I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving break and savored the short week with your family because, in just a few short weeks, the fall semester will officially be over, and we’ll all step away from our schoolwork for a month. With the semester I’ve been having, I know I’m ready for some holiday cheer and relaxation with some good books, my hometown friends, and, of course, my cats!
While some students got a taste of the extended break this past Thanksgiving weekend, there were some like myself who decided to stay on campus since going home was a bit of a hassle. Flying to and from New York in less than a week is a bit much and living in Iowa has taught me that I have a strong dislike for Chicago O’Hare airport (hopefully no one feels too strongly about Chicago O-Hare!)
Overall, it was more beneficial for me to stay on campus and find some things to do around the city so, here are a few things I did while I was one of the only students left on campus this break!!!
Studied in the Study Rooms in the Main Library
Since there was no one on campus, I had my choice of all the study spaces here at the university. One of my new favorite spots (which I will definitely be revisiting during finals week) was the colorful study spaces in the Main Library. I loved how secluded I felt inside and how I was able to get all of my work done in such a quiet setting.
Throughout this past week. I’ve made my home studying and catching up on homework there, and I could definitely see myself studying more in those spaces. Hopefully, I’ll be able to snag one over finals week since they seem to go fast!
Did Campus Walking Tours on an Empty Campus
If you didn’t already know, I’m a professional tour guide for the University of Iowa! For those of you that are prospective students or families that plan to visit campus over the next couple of years, maybe I’ll be the one showing you around! Some tour guide advice, pick a day with some good weather. I promise, it’ll really make the experience!
As much as I love doing tours during the school day (it’s really beneficial for families to see students in their element in my opinion), sometimes it can be a bit difficult to navigate classes and all the students walking all over the place. But doing tours over Thanksgiving break with the campus completely empty gave me and my tour groups the opportunity to spread out and take our time with the information at each stop and the questions that followed.
All of my tours this week ended up running late, but there was such good conversation, easy walks, and so much empty space that those tours definitely stuck with me. And, I hope, for the people who toured, those tours stuck out to them too!
My Parents Came into Town!!!
Even though I didn’t go home this break, home happened to come to me!
On Wednesday, my family flew in from New York and we spent the day catching up, going to the Coralville Mall for some light shopping (I got the CUTEST coat), and having dinner at a restaurant called the Vine which is just outside of Iowa City. Just like any holiday season, it was great to be with family and to celebrate my time off with them before I had to hunker down for finals.
Took over the Instagram for Iowa Admissions
Another cool thing I was able to have the opportunity to do was an Instagram takeover for the official Iowa Admissions page which has almost 14,000 followers! So yeah, the pressure was definitely on!
I had so much fun taking everyone through my day and being able to answer some questions about dorms, classes, and even my fashion sense! I would definitely do another takeover in the future, hopefully, one where I get to show off more of my clubs and classes during a school day.
Got Thanksgiving Dinner at the Iowa River Powerhouse Restaurant
This is one of the only restaurants in Iowa City that’s open for Thanksgiving dinner!
My parents made reservations with my friend and her parents who also stayed in Iowa City during the holidays. Together, we were able to help ourselves to a buffet-styled meal which had some of the best turkeys I’ve ever had! And don’t even get me started on the desserts…
Overall, it was a great Thanksgiving meal with friends and family and was one of my favorite meals yet!
Black Friday Shopping in Iowa City
Me and my boyfriend, Riley, went Black Friday shopping during the game (gotta say, not our best football game), and while there weren’t many deals in the downtown area, we had so much fun walking around, trying on cute clothes (I tried on cute clothes, Riley held my coat and read some Colleen Hoover books), and overall, just spending the day together!
I did snag a pretty cute pair of jeans that were twenty percent off at White Rabbit, so the walking around was definitely worth it! I would definitely recommend seeing all the stores that downtown Iowa City has to offer. There truly are some fantastic small businesses just looking for visitors to check out their shops!!!
Prepared to Perform at Mirage
The last thing I did this week was to prepare for next week’s big winter campus event, Mirage!
Mirage is a massive drag show here in Iowa City that advocates self-expression, sexual health, and so much more. One of the clubs I’m part of (Walk It Out) will be doing a mini fashion show at the event, so for those of you that are in the area, come out to support the show and all the cool things the event offers! It’ll be from 9pm to 1am on December 2nd in the Iowa Memorial Union and in the second-floor ballroom.
That’s it for me and what I did over break! I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving break and, for the college students on their way back, good luck with your finals!!!