Kansas State University


Student Stories

Month: March 2013

Typical Tuesday

One WONDERFUL thing about being a part of the Wildcat Family is having people that are always there for you. Today my post is going to be about all of the members of the Wildcat Family that touched my life today, on a typical Tuesday.

9:25 a.m. Kaitlyn S. caught me walking into class and asked if I would like to sit by her. We talked about an upcoming project as well as what the lecture was going to be about. Kaitlyn set the tone for my day being positive! I always worried about just being another face on campus, but that is certainly NOT the case.

10:55 a.m. Colin H. texted me to let me know that my 11:30 a.m. class was cancelled so that we could meet with our groups to discuss a large upcoming project. He saved me a walk across campus in slightly chilly conditions.

11:45 a.m. Alan H. started organizing our group meeting and attempting to coordinate all of our schedules. Quite a task to take on with busy college students!

1:00 p.m. Katherine S. welcomed my friend Emily L. who sat in on our Sociology class which was especially interesting today.

4:00 p.m. Chrissie C. made plans with me to go exercise. The importance of an exercise buddy to keep me motivated and accountable does not go unnoticed!

5:05 p.m. My uncle, a proud Alum, calls to check in on how life and school are. He and my aunt make frequent trips out to Manhattan and always make a point of meeting up to see me.s supportive does not go unlooked! It always helps to have someone to motivate you and hold you accountable.

6:30 p.m. a fellow K-State student welcomed me into their apartment on late notice because I am trying to figure out housing for next fall and was looking at a specific floor plan.

7:30 p.m. Emily L. took me out for dinner within walking distance from Campus. We ran into a friend that I have known since before I could remember, a fellow Wildcat, that I haven’t managed to see since school started in August. Friends Old and New ROCK!

8:15 p.m. Emily L. and I decided we were unprepared to walk back to campus (it got chilly when the sun went down) but we had things we needed to do. We made a semi-joking comment to friends via social media about wanting a ride home.

8:25 p.m. Cameron K. arrived to take us back to campus so that we didn’t have to walk back. Cameron had seen the comment on his way out to his car to head to the Rec with friends and decided he had enough time to drop us by our Residence Hall.

As you can tell by my day, part of our culture is to take care of one another. We care about one another as if we were family… wait… We Are Family!

Have a great rest of your week Wildcats!


Advice for High School Seniors

Ahhh the end of Spring Break. Which means the return of classes and the final homestretch before the end of the semester and school year. For high school seniors, you are probably ready for next fall to get here already! Still, you may be having some lingering concerns heading into your first year of college. Here are a few of the more popular questions and concerns of K-State prospective students:

Where to go: Perhaps you are still on the fence on where you want to attend college. My advice would be continue to make last minute college visits and go where it feels like home and where you feel like part of a family. This may sound a little odd, but when I left my college visit at K-State my senior year of high school, I knew it was the place for me because I felt like I had an extended family and a home at K-State and in Manhattan.

Housing: Many students have already completed their housing contracts to live in the residence halls. If you haven’t accomplished this yet though, do not fret. You still have time to complete it, but I would advise you do do that soon. Also, you might have some concerns if you do not know your future roommate before next fall. Fear not! Many times arrangements like this end up in great, lasting friendships and plus it is a great way to start meeting people and getting “outside your comfort zone” your first day on campus.

How to pay for college: This is generally the number one concern for both students and parents. While the deadline has already past for university scholarships at K-State, there are a number of other ways that you can help ease the financial burden that can come with college. 1) Continue to apply for scholarships after your first year of college. Specific departments at K-State offer some very nice ones, but be sure sure to look outside the university as well. 2) Get a part-time job. On-campus part-time jobs are especially popular among students in Manhattan. It is a great way to have a little bit more cash on hand, and whoever you work for understands that you are a student and they are more than willing to work around your schedule. K-State’s Career and Employment Services (CES) can help students find these part-time jobs by setting up an appointment or by completing a personal online account on their website.

And if you are still apprehensive about getting ready for college, just look at this picture for my Spring Break vacation. It definitely calms me down as I think about hitting the books again for the final weeks of the semester.

K-State Proud,


Showing Campus Off!

Over Spring Break this past week, several of my relatives visited from Iowa. Naturally, they wanted a tour of K-State’s campus, and I was more than happy to give one! It’s weird that I’ve come to feel the way I do about our campus, but I love showing it off! I took my guests to the world-renowned School of Leadership Studies, to the largest building on campus, Hale Library, and to our Student Union to give them a taste of what life is like on a daily basis for K-State students.

It’s a unique time to give a tour of our campus, and an exciting time to be a future Wildcat. A number of high-profile construction projects are currently underway across campus, from the completion of our Recreation Complex (complete with climbing wall!) to the entirely new West side of Bill Family Snyder Stadium, things are on the up-and-up across campus. Justin Hall, the headquarters of the College of Human Ecology, recently got an update as well, and plans are moving forwarded for a new College of Business Administration building too.

The student voice has always been highly valued at K-State – we get to make some of the most major decisions each year that affect the future of campus. One such decision the K-State student body will be making soon deals with the future of our Student Union on campus. Basically, the building is in need of an update, and so on April 10 and 11, all K-State students will have an opportunity to vote for one. (Check out www.ksu.edu/YourUnion for some renderings – they’re pretty impressive!)

Buildings alone can never make a campus, but I do think they can enhance the educational and extra-curricular environment of a university, and there’s been no time in recent memory when more positive updates were occurring across campus. It’s a good time to be a Wildcat!


The Ins and Outs of Paying for School

As Spring approaches and I thinking about enrollment for next semester, seeing more campus visits, applying for scholarships and filling out the FAFSA I am reminded of all the stress and confusion that can come along with paying for school.

I know that last year at this time I was super confused by it all and would have loved a couple hints. SO I am hoping that now that I have a little bit of experience with it I can give some helpful tips!

1. Don’t let the FAFSA overwhelm you – The FAFSA can seem really daunting. It has a fancy name, and it is asking about taxes and income and all sorts of “grownup” stuff. But, if you take it slowly it really isn’t too bad. You will probably need to have your parent/ guardian help you with some of it, but it really isn’t as scary as it cane seem. I promise 🙂

2. Learn the lingo – When I was starting to think about paying for school I was really confused by all the lingo like grants, loans, and work-study. Basically, a grant is an amount of money that you don’t have to pay back from the government. A loan is an amount of money that you get, but you will have to pay back after you graduate. And work-study means that the government gives a certain amount of money to the university you are attending to help them pay you if you have an on-campus job. So you are basically working to help pay for your tuition.

3. Apply for lots of scholarships – The FAFSA is definitely not the only way to get money for school. There are a lot of outside organizations that give scholarships and a lot of them don’t take a lot of work to apply for. There are lots of websites that even math you up with scholarships based on your GPA, ACT score and interests. I personally use Chegg.com.

4. Ask for help – My last hint is definitely what helped me the most. If you have any questions you should definitely ask. K-State has an awesome department that is always willing to help you figure out your financial aid and assistance.  Their website is: http://www.k-state.edu/sfa/process/ and you can always call them also! I promise that they are super helpful and very nice.

I know this season can be really stressful – but if you take it slow and one step at a time, it will be okay!

Here is to paying for school!


3 Ways to “Get Out There” During College

I’ve talked frequently about the importance of trying new things in college, of getting involved on campus, and of meeting new people. I believe it’s also worth noting, however, how important it can be to immerse yourself in an entirely new culture – whether elsewhere in the United States or a new country entirely. Experiencing the world and meeting people different than yourself is the best thing that can be gained in college – otherwise you’ll be crippled upon entry in to the real world and unable to relate to or understand those who may be different than yourself. There’s a lot of different world views out there, and a lot of different ways to approach the contentious issues of our time, and I strongly believe that something new can be learned from everyone – the more different than you, the better!

The best time for college students to step outside their comfort zones and travel is during the summer. Here are my 3 ways to “get out there” during college and experience the world around you – all made possible thanks to K-State:

1. International Service Teams (http://www.k-state.edu/leadership/programs/internationalteams/): 

K-State’s world-renowned School of Leadership Studies has a student group called “International Service Teams.” Each year, students are selected to go to a number of different locations around the world for the summer to take part in service-learning initiatives according to specific community needs. Projects often relate to health, education, and youth development needs in the communities. This year, four different groups (each made up of 4 or 5 students) are traveling to one of either Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, or South Africa to serve the local communities, develop leadership skills and lifelong friendships. My friend Kaitlin Long went to Kenya a couple of summers ago as a part of International Service Teams – see the photo above!

2. Studying Abroad (http://www.k-state.edu/studyabroad/):

K-State provides a ton of opportunities to travel to other parts of the world, study abroad while attending a university there, and get course credit in the process! While I haven’t studied abroad, those I know who have say that it’s truly a life-changing experience. They came back with a much more complete view of the world and its citizens, and with connections and memories to last a lifetime! My friend Brad Ellis (pictured to the left) studied abroad in Spain last year, and has nothing but positive words to say about his experience.

3. Internships:

I’ve had the opportunity to spend the last two summers in Washington D.C. doing a couple of different internships. While Washington D.C. certainly isn’t a different country, I still managed to meet a lot of different people with different views than my own, and I gained career experience in the process. No matter how far one travels to complete a summer internship, I believe just as much can be learned during business hours at your internship as can be learned outside of work from those you meet.

Summer vacations during college provide a unique opportunity to travel the country (and world!) to gain course credit, serve those less fortunate, and gain knowledge for eventual careers. Above all though, experiences like those above can broaden your world view and enable you to approach situations with holistic wisdom upon your return. K-State makes each of these opportunities possible – just another reason to bleed purple!


Top 5 Road Trip Musts

When my parents moved to Illinois, I learned how all of  the out of state students must feel so far from their family. I also learned how to have a good road trip. My trip from campus to my parents door is 500 miles and takes at least 8 1/2 hours. Here are some tips I have picked up along the way:


1) Break it up. Find reliable, safe, clean stops with gas stations that you stop at every time. Make it a routine.

2) If possible, find a co-pilot. This time I took Emily. Co-Pilots are responsible for managing music selection, all secretary duties of phones, checking location periodically, any distribution of hand sanitizer/Kleenex/Chapstick after locating said items in the vehicle or at a rest stop, and occasionally opening food items and beverages and holding when available receptacles are full. Also, any good co-pilot knows they must be awake to perform most duties like watching for deer, cops, and loose objects in the road.

3) If no co-pilot is available-Pillow Pets never let me down. Make CDs or playlists depending on Radio situation (I pass through a gap of no radio for an hour minimum). Take food you can eat with one or no hands. Get creative. I like to take chips/cookies/fruitsnacks/cheesy cracker sandwiches in cups so that they fit handily in your cup holder and you can access and eat them safely. QuikTrip also sells donut holes and mini muffins in cups. Also make sure any materials needed are in reachable distance. Your phone is one exception. Use breaks to text instead of texting while driving. Checking in with friends and parents is a good idea at stops though to make you feel more connected and to reassure anyone worried about you.

4) Positive attitude and patience are imperative. If you are running a sprint it makes sense to get worked up over the person that just passed you, but a road trip is more like a marathon. Remember the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise didn’t get speeding tickets in multiple states either.

5) I couldn’t decide between reliable cell service and comfy clothes, but then I realized comfy clothes never let me down. There is no such thing as reliable cell service when you live a life on the road.

Hope you are all having a safe and fun break!


Leadership Challenge

Well, this is a first. I am composing this blog 30,000 feet in the air as my family and I are traveling to Aruba for Spring Break! A few random thoughts that I have had at this height is that the ocean is really rather large and I wish it was purple instead of blue.

Anyways, back to the main topic of this blog. The rest of the K-State bloggers are constantly gushing about all of the amazing opportunities the our university has to offer. Well, I might as well add to this list as well right!? A couple of weekends ago, I was fortunate to attend the 2013 Wildcat Leadership Challenge, which is a four day intensive leadership retreat open to any K-State student held at Rock Springs. Throughout the four day weekend, the participants had the opportunity to listen and interact with numerous, influential K-State faculty members which included the always entertaining Mike Finnegan, a Super Bowl champion, and the thought provoking Dr. Be Stoney, just to name a few. Perhaps this highlight of the weekend though, was when we, as K-State students, were able to develop an idea to create positive change on our campus when we returned. We divided into groups that we were passionate about, such as Greek system, public relations, educational experience, etc. Every group came up with fantastic ideas and we are now in the process of implementing them into our campus.

All of this really exemplifies the commitment that Kansas State University has to constantly improving our college. And this clearly extends all the way from President Schultz and our administration to our students. Once again, Leadership Challenge also shows the endless opportunities that K-State students are offered day in and day out.

Have a great Spring Break everybody! I know I definitely will!

K-State Proud,


Sneak Peak at Spring

Today is a beautiful day here on campus! I happened to see lots of families and students here on campus tours. You picked a great day, folks. I know that when I visited K-State for the first time it was cold and rainy. Luckily, I had the chance to see K-State in full Spring Glory during an Open House my junior year of high school. I love winter and all, but I can’t wait for everything to perk back up and be GREEN again!

The sunshine and low 70s are perfect conditions for some outdoor studying, just hanging out, or doing something active with friends. Whatever you do, take advantage of this nice weather! We never know how long it will last! I know that I could get used to leaving the jacket at home again.

Speaking of hanging out… What a unique way to enjoy the day!

In other news, I ran into Dean Bosco and he wished me good luck on my exams. I may sound superstitious, but I always see him before my hardest exam and I somehow manage to pull it off.  Oh, and I also wear purple and use my lucky K-State pencil.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Spring Break!



What I’ve been up to…

You may have noticed that my blogging has been a bit irregular lately – I’ve been busy! I haven’t blogged about it yet, but over the past few weeks (“months” is actually more accurate), I’ve been campaigning for the position of Student Body President here at K-State. I ran for the position with a guy named Jake Unruh, a junior in Finance, as my Vice President and running mate. We spent a TON of time meeting with students and faculty members one-on-one, developing our platform, building a campaign team, speaking at organizations, meeting with our Advisory Board, chalking and hanging signs on campus, participating in debates, selling t-shirts, and MUCH more – it’s hard to understate how big of a project it was! Last Wednesday, Jake and I were elected into office! We’re working through the transition period right now before we’re sworn in on April 11.

The process of running for office, in addition to being a ton of fun and a little bit exhausting (by “a little” I mean “A LOT”), reminded me of a few things about my college experience:

  1. First, that K-State provides a number of incredible opportunities outside the classroom to get involved and make a difference. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m mildly obsessed with the activities I’ve gotten involved in at college, of which student government has been one of my favorite. I can say with absolutely certainty that the lessons I’ve learned through my involvement will serve me just as well – if not better – than what I’ve learned in the classroom in college.
  2. Second, that I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible people at K-State who are willing to give up time in their already-packed schedules to help me out. Running for Student Body President was above-all a humbling experience – the people here at K-State who served on our campaign team and Advisory Board are dedicated to the extreme!
  3. Finally, that the support I continue to receive from members of my fraternity is invaluable. I can’t count the times during the campaign that my fraternity brothers helped me out – late at night, early in the morning, when they were already busy…pretty much ALL the time. My decision to join a fraternity when I was a high school senior continues to teach me the importance of relationships and daily improvement in all aspects of life.

Jake and I are excited for the year ahead! Stay tuned for more regular blogging and updates on my transition into office!


Midterm in Manhattan


Tonight I found myself preparing for another round of midterm exams. Call me crazy, but I love exam time. I love finding fun study spots across campus and greater Manhattan with friends. I love bucking down and proving to myself that I am indeed learning. I also love what comes after these Spring midterms- BREAK!

During my last few days here, I have decided that the best way to keep from mentally checking out or getting too overwhelmed is to literally take it day by day. I limit my to-do list and set a strict bedtime for myself. It sounds silly, but I have found that I get more done when I know exactly what needs to be done and how long I have so I can plan accordingly.

I know they say multi-tasking doesn’t work, but I see no harm in grabbing a treat from The Bakery (in the Derb) while working on that practice exam. I also have mandated an hour of “fun” each night as a study break which typically involves pulling my roommate along for a quick adventure. Tonight for example, we went out to a spot where some students were looking into the skies with a telescope just after sunset. Then, we continued our studies at a coffee shop which was a common spot for students tonight. Our rule during study time is NO SOCIAL MEDIA and typically my phone stays in a pocket which I have found greatly increases my productivity.

Another important task before going on break is coordinating with roommates to make sure your room is picked up before you leave. It is also just nice to know how long you have to say goodbye. In my case, one of my roommatess will be joining me for a trip up to see my parents!

I would also like to briefly mention that on our way back from the parking lot we saw some Kansas wildlife (a skunk) which sent us both into a fit of giggles all the way to our room.

Hope you are all making the best of this week!