category icon Posted in Campus Life, General

Hey all,

As the beginning of the new school year fast approaches, I thought I would let you all know about the five necessities that made my freshman year living in the dorms much more enjoyable.

  1. Reusable water bottles. These were a lifesaver, shuffling across campus I always had water with me. Plus they are reusable and less wasteful than plastic water bottles.
  2. A mattress pad. Trust me, this will make your dorm bed soooo much comfier.
  3. An umbrella. Last year, at least it rained ALOT. So be smart and bring an umbrella!
  4. Clorox Wipes. If you do not want to get sick, stock up on these all-purpose wipes for your room. They smell great and keep your space germ-free.
  5. Download a flashcard app to help make studying easier. I love Flashcards+ because it is free and so easy to use. Whenever I had a free moment, I would pull out my phone and get some extra study time in.

Thanks for reading!

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Time Flies

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I literally cannot believe that I only have NINE DAYS of school left before Finals Week!! I remember at the beginning of the semester thinking OMG!! This semester is going by so slow!! Now all I wanna do is rewind and experience my freshman year all over again! I would have to say that my freshman year taught me a lot about myself. I’ve learned to ask questions more. In high school I was timid, never wanting to ask questions because I thought I would look dumb. Now, I ask questions about everything! Being in college has ignited a desire to learn and better myself and I will never again be shy about asking for help. This first year at college has made me more of a “go-getter” purely because there is no one here besides myself to push me in the right direction. I’ve learned that I am my own best advocate. I’ve also learned how to be more independent. Living in the dorms has given me my first taste of freedom, and I cannot get enough! I think it shows that you’ve picked the right school and had a great experience thus far when you don’t want to leave for summer break! I’ve made such great memories and friends here while getting more involved in my program of study and am truly grateful to the university and my parents for affording me this opportunity. I literally cannot wait for my future as a Hawkeye!

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FREEdom at the University of Iowa

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I can’t believe I haven’t posted in so long! Spring Break is over and with only 7 weeks of classes left, my freshman year has truly flown by! I’ve been so busy with academics, my social life, and extra curricular! But I want to let my readers in on a little secret about the University of Iowa…

The University of Iowa puts on FREE activities, events, and lectures virtually every day! College is mucho expensive, everyone knows this. So this is why it is important to take advantage of all the FREE content provided by the University. Every week The University sends out an email entitled, “After Class at the University of Iowa.” Included in the email are fun events that appeal to a broad range of people’s interests. For example, this week The Hub is showing the new hit movie, American Hustle. Admission is only three dollars, a bargain, people! I’ve been to truly inspirational speeches, specifically Jane Goodall. She travels 300 days a year, and at 79 years old this is quite a feat! Her speech took place at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and it seemed as though half the venue was filled to hear her life story. I just hope that I can one day be as passionate as her! The art scene is Iowa City is poppin. In addition to the Black Box Theatre (which features a brand new exhibit, called Art and Life in Africa) located on campus in the IMU, downtown Iowa City is home to art galleries that are free to the public. If you are a member of the Greek community you know you must attend at least one educational. Educations are events that include screenings of documentaries and lectures among other things. I’ve been to a few educationals this semester. But there are two that really stuck out for me; one that broadcasted a documentary about eating disorders complete with a discussion and panel of experts to field questions, as well as a lecture by Larry Scott, of Rachel’s Challenge. Both were so eye-opening and powerful. Basically, the University of Iowa puts on such great content for their students. Students just have to take advantage of these opportunities that will truly enrich their college experience.

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category icon Posted in General

Hey all!

I seriously cannot even believe that my first semester at The University of Iowa has commenced and that I’m already in the second week of classes for second semester! A favorite quote of mine is “the days are long, but the years short.” It never really occurred to me how true those words are till recently. While in the throws of first semester, each individual day seemed so long! But now looking back, the first half of my freshman year has flown by! With that said, I’ve compiled a short list of goals to really make my second semester more memorable, more fun, and more productive than the first.

  1. Study, study, study. Although I achieved reasonable grades first semester, I know I can do better. After taking my first college exam, I realized that I really didn’t know how to study. It seems silly, really, all I did in high school, if anything, was sit down and look over my notes for a half and hour. Lemme tell ya, folks, I learned super quick that in college classes, that approach does not fly. So I hustled and learned better ways to manage my time and utilize study tools. And now I am super determined to get the grades I know I’m capable of.
  2. Get more involved. My first semester was all about trying new things. Going to different student org meetings, meeting new people, exploring the campus, finding clubs akin to my interests. And while I will not stop doing the aforementioned pursuits, I feel as though semester two will be about deepening the ties I have with my sorority, my friends, my activities, and my school. Basically, I am going to take a more active role in making the most out of my experiences at Iowa and bettering myself with the time I have left here.
  3. Take advantage of all the free stuff! Each week the University sends out an email of all kinds of events that are free to students. Just this week, I attended a huge wrestling with a few friends. My ticket was free, whereas all non-students had to pay between $8-15. And while I don’t think that I’ll be attending any more meets in the future (sorry, wrestling fans!), it was still an awesome experience! I’m vowing to take advantage of all the university has to offer, without compromising my bank account.
  4. Lastly, I am going to work more on time management. Because my classes took place at varied times, I had a bunch of free time that was wasted due to social media, netflix, and procrastination. My goal is to spend time doing something productive and maximize the hours of the day, rather than spending my time frivolously. Because after all, we only have a finite number of years at university, so we better try to make them count!

Thanks for reading!

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The Black Box Theatre

category icon Posted in Campus Life, Events, General, Photos

Hey there,

When I first arrived at the University of Iowa I knew that I wanted to get involved. I attended the student volunteer fair the second week of classes and stumbled upon TONS of great student organizations and volunteer opportunities. One of them included volunteering at The Black Box Theatre located on the third floor of the IMU, which I LOVE. I conducted an interview with Emily Lennon, a docent and art enthusiast to let you all know more about the new exhibit and the Black Box Theatre.

  1. What is your role within the Black Box Theatre currently?
    I am the volunteer co-chair for the University of Iowa Museum of Art Members Council, so I helped train volunteers for the Black Box Theatre’s current exhibition, New Forms. I am also a Docent for the museum, so I lead tours for UI classes, visiting students, and other docents. I also volunteer as a Gallery Host most Wednesday afternoons.
  2. Could you tell me a bit about the exhibit currently at the Black Box Theatre?
    New Forms is an exhibition based on American Scene and Avante Guarde art movements in America after the Great Depression. This exhibition shows how these two art movements collided in the Midwest, specifically at the University of Iowa. There is a combination of prints, painting, and photography from the Federal Arts Project, New York’s Avante Guard movement, and also amazing works of art by UI students and professors of the time, such as Mauricio Lasansky, Phillip Guston, and Grant Wood. It is a great show of American Art during this time period and there is a lot of important artwork and history about the University of Iowa Museum found in this amazing exhibition.
  3. What is your personal favorite work of art in the exhibit?
    It is always difficult to choose a favorite, but I do love the collection of prints from the Federal Arts Projects that the University of Iowa was given around 1937. We do not get to see this kind of originality and variety of subject matter or techniques used this often, so it is a real treat to have them on display!
  4. What are ways in which University of Iowa students can get involved with The Black Box Theatre?
    Students can get involved with the Black Box Theatre by volunteering or visiting the exhibitions! It is free and open to the public, so this is makes a perfect afternoon out with family and friends. Students who are interested in volunteering for the University of Iowa Museum should contact Kathrine Nixon, kathrine.nixon@gmail.com or Emily Lennon, Emily-Lennon@hotmail.com. There are many ways students can volunteer, so don’t hesitate to contact us!
  5. Are there any events coming up that readers should know about?
    The UIMA hosts a First Fridays each month at Hotel Vetro. For $5, you can look at original art, listen to local musicians, and enjoy great conversation at these events. Our next First Friday is on December 6th, from 5-7pm. There are also art and art history lectures held often, usually relating to the exhibitions at the Black Box Theatre, so look at the UIMA website for those details. http://uima.uiowa.edu/assets/FALL2013CALENDAROFEVENTS.pdf.

Thus, readers, please check out the Black Box Theatre! It will surely be worth your time.




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Tip Tuesday: Housing

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I have been living in the residence halls for over half a semester already. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! Before I came to college I had heard so many horror stories about the abominable conditions of college dorms. Lemme tell you folks, my specific residence floor is the bomb.com ascetically speaking. Stanley Hall has a great main lounge equipped with a grand piano, where students can play to their heart’s desire. The bathrooms on the 10th floor are newly renovated and resemble pods, almost like your own personal bathroom. My room is also quite large, and I literally have TWO closets, and for a clothes horse like myself that is a major coup.

While aesthetically speaking my floor is great, I found myself to be a bit disappointed at my living arrangements. The day I moved in I was surprised to find out that I was on the Reach floor. For those of you not familiar with Reach, it is a college program for cognitively challenged young adults. The unconventionality of my floor actually bummed me out for a bit. While all the girls were sweet, I felt as though my floor was a disservice. All my other friends were becoming fast friends with their floor mates… going to parties and hanging out, and I really couldn’t see myself doing that on the regular with the girls on my floor.  I have soon come to realize that my floor is quiet, which is great for studying, and all the girls are respectful of each other. In time, I’ve even made friends with some of the Reach girls! While my floor is unconventional, I know I am better equipped than others to handle it. Instead of becoming defeated at my uncommon living arrangements, it has made me a better person. Someone who no longer judges others and is able to roll with the punches, someone who doesn’t get bent out of shape.

Tip 1:  Research where you’re living so that when you arrive, no huge curveballs are hurled your way. College is scary enough, don’t make it scarier by coming unprepared.

Tip 2: APPLY EARLY. I submitted my application somewhat late in the season and as a result, did not get my first or second choice residence hall.

Tip 3: RELAX. If you are unhappy with your living arrangements, there’s always an opportunity to switch either your dorm, roommate, room, or all of the above. Just be patient and it will all work out.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

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The Week 6 Blues

category icon Posted in General

Hey all,

College is great. The independence, new friends, and new experiences are all amazingly mind blowing. Unfortunately, there’s also another side to college; loneliness. For me, I haven’t been homesick since I arrived at the University of Iowa on August 21st. Today is the first day I truly felt homesick and lonely. I suppose it may have been because the prior night hadn’t quite lived up to expectations or the fact that I knew my sisters and mom would be all together without me. But I think what made me feel so lonely was the realization that in essence I am alone at college, without the support system I had throughout my childhood. I called my mom today and upon hearing her voice burst into tears. I just realized that my parents are no longer in the same vicinity as me, but an entire car ride away. I love my new friends, don’t get me wrong, I just miss the comfort-ability of my pre-college life, knowing people that I know will be there for me one hundred percent. Recently, I came across a situation where I had to walk back to my dorm alone and it occurred to me that I know virtually no one here that I could have depended on to pick me up. I can only depend on me, myself, and I, which is quite a daunting thought.

I suppose what I’m trying to convey is that loneliness is just a part of the college experience. You may look at your Facebook one day and see all the pictures of fellow college-goers laughing and smiling and think to yourself, “I must be the only person feeling lonesome,” but #REALTALK everyone at some point or another will feel lonely. If feelings of loneliness ever feel like they’re becoming too much, do not be afraid to reach out to a professional/friend/parent/etc. It just isn’t healthy to dwell on your loneliness. As Andre Maurois once said, “The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy of meditation on the past.” So get out, go for a Starbucks, text your new friends, and focus on your future! Just remember that we are so lucky to be able to achieve a great education at this esteemed university.

Thanks for reading!

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Tip Tuesday: Formal Recruitment

category icon Posted in Campus Life, General, Photos

Hey all!

For my blog I will be starting a segment called, “Tip Tuesday,” where I dole out some helpful tips for prospective and current college students. For all of you that do not know, The University of Iowa has an AWESOME Greek life… I should know because I am now a member (Shoutout to Delta Gamma!). When I started recruitment, I knew next to nothing, which brings me to my first tip…

Tip 1: Enter with an OPEN mind. Because I did this, I was able to view each sorority without input from others. Choosing a sorority is so personal. It is YOU that is joining the sorority. A chapter may feel like home to your best friends, but not to you. That is FINE! Go where you want, and do not be deterred by someone else’s opinions. I tried to not discuss my thoughts on each house with my friends and was stunned when on Bid Day my good friend from high school was in my sorority. We had not discussed it prior and now we are sisters for life! We are in the same sorority because we were both best fit for it, not because we planned it.

Tip 2: You may drop at any time during the process but I recommend seeing it through to the end. If a sorority that you love doesn’t call you back for a round, do not be discouraged because each sorority has such amazing things to offer! Recruitment spans over two weekends and has some long days, do not be overwhelmed… the days fly by!

Tip 3: Be prepared to not always get your top choice. From personal experience, I loved a certain chapter and was CONVINCED they would ask me back to the Preference Round (which is the last round before Bid Day with your chapter) but they did not. I was a bit crushed and I have to admit that my self-esteem took a hit. But after a quick call with my amazing mom, I snapped out of my gloomy state. The sororities that DID call me back were awesome in their own right and ultimately a better fit for me.

Tip 3: Sororities are also called “chapters.” Knowing this prior to starting recruitment would have saved me so much confusion!

Tip 4: Trust the process. All of the current members of sororities I talked to all said that everyone ends up where they are supposed to. I can attest to that! DG already feels like home.

Tip 5: Bring snacks. The days are long as mentioned before, and even though there are breaks, sometimes it is not enough time to head back to Burge or Hillcrest for a real meal, especially when you are traveling from an outhouse chapter.

Tip 6: Wear what makes you feel comfortable. I plan on putting a post up about outfit suggestions for each round! Keep your eye out for it, readers!

Tip 7: Take notes after you leave the chapter! After a long day, all the houses begin to blend together, making it harder to form an opinion on each chapter. Jot down what you talked about, what the girls looked like, or anything else to jog your memory when making your selections.

Tip 8: Do not be nervous to talk to the girls at each house. Usually they are just as nervous as you! They want you to like them so you’ll come back and you want them to like you so you can come back to the house for another round. Try to be as real to your personality as you can when talking to the girls, get to know them and let them get to know the “real” you… they may become your sisters!

My high school friend (left) and I at Bid Day where we found out we were both members of Delta Gamma!

My high school friend (left) and I at Bid Day where we found out we were both members of Delta Gamma!

New members of DG! I am second from the left in the 5th row.

New members of DG! I am second from the left in the 5th row.

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