Kansas State University


Student Stories

Month: December 2012

Reading – It’s Not Just for Kids!

Happy Winter Break! I hope you’re enjoying your time off with family – mine’s on the left!

With the extra time I’ve had over the past two weeks, I’ve been able to catch up on a favorite pastime: reading. If you’re like me, you may be able to remember – WAY back in “the day” – when you first started to read chapter books. After spending much of your first couple years of school advancing your reading skills, being able to read a full-length, “big kid” book seemed pretty cool – I can remember reading a number book series in elementary school, like the Hardy Boys mystery series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and eventually my all-time favorite series, the Harry Potter novels. While I really enjoyed these books I’ve mentioned, I didn’t always find reading to be enjoyable. Having to get through an assigned number of books each year by my teachers could make it more of a task on my to-do list than an enjoyable activity.

As I’ve entered college at K-State and gotten busier, I feel I’ve been able to rediscover the enjoyment of reading, and not only that, but the importance of reading everyday for enjoyment, to gain knowledge, to keep up on current events, and in order to be renewed. I think it’s especially important to become a passionate reader in college – reading for fun can give my brain a break in the midst of studying and reading an inspirational autobiography of someone I look up to can help me push through when I’m discouraged. Reading even helped me a lot last year as I worked through my academic major change – I found my love for public policy and legal issues through some of the books I’ve read.

If you’re looking for some books to try out, one genre of reading material in particular has consistently stood out to me: I’m a big fan of a leadership and self-development books. This spring, as a part of Blue Key Senior Honorary, I’ll be teaching a course for freshmen and sophomores called Catalyst. In the self-development training class, we’ll discuss three books, all of which I’ve enjoyed reading so far on Winter Break: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Other 90% by Robert K. Cooper, and Habitudes by Tim Elmore. Elmore’s book in particular is intriguing – he believes that leadership is best taught using images, so as a visual learner, it’s fun to “re-live my childhood” by learning leadership through the images in his book. Elmore will be coming to campus in February to give a presentation to the student body, and I’m excited to hear more from an author I’ve really come to respect.

Reading – whether it be the news, an enjoyable book, or simply my Twitter feed (I find myself doing this last one A LOT) – can be a great break from the busyness of college. K-State has taught me the importance of being a lifelong learner, and reading is the single best way I know of to learn.


Finals Traditions

I have created my own finals tradition here at K-State. I wear purple on test days for good luck! I didn’t want to release this sensitive information until I got the results from ALL of my finals.


I have friends that Dress for Success in business attire but I personally am a firm believer that wearing Purple K-State gear is the trick to being all that you can be. Willie, my K-State Pillow Pet, also is an excellent study buddy. Willie reminds me to harness nervous energy and to celebrate success.

On that note, for the first time in my education, there are no homework packets or huge assignments due when I get back from break. I have checked my grades and have printed off the list of textbooks I need for next semester. I now declare this to be the official start of my break! I promise myself not to check K-State Online for at least two weeks. Consider it an early “Resolution.”

Enjoy Break!


What Finals Week REALLY Looks Like

Coming into college, I had NO CLUE what to expect from Finals Week. For me it began with a quick trip home to see my family over the weekend so that I could make note cards and print outlines without distractions. My wonderful mother also offered to do my laundry and make me dinner, which is an opportunity you do not pass up! I found myself anxious to get back for study groups so I headed back to campus.

Now that I am in college, I am a huge believer in partner and group studying. Since I am in a CAT Community, I share 7 credits (two 3 credit courses and a 1 credit discussion) with 22 other students. This gives me a great group of people to study with! Colin organized a study schedule for us complete with locations. He did a great job of making sure the locations were convenient for everyone in our group of 4 or 5 who readily participated.

Speaking of locations, there are so many places to study! Of course there is Hale Library, always open 24 hours, but this week I discovered many other places had extended hours for finals. For example, the Union and the Leadership Studies Building were open late. Even local businesses offered places for students to study. Residence Halls also offered many different study locations. For example, my friend from Spanish invited me to Boyd to study.

The other thing I learned about studying is that you are most productive when you are hydrated, fed, well rested, and actively engaged.  For this reason our group took a break every few hours to eat and relax and change locations. One night there was even free food in Hale and drinks at the Quick Cats locations!

As a means of unwinding after a long day of studying, I found myself spending time with friends and watching Disney movies. There may or may not have been a few dance parties during “courtesy hours” as well. Though I am excited to finish my finals, I am sad to leave my K-State family.

What does YOUR finals week look like?

Good Luck!!!



Like Sister, Like Brother

This semester presented many firsts for me. From buying a passport, to being an Ambassador Finalist, to having the best grades yet, this semester has provided me so many milestones. But no milestone quite means more than finally having my brother, Andy, on campus as a fellow Wildcat.

As you may have seen in my bio, I mentioned that I have a brother on campus that I am proud to play big sister for. Andy is pretty much the coolest brother ever. Not only has he become involved in Greek Life and other campus organizations, but he has been given the opportunity to be an intern for Student Government Association and is working diligently on his intern class project that would bring high school students in the state together to work on their perspective schools’ student government associations. Did I mention that he has landed an internship already for the summer with a large construction firm? He beat his sister on that one. 😉

Andy was the instigator for our family’s love of K-State. Coming from two parents who are not alum and a family that many would call “a house divided”, our loyalty to K-State began from more of a non-traditional start. Andy had a friend in grade school whose family would travel to K-State football games every season. They took Andy up to one of the games one Saturday and the rest is history. He loved it! Ever since I can remember, Andy has asked for football tickets for his birthday so he may attend all the home games with his friend and his family. He even went to the 2004 Fiesta Bowl to cheer on the Cats with them! He knew everything about the team and would talk of nothing but K-State. His love for K-State grew our family’s love of this university that we, all 4 of us, now hold near and dear to our hearts.

After seeing my brother’s love for K-State, it swayed my decision immensely in ultimately choosing to attend here. If Andy loved it and hadn’t even stepped foot in a classroom, I was bound to love it. I have him to thank for helping me make the best decision of my life thus far.

Fast forward two years and we are now BOTH living the K-State dream 🙂 We have the convenience of having our perspective Greek houses be two doors down from each other. Some days, I think I appreciate that luxury more than he does. We also enjoyed our weekly bro/sis hangouts every Wednesday this semester when he would come spend an hour with me at the School of Leadership Studies while I worked and he had an hour to spare in between classes. We would catch up on things K-State, talk about mom and dad and happenings in Wichita, and share our highs and lows of the week. I looked forward to this time with him every week and will be sad to see it go since our schedules will change next semester. Hopefully, we can find another option so we can keep these cherished hangouts.

People always say it is best to have a piece of home with you at college. Well, I say why have an object when you can have your brother?

Here’s to you Andy!

Finals Week Prep!

It is finals week on campus and I am taking time away from the books to let you know how K-State helps with finals week!

This year, many places on campus have opened up 24 hours a day for finals week! In addition to Hale Library, the K-State Student Union and Leadership Studies Building are open all week. Every student on campus will have the opportunity to have a place to get final studying in this week before finals. Rumor has it, these places on campus are even giving out free treats to students studying there every night!

Union Program Council has sponsored study snacks in theK-State Student Union every night. My committee is in charge of providing the snacks. We even made fun, catchy signs to encourage students to study hard. We will have these candies out for students studying in the Union every night.

It is time for me to get back to studying for finals.


Dead Week: It’s ALIVE!

Dead week at K-State is the last week of a 16-week course and the week right before finals week, which was this past week. My pre-college perception of Dead Week was that it was a time to recuperate from a busy and maybe stressful semester before students head into finals week. It was a time where there was little homework, examinations, or projects due, and instead it was a little extra study time for finals. Basically it is dead because virtually nothing happens…or so I thought.

Now if the “dead” is referring to the physical state that my brain is currently in after last week (and all the other Dead Weeks previous), then yes, it is a very appropriate name for it. Thankfully, no clubs or organizations have official meetings during this week, but that is virtually where a student’s “recuperating” ends. Many professors have their main semester papers or projects due during Dead Week. They will also continue to cover new course material this week that will inevitably show up on the next week’s final exam. Basically, Dead Week is Final’s Week evil twin sister who makes sure that college students are sleep deprived, stressed, irritable, and caffeine addicts who run around campus in a zombie-like daze for not one, but two straight weeks.

Now this would not be such a problem if college students (myself in particular) weren’t such big procrastinators. If only we didn’t think cram studying was actually more effective than studying all throughout the semester. Dead and Finals would be much less stressful if we actually prepared all semester for them.

This also brings up the age-old question. What would my grade be if I actually studied all semester like I did in the last two weeks of classes? We will probably never know…Happy Finals Week everybody!

K-State Proud,


Let the Finals Begin

Well it is officially ten hours until the first finals begin here at K-State. In the final hours I have armed myself with some peppermint hot chocolate, lots and lots of music, my handy highlighter, and of course quite a few textbooks. Who knows what kind of adventures this week will hold – but I am sure there will be many. My first challenge is to tackle my first final at 7:30 AM tomorrow.

Here we go! Best of luck on finals everyone!

Checking Things Off The List

As this semester quickly comes to an end – I can’t believe I’m actually graduating tomorrow! – I am enjoying the process of checking items off of my to-do list. For starters, I cleaned my apartment today. If you struggle to keep your bedroom at home clean (that was definitely me) then trying to keep your apartment looking decent is on a whole different level. Since all of my family is coming in town tomorrow for graduation, I figured I probably ought to do some cleaning. Secondly, I finished my honors project. Considering I started this process at the beginning of my sophomore year, I am so excited to be finished. I cannot believe the final project ended up being over 33 pages long! It was an amazing journey, but it would not have been successful without my faculty supervisor. As far as class work goes, all that stands between me and officially completing my undergraduate career at K-State is one take-home final and four in-class finals. Sounds like a fun week ahead, right?

On a lighter note, a few years ago K-State produced a deck of cards featuring 52 things to do before you graduate. I thought I would go through the list and check off how many of the things I completed. Below are my results:

1. Participate in Homecoming – Check!
2. Purchase the official K-State Ring
3. Rub the bronze Wildcat’s nose on the Alumni Center terrace for good luck! – Check
4. Cheer the wildcats on in all 16 Division I sports – Not quite all of them, I’ll say 1/2 check
5. Be involved and vote in the SGA elections – Check
6. Tailgate at a K-State football game – Check
7. Help out the community through the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan – Check
8. Go wild at the Sunset Zoo – Heck yes I have! More than once.
9. Boat, fish, and camp at Tuttle Creek Lake – Check
10. Check out the sights from “Top of the World” or “K” Hill. – Yes to both!
11. Enjoy a picnic in one of Manhattan’s 21 Parks – Check
12. Hike the Konza – This is a regrettable no. I am not an outdoorsy person, but I wish I had done this!
13. Ring in the New Year at the Little Apple’s New Year’s Celebration – Always!
14. Swim or relax at Pillsbury Crossing – Check
15. Attend the Union Expo & Activities Carnival – Check
16. Attend a K-State After Hours Event – If movies in the Union count, then yes!
17. Bow at the K-State Student Union Recreation Area. – Check
18. Bring your family to K-State Family Day – It’s my favorite day of the year!
19. Celebrate diversity by attending a multicultural event on campus – Check
20. Use the K-State Powercat Financial Counseling Center – I haven’t but probably should with graduation so close.
21. Attend the Career Fair each fall at Bramlage – Unfortunately, no.
22. Participate in K-State Open House – Check
23. Participate in Week of Welcome – Check
24. Register with Career & Employment Services – Yes!
25. Research your future career at the Academic & Career Services Office – No
26. Sign up for tutoring – I had to take Calculus when I was Pre-Med. Of course I had a tutor!
27. Attend a Landon Lecture – One of my biggest regrets. I missed out on the opportunity to listen to a Supreme Court Justice speak!
28. Watch a rodeo in Weber Arena – No
29. Catch a show in McCain Auditorium – This is one of my favorite perks of being a student – tickets at least 50% off!
30. Know the K-State Alma Mater – Yes?
31. Enjoy Call Hall ice cream – Too much of it 🙂
32. Explore your artistic side at the Beach Museum – No
33. Join the official K-State Facebook Fan Page – I’m not sure, but I’m going to ges yes.
34. Use Lafene Health Center – Check
35. Learn the moves to the Wabash Cannonball – Check
36. Words to the K-State Fight Song – Heck yes!
37. Make friends with someone from a different country – Check
38. Pose for a photo in front of Higinbotham or Peine Gates in your grad gear – I will be tomorrow!
39. Recruit a future K-Stater – CHECK!
40. Support K-State Proud – Check
41. Ring the Bluemont Bell – No
42. Smell the roses at the K-State Gardens and check out the insect zoo – No
43. Study in the “Harry Potte room” in Hale Library – OF COURSE!
44. Take a random picture on campus – Check
45. Take your picture with Willie the Wildcat – Check
46. Watch the K-State Marching Band practice at Old Stadium – No, I’ve listened but not watched.
47. Workout at the rec and join an intramural team – Yes, I competed in the intramural horseshoe championship last year!
48. Study abroad in one of 50 countries – My biggest regret is not studying abroad; I think it’s an experience everyone should have!
49. Ask Willie a question – No
50. Succeed at K-State with K-State HD – Check
51. Ride safe with SafeRide – Check
52. Join one of K-State’s more than 475 student organizations – Check

First of all, thank you if you read all of the way to here. Secondly, here are my totals: Check –  37; No – 15. Not too bad, right? Look forward to my final post after graduation – it should be an exciting one!