Kansas State University


Student Stories

Month: February 2014


Before college, “Conferences” was a time of the year where instead of going to school your parents had (incredibly long and amazingly uncomfortable) conversations with your teachers. Sometimes you were dragged along to “share your perspective” but mostly you remember making popcorn and staying in you pajamas all day long.

In college, “Conferences” require effort. Instead of a day in bed “Conferences” typically entail an entire week/weekend of “breakout sessions” in uncomfortable rooms with strangers. You have to plan them, register, coordinate funding, arrange transportation and (most of all) pack according to the agenda and itinerary you are provided. Many of them are held in the Spring forcing the over-involved to choose where to spend their time. Literally where since “Conferences” can take you all over the state, country or world depending on the organization. Typically, mine are held during the busiest weeks on my schedule wedged in between tests and meetings for other organizations.

That being said, “Conferences” in college pay off. I have met amazing people and connected with fellow Wildcats during the road trips, dinners, hotel stays and countless “breakout sessions” during my time here at K-State.  As I prepare to head to another conference this weekend I encourage you to say “YES!” should an opportunity like this arise. Try to get as much out of the experience as you can because no matter how tempting Netflix is, it will be there when you get back.

Happy Wednesday,


P.S. Always make sure to take a piece of “home” with you to make yourself more comfortable in your hotel room. I always take a pillow/blanket/stuffed animal and my favorite tea. 

More than a T-Shirt

It is K-State PROUD week!!

I am really excited about this, because I love K-State Proud. I think it embodies one of my favorite things about K-State – family.

Many people know about K-State Proud from the t-shirts that they see other students on campus wear. I am a big fan of the t-shirts and think that they are really cute. However, I LOVE the t-shirts because of what they represent. K-State Proud is a student run campaign that raises money to give to students that would otherwise have to leave the University. Throughout its lifetime, K-State Proud has helped over 430 students stay at K-State! I think that is pretty cool.

Every time I put on my K-State Proud shirt I know that I have helped a fellow student continue their education. So often I take my education for granted. I forget how privileged I am; and I forget that some of my fellow students are struggling to stay at K-State. The willingness of K-State students to donate to the campaign and help out their peers in incredible. Family helps each other when times get tough. K-State is and will always be a family – K-State Proud is proof.

K-State PROUD!



The great weather today isn’t the only thing that left me speechless. I was out of breath from running all around campus. Today I sat outside and studied and read for my classes. Then, I headed on campus to take a test. Next, I had dinner with friends at JP’s in Jardine. Finally, I met a group (Circle K) devoted to service, leadership, and fellowship in the 24 hour study area (Einsteins) on the first floor of Hale. There, among my peers and a lab full of glowing computers, I found myself in awe.

You see, the task our group had was to fill out paperwork to present awards for people who exemplified the values of Circle K International and K-State. You know an organization is special when going above and beyond to help others is a norm. In fact, it was hard to narrow down our candidates because so many of them were more than eligible. These candidates didn’t just serve the K-State/Manhattan community. They even traveled throughout Kansas and internationally spreading these values and representing Circle K and K-State in a very positive way. I was speechless (not just out of breath from running around town) when I stopped and thought about all of the Wildcats who go out of their way to do things for other.

It’s not that I didn’t know K-State had these values. I know all about the Wildcat Way and it’s a huge part of why I came to K-State. I knew K-State was about family, but it was a good reminder of how extraordinary the members of the K-State Family are beyond the classroom. What a great reminder of this just before (one of my favorite times on campus) K-State Proud Campaign Week.

Maybe I’m silly, but when I walked out of the Library I was thankful for the person who took that extra second to keep the door open for me. That’s the kind of culture K-State has. We take care of one another. We give back when we can. That’s something special.

Have a great rest of your week,


Second Semester Surge


No, that’s not the sound of stress. That’s not the sound of a “Spring Slump.” That’s the sound of my attempt at recreating the Olympic games and wiping out on a sled!

A sled? Aren’t I supposed to be studying or something? Aren’t I supposed to be stressing out?  I’m not stressed. It’s my first week of exams for the Spring 2014 semester and I feel… oddly calm and even a little excited. Sure, my week looks like this:
..but my weekend looked like this: So, I don’t mind doing a little bit of this:

I took a road trip with a friend to see my family and by the time I got back last night I was ready to take on the world-or at least World Politics. Sure, I missed 60 degree weather in Manhattan but replacing it with snowball fights and sledding means I’m ready to take on the Spring 2014 semester. What stress? What Spring Slump? I’m surging towards my best semester yet at K-State with a smile on my face.

Wishing Wildcats everywhere a WONDERFUL week,


Spread the Love

Valentine’s Day has made its arrival, folks.

I love Valentine’s Day. I have the fondest memories of my mom giving each of us kids a little trinket or candy. Accompanied by a simple proclamation of love, it was a beautiful reminder.

I’m going to be honest though when I say the older I’ve gotten the more tainted this holiday has appeared. Some people find themselves bitter and angry on this day. The feelings of resentment confuse me, though. You are so loved. I know that sounds cheesy, but if you don’t see that then you are choosing to block it out.

When we were little, Valentine’s Day was focused on family, friends, and the people we appreciate in our lives. At what point did that change? In my opinion, I don’t think it should’ve.

I’m not saying that if you’re dating someone you can’t take them to a romantic dinner, but I am saying that if you’re single you are not allowed to have a pity party. Don’t make this day about yourself, that’s not what it’s for. Spread the love this Valentine’s Day, not only to your boo-thang, but your family and friends just as well.



Two Chapters in One Photo

They say a picture is worth one thousand words, but can a picture sum up one person’s life entirely? For my life, this is that photo.

On a side street in Wichita, these two buildings sit. The one on the right is Blessed Sacrament Catholic Grade School. Though I did not attend this grade school, I was a part of the Wichita Catholic School system growing up and therefore attended basketball games, scholar bowl competitions, choir performances, and other events in this building. My college roommate also attended this school before attending the high school were we met each other. Though it appears to be nothing more than a building on the outside, this building represents memories of childhood and adolescence for me. This building represents my roots. It represents the family I grew up with in Wichita and the wonderful community I was surrounded by.

Moving to the left side of the photo, you will find a white house whose property line lies adjacent to Blessed Sacrament. Though white on the outside, this house bleeds purple. This house is owned by a K-State alum and his wife who generously host members of the K-State community at their house who come to hold a K-State Sunday recruiting event for seniors in Wichita who are interested in attending K-State. I have been to this house not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times as a student, once when I was a high school senior being recruited and 3 other times as a K-State student doing the recruiting.

This past Sunday, I had that fourth and final visit. As I walked into the house, memories came flooding back to me. I remembered the doorway where I took my very first photo with Willie when I was a high school senior, just days away from fully committing to coming to K-State. I remembered the pink bedroom upstairs where I recruited students the very first time as a K-Stater representing the School of Leadership Studies. And finally, I remembered the table where I stood and talked to a family who was from my high school and recruited their son to K-State that day. That house has so many memories for me……..and it isn’t even my house 😉

It was sad to walk down those front steps for the last time on Sunday afternoon. I realized that both these chapters in my life are about to close. I will no longer call Wichita “home” here in the next couple of months, nor will I be able to call myself a K-State student either.

Surprisingly, I am anticipating this change with sincere optimism.

This photo represents two very predominant chapters in my life. They were what shaped who I am today. Though very different, these worlds created synergy for my life, producing a foundation I am so thankful for and ready to share with this world.

Someday, I hope to travel down that street and glimpse into my past once again, thankful for the spectacular beginnings of Wichita and the life-changing experience of being a K-Stater.

Hopefully, that image won’t be covered in snow 😉

Have a good rest of the week!


The Many Faces of a Student Organization

There are over 475 different student clubs and organizations to be apart of here at K-State. So, for this post, I wanted to share a glimpse of what it like to be in one of these organizations….I present the School of Leadership Studies Ambassadors everyone!



























On one last note, I want to wish K-State a Happy 151st Birthday this Sunday on February 16th!

As always, K-State Proud,




The Derb: Revisited

The lowest level smells like freshly baked bread. You can get everything from pizza and burgers to burritos and stir-fry bowls or a combination if you’d like. The salad bar is stocked and the ice cream is smooth. What is this magical place? Derby Dining Center here at K-State.

Rebecca and I have both blogged in the past about all of the on-campus dining options. My favorite Dining Center is The Derb  (Derby) and my favorite place to grab a snack is The Bakery. I admit that I am biased. I have many fond memories of grabbing a bite with friends between classes or at the end of a long day at The Derb. I didn’t realize I wouldn’t frequent these spots nearly enough once I moved off campus. Luckily, I had the pleasure to visit both of these wonderful locations today with a friend who lives in Moore.

It was great to see an old friend as well as run into people in the dining area. That’s one thing I really miss, sharing a meal with a dozen friends. I ate lunch today with a group of friends from the same floor and I started missing my days in Ford. I miss being a short walk (in a heated hallway) away from friends. I miss being able to share in excitement about getting a new pet  or getting a good grade on a test. I miss healthy, prepared food only being a stairway away. I miss having activities with my floor. I had a great experience living on campus!

It was nice to be able to go back and have a good meal and some great company. My favorite part was when someone said “You should come back again some time.” I think I will.


Learning to Fail

I didn’t realize when I began my college career how much I would learn about myself and how much I would grow as a person. I figured that I would learn a lot from my classes, but I really had no idea how much I would learn about life.

One of the most powerful things I have learned from my time at Kansas State University is that you can learn a lot from your failures. It is inevitable that you will fail sometime during your time in college career. Maybe you will oversleep, forget an assignment, not spend enough time on a test, miss a meeting, double book yourself, or forget to go into work. These things will happen, and if you are like me, when they do you will feel really bad. It might be hard to pick yourself back up and continue on. However, learning how to move past your failures and be better for it is an incredibly important skill. In fact, the times I have grown the most in college is when I failed. I didn’t get a job I wanted, I did poorly on a test, etc.

K-State is a wonderful place because everyone here wants to help you. Everyone wants to see you succeed. If you reach out for help there is always someone to help you back to your feet. K-State really is a family, and I promise that you will grow a lot in your time here.