Kansas State University


Student Stories

Month: January 2013

Climbing to New Heights: New Recreational Complex

Wow. What a start to the semester so far! The busyness of just the first week has kept me from blogging and finding something that has been such a unique experience that I thought was worth talking about. And this topic happens to be coming from 3 stories off the ground!

As of this semester, the Chester E. Peters Recreational Complex unveiled a brand new addition that includes new equipment, new group fitness studios, more gym space, and finally…. a new 3 story rock wall.

My roommate, Mackenzie, asked me last Wednesday if I wanted to go rock climbing since we both were homework free. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I had done some rock climbing when I was younger and loved it. I remembered that I had pretty good success when I had done it. Unfortunately, I was in for a rude awakening when I got to the wall. After going through a short class on understanding how to climb and using a harness, Mackenzie and I went to it! I chose to climb the middle section of the wall which was about medium difficulty level. I was doing great the first couple of feet up. I made it about a third of the way when, all of a sudden, my forearms gave out. I couldn’t even open my hand entirely because my muscles were so cramped. Looks like my body had quite got the memo that I was once good at this. I told the person who was belaying me to let me down slowly. As my feet touched back down on the ground, an overwhelming sense of defeat came over me. It didn’t help that I looked to my left and saw Mackenzie had made it to the top with no problem at all. It was then that I made it my goal to make it to the top.

So, Mackenzie and I came back the next night. And not only did I make it to the top that time, but I made it twice!

Here are pictures from that successful evening.




Rock climbing is one of the greatest sources of self-endurance and self-satisfaction. It was great to work towards a goal and challenge myself physically and mentally. College pushes an individual to new heights academically, personally, and in my case….physically. I would challenge anyone to go out of their comfort zone in any of those personal areas. You will learn so much about yourself and have priceless experiences that will help you realize what you truly want out of life and how to obtain it. But one last word of advice….make sure you get back up if you fall or don’t make. I will tell you from experience, it is worth it in the end.

Have a great week all!


Textbook Tricks

Are you excited about your new classes? I know I am! My new roommate was a little apprehensive though. During a moment of stress she confessed “I don’t even know how to get my textbooks!” but luckily I knew where to point her. BEFORE a semester starts (if possible) go to ISIS and find the textbooks that correspond to your new classes under Student Center. You do yourself a huge favor by looking through the Varney’s Comparison Shopper as well as looking online through Amazon and other sites not only to find a good deal but also to make sure you have your books before your assignments start. Professors are also very receptive to e-mails about textbooks and can let you know if you really NEED the brand new edition, what dates you need your books, and if you could possibly share one with a friend.

After you have all of these books, what do you do with them at the end of the semester? My friends that have majors (I am Open Option) often prefer to keep textbooks within their field of study. I also find myself doing this with particularly good reference texts for courses I may take in the future. For other texts, you have many options to clear out some space in your room, backpack, car, or wherever you’ve been keeping them.

Local bookstores buy back used books and give you cash in most instances. You also have the option to sell them online. There is even a Facebook page for the sale/trade of textbooks. You can also always sell your used books to friends or even people you live with and their friends. If you are offered little or nothing for a book, you can always donate it. There are even large boxes around campus at the end of most semesters for this.

Hope you’re all getting back in the swing of things!


New Semester!

It’s that time of year again- the beginning of a new semester.  I got back to Manhattan a little over a week ago, and it’s so great to be back!  Winter Break was alright; all I really did was work and catch up on some lost sleep from the previous semester.  Syllabus week flew by before I could blink, especially because it was only four days long.  I’m also only taking twelve hours this semester, so I’m planning on getting more involved on campus with my free time.  I’m currently in the process of applying for a few different groups on campus including: Chimes Junior Honorary, Student Foundation, and Business Ambassadors.

Silver Key is wrapping up; we just participated in one of our last events, the Academic Decathlon.  We spent a few hours last Friday night judging high schoolers’ speeches for the event.  I’ve never judged an event like that before, but it was kind of exciting!  These were some impressive students too, let me tell you.  They gave us a prepared speech, had to come up with an impromptu speech in one minute, and then go through a five minute interview with my fellow judges and myself.  Let’s just say I would’ve gotten blown out of the water if I were in high school competing against some of the kids we judged..

Another incredible opportunity I had last week was one of the many reasons why I love K-State so much!  I’m a part of the Student Athletic Board, and I enjoy it more than anything else I’ve been involved with.  Our Athletic Director, John Currie, came in and talked to us during one of our meetings, and I decided that I’d like to get more involved with the Athletic Department.  I emailed Mr. Currie shortly after, and I was able to meet with him to discuss things I could do to become more involved.  This is without a doubt one of the busiest people at K-State, and he took half an hour out of his day to meet with me and help me out.  I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m pretty sure that this is the only school in the Big 12 that I could have an opportunity like that, or to meet with the VP of Student Life, Dr. Bosco.  This school is truly one of a kind, and that’s just another reason why I LOVE K-STATE!!

Figuring Out Family

Hello again!

I have to say that it is good to be back. I have only been back for a week, but I have to say that it almost feels like I never left. Classes started, clubs and activities are starting back up, and I am getting to catch up with friends. There was also a big basketball game this weekend: K-State v. KU. It was a pretty crazy, exciting, and fun game!

The stadium felt like it was completely packed, and I know for sure the student section was. Students waited in line for hours to get into the game. The atmosphere was incredible – everyone was so excited, and it was a really fun game to watch. Unfortunately, K-State lost. However, as the Alma Mater played and I looked over to see all the faithful students continuing to support their team I was overwhelmed with a sense of family. You hear people say that word a lot here – family. Sometimes it can feel cheesy; how can a school as big as K-State really feel like a family? But somehow there

are moments here when it truly does feel like you are a part of a big, purple, wildcat family. You sense it when the people on your residence hall floor become your friends, and when you first learn all the words to the fight song and sing it along with thousands of people at the football games or when you can’t find a building on campus and someone willingly stops to help you. I am so thankful to be a part of this family!

Here’s to family!


New Semester Resolutions

I have never been really big on New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, I don’t think I have ever actually made a New Year’s Resolution. However, since I have gotten to K-State, I have tried to start some new resolutions every semester. Unfortunately, my semester resolutions last about as long as most people’s New Year’s Resolutions, which is only about 3 or 4 weeks. This semester though, I am bound and determined to keep these going until finals week in May. So without further adieu, here are my New Semester Resolutions:

  • Get more organized: You would understand if you ever saw my bedroom and/or my organizing system.
  • Have a semi-normal sleep schedule: Somehow, I got in the routine of going for a run at about midnight or 1am, and then I would study for two or three hours before getting a few hours of sleep before classes the next morning. I would then catch up on my sleep by taking a long afternoon nap. (Probably not too healthy.) My goal is to get at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • Don’t procrastinate so much: I am the king of procrastination It might be nice however to not have to do so much cram studying!
  • And finally, enjoy the semester: I have a tendency to get to get stressed and uptight about grades, deadlines, and financials, which are nothing new to college students. But all I can do is do my best to resolve those issues. Everything else is beyond my power, and that will allow me to better enjoy this semester. (Which should not be too hard since K-State is one of the happiest campuses in the nation!)

Until next week.

K-State Proud,


Day of Service

This past Monday, hundreds of K-State students lent a hand during a day of service in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Avery Simecka, a freshman here at K-State, was one of the proud participants. Avery offered a glimpse into what his day “off” looked like.

Corinna: “I hear an organization called HandsOn led this event, but what is HandsOn?”

Avery: “HandsOn KSU is a student led community service organization. The student coordinators stressed this opportunity as vital in making the day “off” a day “on.” The overarching goal was to serve our community with our time and resources through various unique undertakings. These included decorating 17th street with ribbons, serving different organizations such as the Manhattan Arts Center, the Red Cross, and the Manhattan Public Library as well as personally working with residents at Meadowlark, the Homestead, and StoneyBrook retirement homes.”

Corinna: “What was your part in all of this? How did your day look?”

Avery: “I was a site leader at The Homestead. This is a smaller assisted living community on the west side of town where around 35 residents live. The name of the project was “Home is where the heart is” which was very fitting because after I left I definitely felt a personal connection with the residents I served as did the other volunteers.”

Corinna: “Now, what exactly did the volunteers do at The Homestead?”

Avery: “Volunteers were split into 2 groups of 5 and assisted in activities such as painting nails, doing “exercises in a chair,” watching the presidential inauguration and personal conversations. It was a joy to speak with the residents that were each making the best of their situation. Overall, the day of service was a huge success. Everyone shared a lot of laughs, made new friends, and made an impact.”

Corinna: “It sounds like the residents had just as much of an impact on the volunteers as you all had on them. What a great example of seizing an opportunity to give back!”

Spring is here – at least sort of!

Hey K-State Family!

It may still be freezing outside, but the spring semester is upon us at K-State! Fun fact about me: I love the spring semester. In my fraternity, it’s recruitment season, and we switch our focus to the next set of new members. On campus, it’s “application season,” with a number of campus organizations having membership drives and holding interviews. Preparations for K-State’s largest student-led, campus-wide philanthropy, K-State PROUD, are revving up, and the spirit of helping fellow students is contagious. Finally, it’s Student Governing Association Election season, and campus will soon be covered by the banners and colors of various candidates seeking office.

Like I said, I love the spring semester. Even more though, I love the beginnings of semesters. I’ve mentioned before my affinity for fresh starts and goal-setting. The opportunity to improve upon my performance last semester in a number of areas really excites me – yeah, I know I’m freakin’ weird! As I begin this semester, a quote I read recently stands out to me:

“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” -Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

Many of you may have heard this quote before. It stands out to me because of the focus it places on the relationship between external leadership – of others – and internal leadership – of oneself. In college so far, I’ve gotten a couple of opportunities to lead my peers. As I do so, it’s good to remember the importance of leading my own life well if I’m to influence those around me in a positive way.

My goals this semester reflect my desire to lead myself – and consequently, others – in this manner: I want to be disciplined academically and spiritually (and as I study for the LSAT in June – LOTS of discipline will be needed for this one). I want to exercise adequately, work hard in the organizations I’ve involved in, and make time for the relationships I have that make everything worthwhile. Leading myself well each and everyday will be worth it, and I invite you to follow along this semester on my blog!

– Eli

Looking Forward

Today I got to meet with finalists for competitive scholarships through K-State. I am so excited to meet the rest of this fall’s incoming Wildcats! After talking with some of the applicants, I was inspired by the determination, vision, and passion these students have. I am looking forward to seeing how these students contribute and collaborate on projects here on campus.

It was also a great reminder that if you have a renewable scholarship you need to submit your continuing application by February 1. You can do this by visiting http://www.k-state.edu/admissions/finaid/scholarships.html .

Good Luck!



New Roomie!

At the end of last semester, one of my roommates decided to live with a friend from her hometown in a dorm across campus. I was sad to see her go but excited for her at the same time. During my break I started worrying about what would happen in my beloved room. I had no clue what to expect from a new roommate.

Towards the end of break I got a Facebook message from my new roommate. I was so excited that I told all of my friends on my floor and some of them even started messaging my new roommate. We started talking about things she needed to bring (since we had lost the former roommates share of appliances etc.) but I left much of the “get-to-know-you” talk until she moved in and we were alone. As many of you remember, I went “potluck” on my roommates and had a great experience last semester so I was optimistic about how my situation would end up.

The day my new roommate moved in, I said “hi” to her family before running off to the K-State basketball game. I tried to give them space and tried to give her time to get settled and relaxed. When I got back the girls on my floor and I had a great talk with the newest member of our K-State family. I embraced this opportunity to make a new friend and also tried to set a positive tone for her first semester here because she is a transfer student. The girls in my room also decided to sit down and make a new Roommate Agreement just to continue open communication.

My new roommate will be the first to tell you that everything is “new” for her here, but I think she will fit in just fine.



Serving at Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl has come and gone, but I wanted to take the time to reflect on an amazing opportunity I had to serve the people of Phoenix with my fellow Wildcats.

For the second straight year, K-State teamed up with our bowl opponents to serve the community that hosted the bowl game. I participated in last year’s volunteer project and this year I decided to serve again! A few of my Fraternity brothers and I joined many other K-State students to serve at the St. Mary’s Food Bank, one of the largest food banks in the world.

We were joined by many Oregon fans and faculty members to serve together. This was such a fun event. Overall, we packaged more than 23,000 pounds of food in a few hours. The opportunity to give back to the Phoenix area that served as a host to 40,000 K-State fans for a few days was a rewarding experience. I love to volunteer, but I specifically love serving with my fellow K-State students and fans. The service project the last two years has been one of the best parts of the bowl games and is something I hope students continue to