity and professionalism existing within the team dynamic was truly astounding. The selection committee really hit it out of the park! Being around them five days a week inspired me to be not only the best Hawkeye Guide I could be, but also the best version of myself.

The biggest takeaway for me from this summer was something the Orientation team referred to as “lollipop moments.” Lollipop moments are brief moments in time that may seem minuscule, but have a big impact on someone’s life experiences. A small compliment or even a simple acknowledgment of a feeling can result in a lollipop moment. Everyone has experienced a lollipop moment in their life and the fact that this summer I perhaps served as the catalyst for even one fills me with so much joy.

This summer was filled with long hours, hot days in the sun, hard work, and SO MANY students. I am forever grateful to my bosses for allowing me the privilege of being a Hawkeye Guide. Interacting with the students was the highlight of my summer, providing them with resources, learning from them, giving them advice, and tying my personal experiences in was so rewarding and fulfilling. If anyone has any questions about the experience of being a Hawkeye Guide, please reach out! I’m so excited for our newest Hawks to start classes and hope that their college experiences will be as epic as mine have been thus far. I am very happy to have been apart of the beginning of their Iowa journeys.

O Team Love

O Team Love

 

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Jan

25

Bucket List: College Edition

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Today was the first day of my second semester as a junior at The University of Iowa. Just writing that makes my heart quicken! I’m still so happy with my choice of school and the thought of graduation… (even thought it may be over a year away!) makes me a bit sad! As a result, tonight my roommates and I have decided to compile a bucket list to really make this semester count. After all, college is usually only four years of a person’s life; why not write down a list of reminders to really YOLO?

  1. Watch the sunrise or sunset from The Pentacrest (I’m so excited for this one!)
  2.  Roll down the hill of the Pentacrest
  3. Attend a cultural event (for example this week’s Great Gatsby Dance!)
  4. Make dinner with our friends with freshman year to reconnect and reminisce of old memories while making new ones!
  5. Study at a new place… branch out from our usual haunts!

These are literally just a taste of our epic bucket list. We may not complete them all but we had so much fun compiling it & I hope you will all try to make one soon!

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Nov

29

Finals Grind

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Happy Thanksgiving Break! I hope that everyone is enjoying their time off with family, friends, and amazing food. With finals approaching quickly, I wanted to make a quick post about how to efficiently study for final exams.

  1. Make a to-do list
    For those who are not amazing at time management (me!) this can prove invaluable during the last few weeks of the semester when so much is going on. It is a great way to organize your thoughts and construct a list of tasks in order of importance.
  2. Find a study spot
    I have just recently learned how invaluable having a regular study spot can be! The most important aspect for me is that it is QUIET and that I go alone. Studying with friends is awesome, but lets face it, it usually turns into a gab session!
  3. Review past exams
    Lets face it, professors are extremely busy. Past exams are an amazing indication of how final exams will be constructed.
  4. Self Care
    In all my studies as a psychology major, we have learned how important it truly is to take care of yourself. Getting enough sleep and finding time to relax is so imperative to killing exams and scoring A’s! Treat yourself to a movie night or go for a walk, taking a break from studying will help clear your head.

Armed with these few tips, I know you will all perform amazingly on your exams. So good luck and finish strong this semester!

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Sep

03

A Hawkeye Summer

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This summer I had the opportunity to take advantage of an awesome program at The University of Iowa. Iowa offers free summer tuition to Iowa residents and in-state tuition to all out of state students. A maximum of 12 semester hours can be taken with this offer. Books and housing are not included. I took three classes this summer and each influenced me in a huge way. They were all challenging and interesting. They combined a semester’s worth of knowledge into a month and a half, so the course load was heavier. Perhaps because we met during the week more often or that class was longer, I was able to digest information fully and solidify better peer relationships, that will last beyond the summer session.

While taking classes I was also able to experience Iowa City in an entirely new way. I lived in a house with 3 of my good friends. We were able to go to the farmer’s market on Wednesdays or Saturdays and stop by sidewalk sales downtown in between our classes. We even went to a movie at Kinnick field and rented canoes at Lake Macbride! Because of my summer spent in Iowa City I have a greater appreciation for the cultural side that this remarkable college town has to offer.

Overall, I found the experience of taking classes here this summer truly beneficial. It truly changed me as a person and I loved the sense of maturity that came with living on my own and not in a sorority house or dorm. I would recommend this experience to anyone, and hope that everyone reading this post looks into taking summer classes at The University of Iowa.

Peace out!

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Apr

16

ASB: Dallas, TX

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This spring break I had the privilege of being apart of an Alternative Spring Break through the University of Iowa. The application process was super easy, in fact I had forgotten I had submitted an application until I received my acceptance email! This is the University’s third year doing Alternative Spring Breaks and their eventual goal is to get to 300 people on the Hawkeye Service Team. This year they had over 350 applicants for approximately 120 spots. The eight locations this year included Memphis, TN, St. Louis, MO, Pittsburgh, PA, Indianapolis, IN, Detroit, MI, Denver, CO, Dallas, TX, and Atlanta, GA. Each location had a different focus spanning from addressing homelessness in Denver, CO to addressing art in education in Pittsburgh, PA. The trip I was lucky enough to be part of was Dallas, TX, which focused on addressing public health issues in urban populations.

The first day of volunteering was spent at DivineKinship, a community garden geared toward fighting social problems as well as providing healthy and organic food for a ‘food desert’ stricken community. When I say, ‘food desert’ I do not mean that the community is completely barren on food. In actuality, it means that there is a lack of grocery stores, fresh food markets that serve fruits, vegetables and other healthy food usually in an impoverished area. Ursula, the founder of this non-profit actually had a local doctor donate 17 acres free of charge to start DivineKinship. At first, she was planning on opening a homeless shelter but thought she better get to the root of the problem and planned to open DivineKinship, a community garden. In a span of a few hours, our 16 person service team did more work than they could have done in a month. We tilled the soil, created barriers, transported soil, and planted. This day I learned how important community involvement is for the continuation of not only non-profits but also communities.

The next organization we visited was Bryan’s House, a nonprofit organization that services children with medical or developmental needs as well as their families. Just like DivineKinship, their mission has also changed over the years. Bryan’s House was first started by a mother who was infected with HIV during a blood transfusion as she was pregnant. Her twin boys both inherited HIV. Before she died she established Bryan’s House as a safe place for those affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. Bryan’s House has since branched out to serve more diverse clients. Here we interacted with the children and did office work. The main takeaway here for me was how unequal resources were split between the two locations. The location I was at was state of the art, it even had a basketball court donated by the Mavericks! The second location was an older home that was in the process of being converted into another facility. Here the teachers were greatly outnumbered by the students and some even didn’t have access to even pencils. The health discrepancies between the two locations were very apparent and indicative of what urban Texas experiences on a daily basis.

Our last volunteer opportunity of the trip was the Agape Clinic. This organization was located in the basement of The Grace United Methodist Church. This clinic serves a poverty stricken population and receives NO government support. I was actually baffled at how high tech the clinic actually was. There were only six examination rooms and people waited from 6 in the morning outside the church for the chance to be a walk in patient. I learned that the waiting list could span 6 months for an appointment. Because it is such a small clinic, specialized doctors only come on certain days. For example, psychologists will be there on Mondays so if a patient cames for their mental health on a Tuesday they would not be helped. My time spent at the Agape Clinic was very sobering. These people spoke mostly Spanish, and all of the doctors were English speakers leading to a huge barrier. Luckily three members of our team were able to go with the doctors and translate what they were saying to the patients. But our volunteers were only there for one day, what happens the rest of the days? Do the patients just sit there understanding little to nothing about what the doctor is saying about their health? For most people this was the first time they had seen a doctor in years and would not visit again for years. None of the doctors that day spoke any English and I was so angry that the quality of care was diminished because of a language barrier. The patients were so willing to learn, some even taking picture of the literature on the walls in order to dissect it at home for knowledge. The Clinic has many resources but not enough to accommodate fully all of their clients. I am so grateful to have quality healthcare at my disposal and will never again take it for granted again. Every time I start to bemoan the fact that I have to wait 5 extra minutes to see my doctor, I am going to think of the men women and children who sat patiently outside the clinic for hours on end just waiting on the off chance that the clinic would have a walk in opening.

Overall, I was so incredibly lucky to have been able to take part in Alternative Spring Breaks at The University of Iowa. I recommend this to EVERYONE!
Learn more about Hawkeye Service Teams (Alternative Spring Break)

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Nov

07

15 Thoughts Every Girl Has While Walking To Class

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  1. It’s cold out today.
  2. Why, oh why, did I schedule an 8:30.
  3. Should have worn a sweater.
  4. Is that guy in my rhetoric class?
  5. I’m tired.
  6. Do I have time to stop for a Starbucks?
  7. Wait, love her outfit.
  8. Maybe I’ll workout after class.
  9. Hmm what sorority is she in.
  10. Is that my professor? She’s shorter than I remember.
  11. Is my laptop charged?
  12. I need a nap.
  13. I should not have worn these shoes.
  14. I’m hungry again.
  15. Yup, I’m definitely taking a nap after this class.
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