Kansas State University


Student Stories

Month: April 2014

Are We Lost?


I love adventures! I had plans with a friend to grab lunch in between classes. We could have just gone to the Union. We could have eaten near campus on a patio. Rather than sticking to the known, we branched out. In the name of spontaneity, we hopped in the car and followed some vague directions over the river and through the woods. A few minutes later, and after asking ourselves if we were lost about 30 times, we found our destination.

The area of Manhattan around campus has so much to offer that sometimes I forget what else is out there. If you’re coming to campus for orientation or a campus visit make sure to take the time to look at the community. Experience Manhattan for yourself! College is all about new experiences and perhaps an adventure like this could broaden your comfort zone. It’s worth the risk of getting “lost” for a few minutes.

Happy Wednesday,


The Story of a Car

I remember getting ready to head off to school and having a lot of questions and concerns. One of the main things I worried about were cars. I had no idea if I should bring a car to school, how parking worked, if I would be able to get around Manhattan without one, etc.

I ended up not bringing a car to school my freshman year. I was worried in the beginning because I didn’t know if I would be able to go home ever or even get around town. Luckily, I found people very early on that were very willing to take me wherever I needed to go. It was also pretty easy to find rides back to Kansas City where I am from. I was really amazed by how helpful everyone was. I also didn’t feel like I was asking for rides all of the time or anything because I could walk a lot of places! Campus is really easy to get around without a car and it is a really short walk to Aggieville if I ever wanted to go out to dinner or anything.

This year I brought a car to school and I have learned a lot about that. I have learned that it is helpful if you have a campus parking pass in case you ever need to park on campus. You can get the parking passes through iSIS. It is also very important that you make note of where you can park and when. If you aren’t careful it is easy to get a parking ticket, but you can definitely avoid them if you pay attention. Also, I have enjoyed giving rides to people without cars. I feel like I can return the favor a little bit.

I hope this helps if you were worried about car things like I was.

Miss K-State 2014

Hey gang!

Last week my fraternity had our second annual “Miss K-State” philanthropy, and it was so incredible to see everyone’s hard work come together to make such a successful show.  The event was held in McCain auditorium this year because of the philanthropie’s’ outstanding success and crowd at last years event.  We had 20 different women representing 20 different organizations go on stage and participate in a “Wildcat Round”, “Talent Round”, “Career Round”, and a “Professionalism Round”.  The talent of every girl on stage captured the heart of everyone in the audience, and each girl was able to showcase why they are a point of pride for their represented organization! All the contestants definitely set the bar high for next year’s pageant.  We had set a “lofty” goal for ourselves to get 1,000 people in attendance, and we are very proud to say that we reached it.  Through tons of social media publicity and word of mouth hype, we were able to get the entire K-State community engaged into this one event.  All of our profits go to our Global Service Initiative that sends students to Jamaica to help build homes or schools.  I am so excited to see the final numbers that we are able to donate to this hands on philanthropy!!  (To learn more about GSI, check out the video here! http://www.deltau.org/meetus/globalserviceinitiative)

Being able to see all the guys in the house work so hard for a common cause, and come up with new and innovative ideas to raise the awareness of the event has been one of the proudest moments of my presidency thus far.

I tell you this with the hope that you will do a couple different things:

1. Get involved in philanthropy.  Whether it is helping host one, or simply attending, you are going to be benefiting something bigger than yourself.  The hard work that is put into philanthropies is outstanding, and attending them really makes all the hard work payoff.  You are able to feel good that you contributed to something, but also have the potential to find something you are really passionate about.

2. Look for the things that remind you of your purpose.  Although the last couple weeks have been stressful with other fraternity president things that pop up, it is so rewarding to see something good come together that benefits the organization you are involved in. Every job is going to be stressful at times, but it is crucial at some points to reflect on why you wanted to get involved in it.  The little things that fill you with pride are going to keep you going strong. The Miss K-State pageant literally shaped my entire week into a positive and successful one.

Success is a mindset, and it is easy to let stress and negativity get in the way of finding it.  Be constantly looking for those things that make you excited, and remind you why you are doing what you are doing.

Keep working hard towards the end of the semester – time is FLYING! Only a few more weeks left!!

Go Cats!



Lessons on Failure

Today, my LEAD 450 Senior Seminar class had the opportunity to listen to Governor John Carlin. who is a current professor at K-State who teaches courses in politics and leadership. He shared insight with all us seniors as we are looking ahead to graduation and future plans. He spoke about holding true to your values in times of difficulty and what it means to take opportunities when they are presented to you, even if they are something completely unexpected.

One quote he said really resonated with me.

“Learn from your failures, but don’t fail to learn”

When he said this, he emphasized the idea of not intentionally failing for the sake of learning. Don’t get yourself in way over your head, therefore forcing you to wash your hands of a task, allowing it to fail, qualifying the failure with the idea that you gained knowledge about taking on a task that was insurmountable. That is not going to do you any good.

This conversation in class really put the idea of “failure” into perspective for me. Our world is so focused on the idea of being second best being equivalent to being a failure. “If we don’t accomplish our goal of getting first place, we have failed.” This phrase is all to often heard on the athletic field, in awards ceremonies, or in any measurable task.

During my college career, my definition of failure has been shifted. Shortcomings and failures are inevitable, but what decisions you make after the instance is what truly defines if it was a complete failure altogether.

Let me give you a personal example.

Many would say I “failed” in accomplishing one of the most important things a college student can do to enhance their job qualifying experience: obtaining a summer internship. The second semester of my junior year met me with 4 rejections for internships. I remember the days of utter sadness, thinking I wasn’t good enough or I had completely picked the wrong degree path. I just couldn’t understand why I kept “failing” over and over again.

I can say with full confidence that the summer between my Junior and Senior year of college was one of the best of my life. I had the chance to work 3 different jobs, each adding to my skill set of relationship building and critical thinking skills. I took 6 hours of credit, keeping me on track to graduate this upcoming May. I still felt the negative pull of knowing I had not acquired an “internship”, but I kept my head up, knowing the skills I was gaining that summer were just as necessary and beneficial in the long run.

Now, graduation is 26 days away and I have a job waiting for me in June 🙂

Short comings and failures are always on the horizon. That is just a fact of life. It is how we handle them that our true competence is then measured. Looking to finals week and finishing up projects and papers, remember that the result may not be what we are looking for, but there is always a way to grow and the only way you truly fail is by giving up.

Keep pushing through, Wildcats! Summer is just around the corner! We can do this!

Study hard!!


Whatever the Weather

It’s been a crazy week! There have been guest speakers on campus, the blood drive, papers, tests and (of course) crazy weather. On Sunday hail and an intense thunderstorm hit just before many outside events were supposed to start. I got an alert on my phone that night that we would drop below freezing. Freezing? It was in the 80s when I woke up!

I bundled up to go to class Monday and walked past snow on cars. Tuesday in class I got an alert that wind gusts would increase and fires were likely to spread.  I didn’t plan on starting any fires but it was good information to know. I also took the alert to mean that any attempts at doing my hair would be pointless. I went for the “windblown” look.

Today many students woke up to sunny but windy conditions. I wore shorts and a t-shirt to Hale (where I ran into an old friend that I hope to be catching up with next weekend) and then to dinner at JPs. At dinner I found out that three of my friends are also going to a guest lecture event tomorrow.  We made arrangements to sit together and talk about the presentation after. What a pleasant surprise!

When I left JPs the sun was down and there was a cool breeze. It was pretty walking around the fountain at Jardine but my night wasn’t over yet. I came home, switched into jeans and grabbed my jacket before heading to a coffee shop for a study session with a friend. I love how no matter the weather or how busy everyone is, K-State students make time for each other. My week has been crazy but I haven’t been alone. I also know that it is tempting to take home “seasonal” clothes, but a week like this is a good reminder that you never know when you may need a warm coat or a good friend. 

Happy Wednesday,


P.S. Those of you who know me already know that Wednesday is my “lazy laundry” day. I am not ashamed that a load of shorts, sweatshirts, jeans and a jacket inspired this post. After all, it’s crazy to need to wash all of those things at once!

Classes at K-State

Hey guys!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of what a typical college class looks like? Do you think of a huge lecture hall filled with hundreds of students? College classes at K-State are so much more than that!

My freshman year I assumed that all my classes would be like that, but that ended up being not true at all. Of course, some of the general education classes do have hundreds of people, but it’s not as common as you might think. I was surprised to walk into my English 100 course last year and only see around 20 students. I personally learn best in a smaller classroom setting and I love that K-State has a mixture of large and small classes.  The small classes help me to connect with my classmates and professors on a more personal level. And it gives professors an opportunity to use more creative activities to teach the materials. In my French class we are regularly able to play different games because of the small class size. Our professor has also been able to bring us food to help us learn about French culture!

So if you are concerned about having huge classes, don’t worry! K-State does a fantastic job of balancing out the amount of larger classes with smaller classes. And of course, as you get farther into your major your classes will get smaller too.

K-State Proud,


Displaying photo.JPG My French class celebrating Mardi Gras!

Service on a Saturday?

What can get college students out of bed early on a Saturday? Service? NO WAY! Don’t all students sleep in until noon? Don’t they waste their weekends playing video games or something? Most K-State students I know have busy weekends full of catching up on assignments or getting ahead on them, working, spending time with friends and family and all kinds of hobbies. Some students also make a point to give up a little weekend time to give back to the community.

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of serving alongside K-State students, faculty and former faculty. Highway Cleanup with Manhattan Solar Kiwanis in honor of Kiwanis One Day is a great example of how connected K-State is to the Manhattan community. A community member even opened up their home to us and made us a delicious breakfast of crepes!

I don’t know about you, but I would take time out of every Saturday if it meant spending time with my K-State Family and eating some yummy breakfast food. Well, today is Wednesday and I have a test I should go study for. It’s hard to study when it’s this beautiful outside but my solution is take the study party out in the sunshine.

Have a great week, Wildcats!


P.S. Fun Fact: Manhattan Kiwanis coordinates painting and maintaining the MANHATTAN sign.

Find a HAPPY Place

I’ve had a rough day. It’s been more like a rough week. Home should be somewhere you go to escape from your troubles, not be confronted by them. Lately I’ve had a lot of concerns about my living situation off-campus. When I was on-campus, I could ask my RA (Residence Assistant) and the front desk (CA- Community Assistant) and get help right away. When my shower head didn’t flow the way I wanted it to, for example, it was fixed by someone friendly before my next shower. I blew the breaker an excessive amount, and I was never judged for that, but eventually they did teach me not to run the microwave when my curling iron was also plugged in right above it. It was a learning experience.

Living off-campus requires more responsibility. I knew that. I knew I was ready for that. I’m responsible! What I didn’t know was what could go wrong even if you thought you did everything right. It is still a learning experience. For example, who do you call when you’re making tough decisions about leasing an apartment off-campus? My first call is typically my parents regardless of the situation but I knew they didn’t have the expertise in this area (being so far away) that I needed.

I had heard about K-State Student Legal Services (from Twitter and on-campus events) and I went to their website looking for advice about contracts and such. What I found was that they serve students in many types of situations, but my questions might be answered by K-State Consumer and Tenant Affairs which I didn’t even know existed. I knew K-State offered counseling and advising, but having someone specifically to help students navigate the murky and frustrating waters of renting is SO HELPFUL! For free I was able to send an e-mail explaining my situation (at night when the trouble started) and get a response the next morning that was assuring, helpful and knowledgeable.

If you’re a current tenant OR a future one, be sure to checkout the handbook they provide for students. It has everything from a sample roommate agreement to a move-in checklist. You know I love checklists! Most importantly don’t hesitate to ask questions if you can’t find what you need on their website.

Off to my happy place with some warm tea,


When one door closes

At the end of each term, K-State’s Student Governing Association body dedicates its last open period of the meeting to invite senior leaders to give a few last remarks of reflection, gratitude, and even advice accumulated over their years of experience. Although I am not a senior, this meeting marks the last time I will be serving as a Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences and therefore, I feel the need to give a few last concluding remarks. Whether you are currently serving alongside me in the 2013-2014 SGA term, a future leader in student government at K-State, or just a reader who stumbled upon this post: I hope you can take something away from the great deal of influence and impact this organization has had on me, and understand a little more about why it will always hold a special place in my heart. Without further adieu, here it goes:

  1. Do not take the environment for granted.
    •  SGA is a unique organization in that your age, grade, or number of credit hours does not affect the pull that your voice carries. I have never felt so empowered to speak my mind or challenge someone else in debate without feeling judged because of my lack of experience. The Big 12 room allows you to learn so much because you are given an opportunity to do great things from day one—even as an Intern. Use this to your advantage and push yourself to try things that scare you. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to succeed and for believing in me (probably despite your best judgment).
  2. “It’s always been that way”
    • The most important part of our roles as student leaders is to constantly challenge the status quo. Never allow the phrase “it’s always been that way” allow you to be complacent about doing what’s always been done. Einstein always said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Try new things, vote against the rest of the body, and stand up for what’s right, even when it’s not popular. It is your responsibility to represent the underrepresented and be a voice for our constantly evolving, diverse body and always push K-State forward.
  3. Don’t be afraid to love something whole-heartedly.
    • Unapologetically give yourself to something you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s wild, it’s scary, and there will be times where your hands are so sweaty you think you might not ever be able to grasp anything ever again. (Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I should get that looked at.) Regardless—there are few times in our lives other than college where we are able to do this as truly and freely as now. The students you will get the opportunity to meet are second to none, and you will learn and be inspired by each and every one of them. Take time to get coffee with that intern. Volunteer to chalk even if you have 1,000 other things to do. Spend those extra ten minutes after the meeting mingling with those you debated against moments earlier. People matter.

If any of you happen to be fellow senators or leaders in SGA, I thank you so much for encouraging me to feel confident in myself to do things I never thought I was capable of. I feel forever indebted for the opportunity I was given to be my authentic self, which allowed me to find my place in an organization amongst leaders quadruple my caliber and become the woman I am today. I’ve learned a great deal from each of you and will forever be grateful these three years which will inspire me for many, many years to come. Thank you for the lessons you’ve taught me and the unforgettable relationships that have cultivated from uniting under a unified passion: serving the best student body in the nation. It’s been an honor, and I’m kind of sorry I was late to so many meetings. Thank you.

Senator Collingwood

New Job(s?)

Spring of my Junior year has arrived a lot sooner than I was expecting!  With it comes new experiences and opportunities, and I’ve been doing my best to take advantage.  I’ve just recently started working as a bartender at Tubby’s Sports Bar in Aggieville.  It’s been challenging, but I’m starting to get a hold of it!  Although it’s a little late, I’ve been applying for Summer internships in KC and Manhattan.  I’ll hopefully know in the next couple weeks where I’ll be staying this summer.  I’ll be teaching College Algebra Labs again next Fall, and I just figured out that I won’t be teaching/taking any classes on Friday!  College is super expensive, but K-State and Manhattan have great resources to find part-time employment that works with your school schedule!

Everything else is moving right along as well.  We just selected the new class of Chimes Junior Honorary.  Their first meeting will be next week, and it’s crazy to think about my time in Chimes being almost over!  K-State’s Open House is this weekend, so I’ll be there Saturday for Business Ambassadors.  The following weekend is my Fraternity’s Formal in Kansas City, as well as the Honors Program Banquet.  I’m staying busy as always, and there’s only like five weeks left until finals!  Until next time, go Cats!