DISCLAIMER: this has nothing to do with my dog. she just looks cute


Hey everybody! I hope you all have been having an amazing February. For today’s blog I decided it would be fun to share my ‘switching major” experiences with you.

I came into Iowa as a Psychology major on the Pre Med track with a minor in Spanish. I knew for sure I wanted to be a Pediatric Neurosurgeon and be able to have Spanish speaking patients. I was going to excel in all my classes, get straight A’s and become the next Meredith Gray. I must inform you: it is much harder said than done. No one can come into college expecting to succeed and expect to walk in and become a surgeon. While I wanted to be a surgeon my entire life, I genuinely believe that watching shows, like Grey’s Anatomy, glorifies the life of doctors, surgeons, and nurses. It’s possible, but unlikely that I would one day become a surgeon, make tons of money, and meet my own Derek Shepard.

In addition, I realized that I want a big family and to be involved in my Kids’ lives. I want to be able to go to their hockey games, school events, and be a part of their experiences. If I was constantly on-call, or working I couldn’t be the mom/wife I want to be.

When looking at the logistics of life as a surgeon, I had to really sit down and realize if this was something I wanted to do. I, in fact, realized that while my dream would be to live the life of Meredith Gray, it was time to get back to reality and find a major more realistic for me and what I want out of life.

I dropped Spanish and Psychology and did a dramatic 360 degree turn and switched my major to Elementary Education. I signed up for all Elementary Ed courses for second semester, I took the Praxis exam to get into the School of Education and practically aced it, I got two letters of recommendations and did all my volunteering. I was ready to teach. I was so excited to have my own class of first graders, decorate my own classroom, teach kiddos on the smart board, and make relationships with kids from all different backgrounds.

And then… One of my favorite professors made a statement during class, “There hasn’t been one year that I haven’t been in school”. WHAT!! OMG SINCE KINDERGARTEN HE HAS BEEN IN SCHOOL. He is married with four kids who are all in college. He has been in school for a LONG time. That statement freaked me out. My life is more than school. I want to experience life for all that is has. I don’t want to become first grade teacher and then get stuck. I want to be able to move up in the world and make a name for myself. I need to be able to stay competitive.

So, I head back to the advising center to change my major again. They probably hate me since I haven’t even been here a year and have gone through three majors and three advisors. Whoops.

I write for Experience Iowa, the Odyssey, and I have my own blog. In addition, I am super into sports, fashion, beauty, photography and videography. Why not take all my hobbies and skills and make that into my career? In addition, I want to live in LA for a bit of my life and having a job related to all things trendy may be beneficial in one of the trendiest places in the world. So, that is what I am going to do. I went in and said “I want to be a communications major” and the advisor looked at me like “you do?”. LOL GREAT START, RIGHT?!

We then began talking and she mentioned that what I want to do in life relates more to a Journalism major. Communications is more analyzing talk, while journalism is the talk. And if you know me, I LOVE to talk (and be center of attention 😉 ) and I want people to know who I am.

A Journalism major requires you have to either double major or get a certificate. The advisor I went to didn’t really help me out. She told me to go to the Career Center and see what they think I should do. The career center is always booked and I now have to wait two weeks before I can go in to see them.

To be honest, the advisor and I did not have similar personalities at all. I kind of think she thought I wasn’t intelligent or know what I was doing which really upset me. At one point during our conversation I was like “whatever you think I should do I will do because I trust your judgement”. And she said “don’t trust me”. WHAT?! As my advisor shouldn’t I trust that you know what you’re doing?! That made me upset. I wanted to leave the Advisor Center feeling confident, when in reality I left feeling anything but confident in what I am doing for my career. Anyways, she won’t let me switch my major until I go to the career center. Ugh. I will keep you all updated. I know you’re all very anxious to know what my major will be in two weeks.

While this was a complete rant, moral of the story is, I’m 18 I don’t need to know what I want to do yet. I am so young. Change your major as many times as needed until you’re happy. Don’t settle for anything less than perfection for you.


That’s all!


Have a great day!


Xoxo Sam


This past week I had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles and had a lot of free time on my hands. I was thinking about blog posts people would want to read/watch. I had a feeling most people who read my blogs are high school students thinking about Iowa, students at the University, parents, and, of course, my family. With that being said, I think it is important to be as honest as can be about my experience here at Iowa as well as what it’s like being a freshman in college. Down below I have posted a video in which I answer 30 questions regarding all things college. Please take a look and feel free to ask me any additional questions. I love my school with my whole heart and will be as honest as I can when answering questions. If you have more questions my email is sambly@uiowa.edu and my Instagram is samalama16. I am very easy to contact and will reply ASAP!


Have a great day everyone!


Xoxo Sam


WOOHOO! I made it through first semester and am super excited to start my second semester here at Iowa. For my first blog back, I felt as though it would be a good idea to do something that helps all college students relieve stress. While working out is a hassle, I always feel better after I work out. And, why wouldn’t you take advantage of working out in the 3rd best student recreation center in the nation?!?! Not to brag, but Iowa is pretty cool. The REC center has 20,000 square feet of fitness space, a 52.5 ft rock climbing wall and a 50 meter competitive swimming pool. There are three levels in the gym. All levels are always packed with people getting in a quick workout before class. During finals, a lot of kids ride the bikes while reading textbooks. The REC has such a welcoming and comfortable environment. No matter what one’s ability is at the gym, there’s always people to help you and there is no judegemnt.


As a college student, it is so easy to gain the “freshmen 15”. The dining halls have endless amounts of food, and there are delicious restaurants around Iowa City. With the amount of eating college kids do, paired with the added on stress of taking 17 semester hours, working out is the best way to stay sane and in shape.


I put together my workout I do at the gym about 5 times a week. Take a look! I try to get a balance of cardio and weights. I want my entire body to be toned rather than just focusing on one part. All my work outs look a little different, so the video is just a mash up of what I might do in a day!



Christmas Wishlist

Hi Mom! Hi Dad! I’ve created my very own Christmas wish list that will help me excel at Iowa next semester!!! Coming into Iowa I didn’t think about what I needed, but as the months went on, there were plenty of things I wish I had before moving in!

  • Iowa apparel and accessories
    • All Iowa students love to flaunt their school spirit. Because of this it is a necessity to have all the proper Iowa attire for every occasion.
    • Find it here.
  • Alpha Phi accessories and apparel
    • Just like with the Iowa apparel, the FSL community takes pride in their houses & letters. Because of this, having a lot of Alpha Phi outfits on hand is highly encouraged at the University of Iowa.
    • Look here and here for different options.
  • Water bottles
    • It is so so so important to stay hydrated. Since I don’t have a car on campus I have to walk everywhere. With the amount of exercise, I do each day, just by walking to class, I must have a water bottle by my side at all times.
    • Swell Bottle
    • Camel Bak
  • Face Masks
    • OMG!! Something is going on with my skin!!! Stress, my diet, the water, something is ruining my skin. Just like keeping my body hydrated it is important to keep my face hydrated, too. Because of this, it is a necessity to keep good skin products and face masks on hand.
    • Sephora has some great products.
    • And so does Vitacost!
  • Speaker
    • Kate and I love jamming out to music every night, having a speaker in our room is so important. Especially before going out, we love getting ready while listening to our favorite songs. Because of this, it is a necessity to have a speaker.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Fashion Forward

Hey everyone! I wanted to do something a little different for this blog. All of my biggest passions in life stem from all things fashion. With that being said, I created a makeup tutorial of the look I do when I go out on the weekends. In addition, I posted some pictures of what I wear when I go out. After a long week of hard work in school, my roommate and I love our routine of getting Thursday night dinner and then getting ready to go out together. We have so much fun picking out our outfits, straightening our hair, and doing our makeup.  We blast music and jam out to the best songs to get excited to go out. I lucked out that my roommate is just as into fashion as I am!

In high school, to parties, I wore leggings, converse, and a tank top. I would never wear jeans to a party. No one did.  In college, however, kids dress up to go out. People wear skirts, dresses, rompers, jeans, and high heels. Though this new aspect of going out is taking a toll on my bank account, it is so much more fun getting ready and dressing up!

One thing that I must add, when I go out, at some point through the night, something will spill and get stained. With that being said, it is important to note that you have to be careful when choosing an outfit. If I know I will be going to a frat party, there is no chance I will be wearing one of my favorite shirts, because it will get stained

Thanksgiving Break: I thank college for that.

Happy (late) thanksgiving! It was such a nice and needed break. I hadn’t been home since August, so I was psyched to be able to sleep in my own bed, eat a home cooked meal, and spend time with my dog.

The first thing that stuck out to me most from being home is I didn’t need to see anyone I didn’t want to see. College gave me so many opportunities to meet people and find my true friends. Honestly, because I found my people here at Iowa, I wasn’t too jazzed to see many kids from my home town. Of course I saw my close friends, but I didn’t feel pressured to attend any huge parties or gatherings with my high school class. In high school, however, if I didn’t go to a party I would be completely out of the loop for days and desperately trying to hear the drama from the weekend. This reminded how much I love college in that NO ONE CARES!!! If I don’t go to a frat party it is not the end of the world. College reminded me that there is no such thing as popularity and it doesn’t matter if every kid knows who I am or that I know what’s going on in everyone else’s lives. I love meeting new people and creating new friendships, but I don’t need to be a part of every single aspect of their lives to feel like I am included. I thank college for that.

The next thing that stuck out to me is that family is so so so important. Though, it may seem annoying that my family constantly asks me how school is, who I am dating, if I have job etc, in the end it is only because they genuinely care. We are their babies and they only want the best for us. I am so beyond thankful for the most amazing family there is. I can’t wait for winter break with you guys!!! Giving me freedom and space at college allowed me to realize how much I need you guys in my life. I thank college for that.

The last thing that stuck out to me was how easy it was falling back into routine at home. It was weird driving my car again, but after a few minutes, I remembered how much I loved driving. I quickly remembered where my family kept each and every little thing around the house. I remembered how nice it was not using communal bathroom wearing shoes and carrying a caddy each time I shower.  And it was especially easy to get use to always having yummy food around the house instead of eating dining hall food. After over a week of my old routine I felt like I had never left home, but it was time to say goodbye. This reminded me that though I may not live at home 12/12 months of the year, coming home is my safe place and nothing is going to change that. I thank college for that.

When the time had finally come, I didn’t want to leave so quickly; however, once I got back to Iowa City I saw the most beautiful sunset and my best friend who lives right the down the hall from me came into my room and gave me the biggest hug. We ordered in food and gossiped all about our weeks at home. After that, our other two best friends joined us and we continued to talk and plan our spring break. Later that night my roommate and I redid our entire room and unlofted our beds. And that night was when I knew Iowa was for me. Although I had fallen back into routine at home, this was my new home and my “routine” here makes me the happiest girl in the world. And, I thank college for that indeed.

Dear Mom & Dad

I am writing this letter to you so you guys can be assured your baby girl is OK! While there has been ups and downs these past few months, at the end of the day I’ve finally found my home away from home. Thank you for everything you guys have done for me!

I have found the best friend group within my sorority and have made friends with girls on my floor. All my classes are going well. As you know, I have recently changed my major and I couldn’t be happier. I am extremely excited for my next semester’s schedule.

While school work is extremely important, it’s also great not having any sort of responsibilities on the weekend and being able to let loose. Tailgating is super fun! I love being able to share my Hawkeye spirit with everyone else in Iowa City. I’ve already binge watched an entire show (How I Met Your Mother). I love my roommate. We have become really good friends over these past few months. It’s hard to keep our room clean, though.

I’m really happy I got to see you two over parent’s weekend. Tailgating, going to the game, and staying in the hotel with you were awesome! I miss you guys every day! It’s weird not being home in my own bed, but the freedom has helped me mature and become a more responsible person.

Mom, thank you for keeping your phone on high volume at night for when I call at 2am bawling my eyes out so you can help me. Dad, thanks for giving me such great life lessons and calling me a few times a week to catch me up on your life. I could go on forever in this letter; however, you two already know how much I love and appreciate you. I can’t wait to see y’all at Thanksgiving!!

Love your baby,



Every year for homecoming each sorority is paired up with a fraternity to put on a skit for the Iowa community. This year Alpha Phi was lucky enough to be paired up with two awesome frats: Acacia and Pi Kapp. Both groups of boys were so nice and made the experience so much more fun.

There are three dances in all including a skit in between each dance. There is a boys dance, a girls dance, and a combined dance. I, of course, totally fell in love with the idea of being in the dance! I decided to step up to the plate and be the main character for the dance, not realizing I would have to be apart of the skit as well!! I was so nervous when I found out that I had to be up on stage in front of hundreds of people and remember all my lines! Our theme for the dance was spongebob. I played the part of Sandy. Spongebob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabbs played a part, too.

We had practice three times a week for three weeks. However, by the time the dance came around I was still forgetting lines, dance moves etc. The combined dance had flips and tricks that looked so cool! But for me, I am not a gymnast nor can I do any sort of cool dance moves. Thank god I had my partner, Jake, who happens to be on the cheer team. Having him made me feel a lot more comfortable about the flips we were doing.

We had to be at the IMU at 5:30 the night of the dance to check in. I was getting excited as well as nervous. We took a lot of pictures in front of our spongebob themed banner. Finally, after waiting hours to get on stage, It was time to go on. Spongebob, Patrick and I started up on stage for the first part of the skit. We introduced our theme and the reason behind our skit. Mr. Krabbs was hosting a dance contest and whoever won got unlimited Krabby Patties for life. First the boys went, (another skit), and then the girls went (another skit). Mr. Krabbs then arrived on stage to tell me, Spongebob and Patrick that no one won and it was all for publicity. We all realized that that we should dance for fun and not for a silly contest. We then all joined on stage for the last dance as a team. It was SO much fun.

Although I made mistakes during my skits and messed up on dance moves, I did something that took courage and practice and overall I am really proud of that. Plus, I have always wanted to be famous so thanks Iowa Shout for giving me my 15 minutes of fame. While the dance was a silly idea, it gave me the opportunity to find friends in fraternities and become closer with my sisters. I am so excited for greek week where I can show off my dances moves once again.

Until next time

Sandy Cheeks is out.

First day as a Hawkeye

As I sit here on my lofted bed at 12:30am on August 18th 2017, I can’t help but get excited for my next four years here at the University of Iowa! Yesterday (August 17th) was move in day. I woke up at the crack of dawn, left my hotel in Coralville, and headed to Hillcrest, which will be my home for this upcoming year. After pulling up to the dorm, I realized my University of Iowa student ID was packed in the back of the truck in one of the 10+ bins I brought. Of course I need this to officially check in! Despite my dad’s obvious frustration with me, we dug through the tightly shut bins and found my ID.  My mom and I went to check in. I got my key, found my room and it was time to unpack. Thankfully, my roommate, Kate, and I share similar interests in fashion, makeup, style, and aesthetics which made it easier to make a cute dorm room. With that being said, we both brought A LOT of stuff. It took a lot of maneuvering, moving beds, desks and dressers, but after 5 hours the room was perfect.

After setting up the room, Kate’s family left for lunch. My mom, dad and I went to Shorts for a quick burger, bought some Iowa necessities (cute clothes), met with my blog advisor, Aly, who is AWESOME, and went to move my brother (incoming junior at the University) into his apartment. Dan, my brother, drove up yesterday WITH OUR DOG! So, Madison, our dog, helped move Dan into his apartment, too. Dan lived there his sophomore year as well with three of his best buds. After moving Dan in, my parents and Madison dropped me off at Hillcrest and it was time to say goodbye. Saying goodbye was easier than I thought because I feel comfortable with my transition to college (and they are coming down for Labor Day weekend to see the football game).

Soon after our goodbyes I ran up to my room and started decorating. I put pictures on the wall, strung lights, and cleaned off my desk. Ironically, my best friend, Shannon is a freshman at Iowa, too. This was not planned. But, I can’t complain. She is living in Peterson which is pretty much connected to Hillcrest. I went to visit her and her roommate, hung out with them for a bit, grabbed a bite to eat, and headed back to my room. Upon returning to my room, a facetime call with my mama awaited. I miss her already. The rest of the night was getting to know Kate, learning how to shower/use dorm room bathrooms, and learning how to successfully climb up a lofted bed, which  brings me to this point. While reminiscing about my day, I can’t help but be thankful for the easy move in, my new friend Kate, and all the amazing opportunities I will have by coming to my perfect school, and most importantly, I’m thankful for my new home!