Adjusting to Distance Learning

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve all been sent home and campus closed for the semester, and we’ve all been transitioning into online learning. Since coming home, I’ve reorganized my room, done some spontaneous online shopping, and even started working again at a grocery store in my town. I didn’t have such a time-consuming job when I was at Iowa but having it has really helped me with my time management. 

One of the most effective things for me is finding a new routine and sticking to it. Three of my classes are synchronous – they still have class at the same time that we would normally at IowaAll those classes are Tuesday / Thursday, but having those classes have anchored my routine. For my other classes, I still try to do the work on the same days I would have them. For example, my professor for my Freedom of Expression class has released his lectures for the rest of the semester online, but I still watch them on Mondays and Wednesdays.   

I also think that having somewhere specific to do work is really helpful. Somewhere that isn’t your bed. I have a desk (something I only got after I came back) in the corner of my room that I use for all my schoolwork. For me, it’s important that I have defined spaces, especially since it’s all in my room. I was never able to focus while I was in my dorm room, but now I don’t have the option to head to a coffee shop or the library 


Finally, the thing that I think is paramount, is not completely messing up my sleep schedule. Its definitely not the same as it was in Iowa, but it’s still in the most acceptable hours (not according to my mom lol) of 2am-10am. And since I mostly work nights, it gives me time to do homework and hang around before I have to work. 

Everything takes adjusting, and this especially is no exception. Make sure to take care of yourself, practice good hygiene, and stay connected with your friends and family! We all need to feel some sense of normal.  

Saying Goodbye to Freshman Year

As we know it, anyway. 

Honestly, when everything started happening with the coronavirus, I never thought that it would get this bad. I thought that I would go home for spring break, stay another couple weeks for the online portion, and then be able to go back, not that we would be told we were going online for the rest of the semester and subsequently kicked out of the dorms. 


Saying goodbye to the dorms was harder than I thought it was going to be. Truthfully, I wasn’t looking forward to the dorms and the whole concept of sharing a shoebox sized room with another person, but my dorm room was HUGE. A triple sized room with only two of us had its perks. And it was nice to have the concept of freedom, of being able to go anywhere and do anything, but also not having the responsibility of cooking my own meals. By the way… Burge? The best dining hall.  

But I still feel like I am in denial of the entire concept and I need to be back in Wisconsin for five months. Five.  

And After 🥺

I finally felt comfortable on campus. First semester was filled with the uncertainty of moving to a new state, basically by myself, and trying to find a place in the giant campus that is Iowa. I didn’t have any friends or anything to fill my time. I finally was able to find my place, at the Daily Iowan, and was able to find coworkers and friends that I actually really enjoy spending time with. I’m one of those people who needs to have a routine, however slight of one, throughout the day.  The routine that I was able to get comfortable in at Iowa was just upended.

This post sounds super dim, and for good reason: I’m going to miss my friends, my job, and my life as I know it at Iowa. But thinking about it, there are some positives to being home. My bed isn’t lofted anymore, so the process of getting in and out of my bed to go to the bathroom isn’t nearly as much of a chore as it was. And I am able to hang out with my dog and cat again, who are (unbiased) the cutest pets that one can have.

But everything is going to be okay. I, and everyone, will be back in Iowa in the fall. We will be back. It will happen. 

What I’ve Realized in My First Semester

Well, my first semester here at Iowa is almost over. It’s been a wild ride, with a lot of ups and down, but being somewhere other than my hometown in Wisconsin and “on my own” for the first time in my life has taught me some valuable things:

It’s okay to not have friends right away

Movies really did me dirty when they showed the stereotypical girl just showing up to a random freshman event and immediately making her lifelong best friends. In reality, nine out of ten times, that isn’t going to happen. And forcing yourself to be friends with people just for the sake of having friends ultimately leads to flaky people. For the first couple weeks, I barely had any friends – I only made some when I joined the Daily Iowan. Which brings me to my next point:

Get Involved!

Seriously, get involved. Even with just one thing. There are literally hundreds of clubs, sports, and even jobs that you can join. Joining DITV was probably one of the best decisions I made this semester, because it not only helped me make friends with people who have similar interests and majors to me, but since it is involved with my major, being here has helped shape what I want to do with my life after college.

Eating alone is normal

If we’re being honest, one of the scariest things for me at the beginning of the semester was eating in the dining hall alone. For the first week, I would make my roommate come eat with me or latch on to anyone who invited me out to get food with them. Eventually, I went to the dining hall by myself, and realized that eating alone will not make people look at you and go ‘oh, she’s a loner.’ There is actually a good ratio of people eating alone to people eating in groups. Everyone is on different schedules, so even if someone does have a ton of friends, there has to be a time where they eat alone.

Stay on top of your schoolwork

Being in college, it’s easy to put off doing things – especially when you don’t have the same classes every day. Trust me though, getting into the ‘I can do it tomorrow mindset’ is not the way to go. A lot of professors will assign large projects at least a week in advance, and while you don’t have to do it right away, doing it before the night before it’s due can really bring down your stress. Especially if it’s nearing finals week, and you have tests or presentations or reflections all due within a couple days of each other.

Starting out here at Iowa was admittingly SUPER scary. I was in a new state, five hours away from my family, and I knew just about no one. But a semester in, I’ve made friends, I have a job that I actually really enjoy, and I’m excited to come back in January!

Have a great break!


Why I Chose Iowa

Choosing a college is hard. There’s a million different programs, recruitments, and places to choose from. Literally, the opportunities are endless. You could stay close to home, go halfway across the world, and major in anything from engineering to pop culture (yeah, that’s actually a thing). And the age-old question is: why did you decide to go there? 

I only applied to four colleges: Minnesota, Butler, Ohio State, and Iowa. And I had an idea of what I wanted when I was looking at schools: one that was big, because bigger schools = bigger opportunities. So if I wanted to change my major seven times, I could. Minnesota was my second choice, but frankly, it was overwhelming. A giant school combined with a giant city was a lot. I did like Ohio State, but the main thing that turned me away from it was how far away it was from home – nine hours is a LONG drive, and I wasn’t looking to make that trip multiple times a year. Finally, Butler just wasn’t my cup of tea (they do have a super cute bulldog as a mascot though). 

Even though I am from Wisconsin, I was against looking at any schools there, much to my parent’s dismay. Really, the only school that I would have considered was UW-Madison, and I didn’t want to go to college with a bunch of people from my high school. 

I chose Iowa because the first time I came here, it felt like home. The makeup of Iowa City is actually very similar to my hometown: a college (albeit much smaller than Iowa), and downtown literally right next to it. Having that similarity was one of the largest factors that helped seal the deal to come here. My absolute favorite thing about University of Iowa and Iowa City is the small-town feel combined with the large university opportunities. And in my opinion, it is the perfect distance from home: five hours isn’t too far away, but far away enough. 

College is all about branching out, finding new opportunities, and starting out your life ‘on your own’, but it needs to be in a place that you are comfortable to become the person that you want to be.  

Iowa beats Minnesota? Wild

Going into Kinnick on Saturday for my last game of the season, I was sure I was going to be watching a losing game. Minnesota has been historically bad, but this season they’ve been UNBELIEVABLE. Like, 9-0 including a win over Penn State? We were going to lose. I was sure of it. 

And then? We won. 

Waving to the kids is a tearjerker every. single. time.

I mean, barely. But a win is a win, and we kept the Pig home and beat a team that Penn State couldn’t even win against (Minnesota beats Penn State, we beat Minnesota, does that mean we beat Penn State?). Our offense was finally able to come together and our defense was absolutely solid (as always).

Actually watching the game, I realized that Minnesota wasn’t even really that good. They started almost every drive with a long pass, something that the Iowa defense eventually figured out in the second half, and their quarterback was sacked at least four times. 

And the fact that their kicker missed not only an extra point but a field goal. Four points that could’ve tied the game. Keith Duncan would never.  

Photo courtesy of @uiowa Instagram

After we won, there was that ever-so iconic storm of the field, in which I tripped over someone and fell, and got pushed by a team of state troopers who were shoving their way through the crowd. Worth it? Absolutely.  

Burning Out (and getting back into things)

Well, it’s a little bit past the middle of the semester: aka burnout season. For the past month, I’ve been hearing stories of people mentally burning out everywhere: jobs, school, you name it. And recently, I’ve fallen victim to the burnout game as well. You know, that time of year where you don’t feel like doing anything other than binge-watching The West Wing and The Great British Baking Show on Netflix?

Okay, that may be a little too specific, but the idea’s still there. I didn’t really expect that I was going to burn out this early in the year but thinking about it, a lot of things have changed. I’m in a different state, at a new school with completely new people, and I only have two classes a day compared to the five I had in high school. It’s a LOT of change.

There’s also the aspect of not having classes every day. With having Monday/ Wednesday classes and Tuesday/ Thursday classes, I’ve settled into the (admittingly bad) mindset of ‘oh I can do that tomorrow’ and then spend my night watching baseball and Netflix. Let me tell you, this is not what you want to do. The ‘I can do it tomorrow’ mindset falls apart when you have to write a ten-minute long presentation or an eight source annotated bibliography in one night, among other assignments.

But burnouts are normal. People can have them at any time of the year, but they’re especially prevalent around midterm season. Which is also the worst time to burnout, ironically. I’m finally getting out of my burnout that has spanned almost the entire month and I’ve found that some things have helped: first, get off your phone, or your iPad, or whatever distracts you. What I’ve found good to do is physically leave my phone in my room and do my homework in the lounge, because sometimes even the presence of my phone can distract me. Personally, I get distracted trying to study or do assignments in my room. I like to leave and go to the library or some other part of campus just to have a change of scenery.

I hope you all are doing fantastic in school, or in life, and if you are in the middle of burnout, finish that episode of whatever you’re watching and then do your thing.




Get Your Groceries Delivered

So one thing that is super inconvenient about living in the dorms is that I don’t have any access to a car. I mean, I don’t have a car down here anyway, so it doesn’t really apply to me. My roommate’s car is literally five miles away in a parking lot across the river on the west side. If we want to go anywhere, we have to wait for a bus to take us there (which takes about 45 minutes) or get a Lyft (which costs money and neither of us want to spend money). Basically, going anywhere not on campus or downtown is an issue because we don’t want to either pay for a Lyft to get to her car or a Lyft to get to Target or Walmart.  

Insert a godsend: Grocery delivery. We started using grocery delivery when I decided that I didn’t want to walk all the way from Bread Garden with a bunch of groceries – it really isn’t that far from there to the dorms, but weighed down by multiple bags of food makes it seem a lot longer than it really is. I usually don’t get everything that I want because I physically cannot carry that much stuff. 

With grocery delivery, you really don’t have to worry about how much stuff you get because they bring it straight to your dorm. It’s not limited to only groceries, with Walmart you can get whatever you want. I’ve gotten contact solution, toothpaste, pencil lead, among other things. It’s so much easier to get cans (like sparkling water or soda) because you don’t need to drag them through downtown all the way to the dorms. 

these aren’t even all of the groceries we got – grocery delivery is king

Also a nice life hack: if you buy more than $50 worth of food from Walmart grocery and use the code DELIVERYTODAY, delivery is free no matter how many times you’ve used it.

Moral of the story: we love grocery delivery. 

How to get through midterms (and not go insane)

Well, it’s been over a month since school started, and midterms round 1 is truly underway. Just this week, I have a speech to present and two midterms, along with a couple midterms last week. Although it is a lot, I have found some ways to help me stay focused and get through it: 


Put Your Phone Away 

This one is at the top because it is, in my opinion, the most important one. If you’re like me, someone who gets easily distracted by literally anything going on within their phone, it’s easiest to put your phone somewhere out of sight AND out of reach so you can’t get to it. Sometimes, I like to go to the lounge in my dorm to finish my homework and leave my phone in my room, just so I’m not tempted to constantly check and get distracted. 

Don’t Procrastinate Things 

This is actually something that I’m still trying to learn myself. Especially in college, you cannot leave big assignments to the last minute. Speaking from experience, it just causes unnecessary stress and a larger potential to do worse on the assignment. If it’s a test, start studying days before, not just the night before. Start your essays before the night it’s due. Practice your speeches before the day before you need to present them.  Doing your smaller assignments a day or two early as well can decrease your stress levels exponentially.  

Get Help if you Need It 

There are so many resources here at Iowa that are here to help students. There’s the Writing Center, for any kind of writing anyone needs help with, and there’s even a specific Rhetoric center. There’s Supplemental Instruction for a wide variety of classes, a Speaking Center for presentations and speeches, and a Math Lab for students in any math class. Professors and TA’s have office hours. The point is, if you need help in essentially any class, you will be able to get it.  

Set aside Designated Break Times 

This is especially important when you have a ton of homework to do in one night. For me, it’s usually that I tell myself that I’m going to finish this assignment and then I can watch an episode of That 70s show or The Office and then I have to get back to doing the rest of my work. Doing everything in one go can be tiring and lead to careless work. Breaks are SO important during stressful weeks, but it’s also essential that you don’t let the breaks get out of hand. 


That’s all I have for you today.

Remember to get enough sleep and drink lots of water!


A Weekend In Iowa City

A couple weeks have gone by since I’ve moved here to Iowa City, and I finally feel like I know where I’m going on a daily basis (I did get lost a couple days ago in Burge, but in my defense, I don’t live there, and it’s a big place). This past weekend was full of new and fun experiences, and I wanted to share my favorite aspects! 


Friday was a pretty chill day; after classes, my roommate and I went to Bread Garden for the first time since our dorm snacks ran out. Bread Garden is a small grocery store really close to campus on the Ped Mall, and it’s the go-to for everyone who doesn’t have a car to get to Hy-Vee or Target, or even for people who do and don’t want to take the time to get out there! Bread Garden may sound like a boujee name for a grocery store, but it’s actually super affordable for college students. It also doubles as a restaurant, with a salad bar and hot bar and a lot of seating inside and out! Go get your groceries, get a meal, two birds with one stone.


Game Day! I went to my first football game of the season out in the afternoon sun for the first Big Ten game of the season against Rutgers. We soundly took down the Knights with a 30-0 shutout win. I had a ton of fun at the game, and found out about a bunch of traditions that happen in the student section: jingling keys at kickoff, and the giant Fight For Iowa flag that gets unraveled in the end-zone part of the student section after every time we score. I was in the part of the section that was under it when we scored, and I was SO confused the first time, but I caught the gist after that. Overall, I had a great time and can’t wait to go to the rest of the games this season! Note to self though: don’t forget sunglasses on sunny day games.  

Later that night, we also went to the volleyball game against Washington at Carver Hawkeye Arena. I used to play volleyball (for a year) in high school, and I still enjoy watching the game. Students get in free to volleyball games, so why not go? It was really warm in the arena, but not terribly hot. The Hawkeyes fought hard in four sets, even going to 32 points in the first set, but they did lose 3-1. Despite the loss, I had fun watching volleyball, and all the interactive events they had with the fans between sets, including Guess the Song and Guess the Price! I’m definitely planning on going to more volleyball games this season when I can.


Sunday came around like the usual college kid Sunday: slept in until about 10, and then started on the pile of homework I had refused to do earlier in the weekend, mostly for my Rhetoric class. A fair warning: Rhetoric is a class that the vast majority of freshman need to take, and it’s a lot of work. It’s not terribly difficult work, there’s just a lot of it! In my two weeks of experience with this class, it seems easier to do the homework one assignment at a time over a couple of days instead of all of them the day before, just to spread things out and not be overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to get done. Granted, sometimes that doesn’t happen for me, since I’m either busy with something else or frankly just don’t want to do it on a Friday or Saturday, but it really is easier to spread out the assignments.  

I finished with my homework a lot faster than I thought I was going to, and then I went to my weekly Daily Iowan TV meeting. To those thinking about getting into TV news or journalism, DITV is a great place to get experience! I was hired with literally no experience in TV or news, and now I produce the sports section of the newscast once a week. 

The last interesting thing I did on Sunday was going to the rally on the Pentacrest to see Bernie Sanders speak. I’d never been to a presidential rally event before, and it was exciting to see one of the candidate hopefuls in person! Presidential candidates frequent Iowa and Iowa City a lot, so I’m looking forward to more of them coming in the next year. 

Other (slightly) less interesting things I did this weekend include: watching baseball (Go Brewers!), The West Wing, and doing laundry – life hack: if you do it at midnight, there’s no one there!  

That’s all for this post. I hope you’re having a great first few weeks of school, and living your best life! 

Talk soon, 


My First Week As A Hawkeye!

Hey Hawkeyes! I’m really excited to have this opportunity to tell you all about my experiences throughout my first year at Iowa! There was a lot going on here in Iowa City the first week, but I’ll tell you about my favorites:  

Honors Primetime 

Primetime is a three-and-a-half-day workshop for honors students to introduce them to the honors program and faculty around campus. There were a bunch of primetime workshops that went on and something for everyone: from Creative Writing to How Birds Work. My primetime workshop was Democratic Play: How Game Design Can Address Wicked Problems, where we put a spin on or made completely new games to make it more bearable to talk about controversial or political topics in a civil manner. As someone who is interested in politics, policy, and government, I thought it was super interesting to be able to design a game to play that incorporated fun into political discussions! We ended Primetime with a symposium, and every group got to present what they learned or what they had done over the past three days.    


As part of On Iowa! the university hosted a bingo night in the Iowa Memorial Union. Being from Wisconsin, I really was not expecting the absolute hype Iowans have for Bingo. The screams when someone won a bingo or even got a number they wanted reminded me of the cheers when my high school football team won the state championship. Yeah, that loud. I also learned that there is a specific thing to mark your bingo card (a nice dab of ink), and I won a lamp! I already had a lamp, but the more the merrier, right?  

Passport to Iowa 

Passport to Iowa was a showcase of clubs and groups around campus, including a Chinese rap group, the dance club, acapella groups, and the men’s gymnastics team. It was fascinating to see all the groups perform, and to see what Iowa has to offer. Before the showcase happened, there was also a mini student involvement fair, and through that I was able to join Dance Marathon and the Daily Iowan TV!  

Kickoff at Kinnick 

Finally, there is Kickoff at Kinnick. All freshmen either walked or rode a (very) crowded bus to Kinnick Stadium to be a part of the iconic Block I picture on the field. While there, we learned the Iowa Fight Song (Fight! Fight! Fight! For Iowa!) and did our first ever Hawkeye Wave to the kids in the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Not gonna lie, it’s a tearjerker. Especially when the kids had lights to wave back to us out the window! The Wave is one of my favorite things about Iowa Football, and I’m so excited that I get to do it for the next four years. 

These were only a few of the things that went on during On Iowa!: there were SO many other things to do as well. I feel that with classes starting, most weeks aren’t going to be as exciting as this one, but my first week was one for the books, and it’s already starting to feel like home. 

 Talk soon, 

Chloe 🙂