Best Sledding spots on Campus

On the night before Super Bowl Sunday, snow finally dumped on campus and graced students with a beautiful landscape.
With getting almost seven inches in a few hours, shouts could already be heard in the dark as everyone poured out to enjoy the snow. From snowball fights to forts, everyone had a good time. My friends and I trekked out into the blizzard to find some prime sledding spots with some container lids and even the containers themselves. It’s what happens when no one has brought a sled or two to school with them.

Here are some spots I enjoyed sledding-or attempting to sled on campus:

  • The steep hill right between the Chemistry Building and North Parking Ramp. You know the one I’m talking about. The place that has four options to get up: the elevator, the parking ramp stairs, the hill, or the stairs right next to the Chemistry building. The trick is to get to it before it gets completely plowed over and is still slick.
  • The hill behind Stanley hall. It’s a popular spot for snow ball flights and sledding with lunch trays from Burge dining hall (Don’t know how that works as I used a container from Wal-Mart).
  • The incline next to the Seamans Center (engineering building). You’re more than likely going to have to pave your own way if it hasn’t been walked on yet
  • I wouldn’t recommend the Pentacrest as it doesn’t have enough incline to have a smooth ride. The Pentacrest is, however, a good spot to build a snow fort or have a snowball fight.

Enjoy the weather and stay warm!

Fall, Homecoming, Midterms, Oh My!

President Sally Mason @ Homecoming Parade

These past few weeks have literally flew by. But that’s how I feel every week; because before you know it, the weekend is here and there’s a ton of activities to do in and around campus. Earlier this month, UI celebrated another wonderful homecoming with a big win against Indiana! But that was all after the homecoming parade and the building of the corn monument. Homecoming week had been full of spirit with events like Iowa Shout–Greek Life here put on little dance numbers that went along with this years theme: Take it Back. I attended Iowa Shout due to my roommate and some other girls in my hall being a part of Greek Life, and to support them and their sororities. It was a really entertaining night spent on the Pentacrest and I got to see some snazzy dance moves. Homecoming week also brought some delicious food to Burge Marketplace. And before I knew it, the game was won and I was back to studying for midterms.

Tree from the Pentacrest
View from the Pentacrest

And I felt like midterms kinda kicked my butt. I came out of it with a better idea of how my study habits affected my performance and what I needed to do better or not change at all. All I will tell you is this: find a place where you can really study. My favorite place to study is the lounges on my floor. Lounges are designated rooms in each residence hall for either studying or just hanging out. (Hint: Like laundry rooms, they are more likely to be empty on Friday nights and various times on the weekends.)

I Won’t Join Your Club, But I’ll Eat Your Cookies

The strip of T-Anne Cleary walkway from the Blank Honors Center to Gilmore hall is always a bundle of surprises. It mostly serves as the central walkway to go from class to class. That being said, it’s a great way to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time. So there will be the people with massive signs that tell you to abandon your church and seek Jesus as he is a living person. And there will also be the people who want you to go see comedian Retta from Parks & Rec, and hand out cookies. But you know what they say about the dark side: they have cookies. (I’m really kidding, Retta is going to be so awesome at CAB this weekend. Check it out if you can!)

And also wise words from my First Year Seminar professor: “If you’re not condemned to hell [by protesters] at least once while you’re here, you haven’t done Iowa right”.

T. Anne Cleary Walkway at Night!
T. Anne Cleary Walkway at Night!

The Woes of Student Employment

Obtaining a job while being a student is not an uncommon thing on campus. There’s a variety of positions offered by the University and even some in the businesses downtown.

Like many others, I worked every summer since I turned sixteen. I loved being able to make my own money and the gloriousness called a Tax Return in January. It also helps that I live in Illinois, where minimum wage is already higher than most other states (a whopping $8.25/hr). I liked my job and my co-workers enough that I didn’t mind passing five out of a seven day week at work and not laying out at the beach. Though I did miss a lot of beach days while people seem to not like waterparks anymore.

When I first started my journey into applying for schools in the Fall of my senior year, it is pretty nice to say you have some work experience on your college applications. (In fact, it is something I highly recommend no matter how small you may think the job is). But I also knew that I wouldn’t mind working during the school year and between classes.

Remember: school work should always come first. Isn’t that the whole reason I’m going to school four hours away from home?

One thing you should know about student employment is the useful tool that is Jobnet. It is kind of like a craigslist for jobs around campus and downtown. So my search started there over the summer. I was awarded work-study through the FAFSA-an opportunity given to select students to take some money off of tuition-and that only aided my job search.

I found a job involved with the IMU and Iowa House Hotel, interviewed for it, and was given the position. I was thrilled because while I don’t have much work experience, (I am, after all, not a Jack of All Trades. More like a Jack of one trade) I was given the position. All i needed to do was paperwork. And then classes started. And suddenly I realized just how much 14 credit hours for my first semester was going to be. (Keep in mind that ‘they’ say that in order to succeed you need to study a minimum of 2 hours per credit hour. 14×2=28).

I wholeheartedly believed that I wouldn’t be able to handle the job at the IMU on top of my studies. I know my limits and as a person that tends to get a bit anxious over things, I could envision the stress I’d have in a month when there were midterms and I would be even further swamped.

Remember: Know your limits. If you can handle a lot, all the power to you. “But while college may seem like it has a lot of free time, it suddenly gets filled with social obligations and studying” (Thanks to the Chemistry professor who gave my OnIowa! group an EXCEL lecture)

So I did the mature thing. I emailed the guy who hired me, apologized, and then stated that I had to decline the position in favor of doing my school work.

I still want to work. The dilemma was easily reasoned out in my mind. I wanted the perfect student job: Some place where I can get a bit of cash in my pocket and be able to do my homework in the meantime. I’m in search of the perfect desk job. I’ll keep you up to date on how it goes.

Coincidence? …….I think not!

It is not a lie when your campus tour guide tells you that the University of Iowa is a big campus in a very small world. I have only been on campus for a few days and I’ve already started to notice the same few faces as I stroll around campus. It is a natural given in the dining halls as the same people usually show up around Burge or Hillcrest.

However, my very first day on campus-the ever exciting move in day-I bumped into Scott, the exact man in Admissions who had emailed me about becoming an Admissions blogger. We didn’t exactly bump into each other either. He helped my father and I on our second trip up to Burge.

So what I meant to say that while college–no matter where you go–may be scary and daunting, it it just a place with endless surprises and free tshirts.


Move In: The Tears, The Sweat, The Glory

I counted down the days from when I committed to the University of Iowa in Spring to move in day: August 20tth. On August 20th, I would be moving four hours away from my town in Northern Illinois to Iowa City to start a new chapter in my life. I worked my summer job, day in and day out, knowing that each day I was one step closer to saying goodbye to my friends and family for the school year. (I was bound to come back for Thanksgiving and Christmas).

It never really completely hit me how much my life was going to change in just a few short days. It would hit me in little doses: shopping in bulk for dorm-friendly foods at Sam’s Club with my mom, and driving away from the houses of my best friends for the last time for a couple weeks. Those are the moments where a tear would be let loose. I didn’t really cry until I hugged my mom the morning of move in. She was unable to accompany me due to work obligations so my dad would be taking me. Our first hug was fine. She wished me luck and to not get into trouble. The second hug before I jumped into the car was the worst. We hugged tightly and cried.

Fact: it’s completely okay to cry on move in day. In fact, I encourage it. It helps get out all those nerves and lets you know that you and your parents are on the same page: you’re growing up.

My nerves and feelings of anxiety stayed with me for the first hour of my drive to Iowa City. I had a fun playlist going; summer hits from Iggy Azalea and Beyoncé, and thought ahead to the future that awaited me.

Ninety degree weather was predicted for Welcome Weekend. And for what a relatively not hot summer this was, it seemed extremely welcomed. I was wrong. Iowa City was humid, a million times more humid than the current weather at home, and I had to make it to the fifth floor of Burge Hall. Thankfully, I wasn’t doing move in alone. On Iowa! Staff, Resident Assistants, and miscellaneous staff are on hand to help move in to all residence halls. They helped streamline the process and helped my dad and I unpack the car in two trips.

Fact: Over-packing will happen. Try to be aware of what you need and don’t need so your parents will be able to take some stuff back home. If you end up needing something you sent home, your parents can mail it to you or you can pick it up when you visit home again.

Sweat is everywhere. The humidity is beating down on everyone and their mothers alike and it doesn’t help the move in process. Burge luckily has a bigger elevator than say Mayflower so all the sweat isn’t quite as crammed in together. It’s nothing to complain about as everyone is glistening and still excited about Iowa.

The glory part of move in is after all your parents leave, your eyes are dry from all your tears, your room is unpacked, and all the hustle and bustle of move in has settled for the day: You have so much freedom. The end of that first day signals the beginning of your transition into official young adulthood. You are free to make all your own decisions: whether they be good or bad, and to learn from your mistakes. College, and especially at the University of Iowa, is an opportunity all in its own. Embrace everything that comes to you during your time here.

And don’t forget your toothbrush.