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Student Stories

Month: March 2015

Reflections of the Future

BEACHLast week was Spring Break for K-State students. My social media accounts glowed with notifications about the many adventures fellow students were taking. I was on my own adventure. I decided to take a trip to the East Coast with a friend and fellow Wildcat. Our reason was partially thanks to a K-State bucket list I made during my first semester here at K-State. Continue reading “Reflections of the Future”

Love Your Melon

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Meet Mackenzie, a junior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Leadership Studies at Kansas State University. Combing two of her passions, helping cancer patients and supporting the K-State family, she has helped introduce “Love Your Melon” to our campus. Not only does Mack have an incredible story to share, she represents that despite tragic events; hope, love and hard work will prevail. I’m proud of Mack for sharing her story and blessed to call her one of my best friends. -Cajsa


What is something that you are really passionate about? Maybe in your college career you are unsure of what that looks like for you at this point. As a junior, I am just discovering what that is. Before I graduate Kansas State University, I set a goal that I wanted to make a lasting impression and leave something behind at K-State that made it better than when I started here. Personally I am passionate about helping cancer patients, their families and those left behind because of cancer. I personally have been impacted and experienced loss because of cancer. My mom lost her battle to cancer in 2008 and ever since her diagnosis in 1997 I have looked for ways to continue working with people affected by cancer. One day while on Facebook I stumbled across an organization called Love Your Melon a nonprofit started by college students that sells hats, t-shirts and other gear. This grabbed my attention because it was started by students, which was very relatable to me. They have a buy one; give one philosophy so every hat they sell they donate one to a child going through chemotherapy and other cancer treatment. I was so energized by the whole mission of the organization and having a passion for non-profits this stood out to me. The more I looked into it I found that they had campus ambassador crews. Noticing that K-State didn’t have a crew I emailed the site looking to start a team. Luckily I was able to connect with some other women from K-State looking to get involved in the organization. We started in January of this year and are quickly approaching our goal of selling 100 hats at 95 right now! We are planning our first donation event to be able to bring the kids hats at Children’s Mercy in Overland Park. Once we reach 300, Love Your Melon will make a special KSU beanie. The reason I am so passionate about bringing this to K-State is because I have already seen amazing support from the community and I believe in K-State family. For me, losing my mom and moving away from home to come to college was a big challenge and it wouldn’t have gone as well without the wonderful people that make up the K-State family. KSU truly is my home away from home and I want to do what I can to make it better than when I started here. We all sincerely appreciate the support you have already shown.

If you are looking to get involved, follow us on social media at @KSULYMCREW on Instagram, @KSULYM_Crew on Twitter, and Kansas State University Love Your Melon Campus Crew on Facebook.

If you are interested in making a purchase, check out www.loveyourmelon.com. They will be releasing a new summer line soon!

Fighting Ever Fighting,

Mackenzie 

NEW KEY

Wow.  It seems like just last week I was making a post about my overwhelming thrill and excitement to get selected into the Blue Key Class of 2014-2015.  Now, one year later, 15 outstanding Juniors have been selected as the Blue Key Class of 2015-2015, and will soon be transitioning our class out.  While our current class still is active until the end of the school year, it is surreal to know that next years class has already been selected and is having their first retreat this weekend.  I am thrilled for everyone who got selected, and am eager to watch the class grow.  As part of our “Getting geared up for selections” process, we were asked to do something that really hit me hard.  Open the note that we wrote to ourselves at our Fall retreat that we would read towards the end of our term, and reflect.  Where have we grown? What have been some of the biggest challenges? What are some things we will always remember?  I really enjoy personal reflection, and reflecting on one of the most memorable experiences of my life was every bit of fun, humbling, and challenging.

Photo Credit: Jackie McClaskey
Blue Key 2014-15 and NEW KEY Photo Credit: Jackie McClaskey

Continue reading “NEW KEY”

Another Benefit of Joining a Club?

Getting involved on campus is great for meeting people and learning new skills, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to travel! Through my involvement in different organizations on campus I have gotten to travel all over the U.S.

Participating in Model UN is one way that I have been able to travel. Last fall we attended a conference in Chicago and it was SO much fun! The nine-hour train ride gave us a lot of time to bond and the conference gave us free time to explore the city. Recently, a few weeks ago we attended a conference in St. Louis, and we have plans to travel to San Francisco next year. It’s been so great to explore these cities with friends, but the conferences also offer a fun chance to meet new people from all over the country who have the same interests. There are so many benefits in joining an on campus club!

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It’s a Balancing Act

Happy New Year!! Am I allowed to still say that at the end of February..? It sure feels like the year just started. This semester has been a blur of schoolwork, internship hours, personal-life dramas, a weather roller-coaster, a lot of rec time, and I think I’ve slept a few hours here and there.

If you want an accurate representation of my college life picture a see-saw and me balancing in the middle for a bit, a look of triumph on my face, and then suddenly having to run and wobble side to side to stay on (but laughing and smiling the whole way of course).

I recently submitted an application for an organization where one of my answers was the following;

“Apart from the people we are known for as the K-State Family, I would talk about the expectations set in place for me. I have been pushed harder, handed more responsibility, and trusted more than ever before in my life here at K-State and all the way had peers and faculty to support me. These added pressures have taught me about myself, my capabilities, and others and their capabilities; I have learned my strengths, I have learned how to apply those strengths in a group setting to ensure the best outcome, and I have learned how to utilize my support system,”

and I want to highlight the HOW of this statement. I want to emphasize how much of my “balance” is due to my peers, the K-State faculty and the skills I have picked up along the way.

Peers; friends, acquaintances, classmates, teammates, project partners etc. They will be a constant factor in your college life and, while you are the one that decides if they are a positive or a negative, you will always learn from them. I have learned from really meshy/great/awesome groups that focusing on strengths and distributing tasks are an effective approach for me. I have learned from no-so-meshy groups that one person becoming a dictator might not be a pro for the group dynamic. I have learned that true friendship is finding a Varsity Donut on your desk after a hard day, having someone to go to that gathering where that one person is going to be just because you can’t go alone, or signing you up for a late plate without you asking because they know you’re going to miss dinner (in my sorority we can sign up for plates to be set aside if we miss a meal). I have learned that family is more than your mom, dad, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents… but that those people are my lifeline…my source of sanity (and yes… occasional insanity) but never ending love.

The faculty here at K-State, like I said above, have pushed me to learn through different responsibilities and workloads. I could argue that they simply think that my life is all about their class, but Balance Advice #2? Be optimistic. So with that in mind, I’m going to just say that they think I can handle it, and really, I have no choice but to. Advice #3? Get involved. You’ll only gain these skills by practicing them and networking throughout campus can give you an array of opportunities.

I asked people of all ages what advice they would give for keeping the balance in life, here’s what they said:

Mom (my mom, age above mine): “Make sure what you’re doing, your career, is something you love so that it’s not really work. Exercise regularly…. my friend [Chet] says yoga…”

Lee (from Sociology, age 19): “A lot of popular belief today is that you can’t have all the things you need; [the] “pick two: sleep, studies, social life” [idea]. But I think the trick is to try to get a bit of everything. Get exercise, some social time, set aside time for homework as well. The main thing is to have some of everything and making it routine.”

Courtney (my Dirty Dawgs loving best friend, age 19): “I plan out my day, literally by the minute. I try to do my homework on the weekends too.”

Hilary (a good friend in my sorority, age 19): “Well I say that I keep balance by staying organized and allowing time for all the things I want/need to do.”

aaand lastly, Amanda (my sarcastic former-babysitter now friend, age 24): “It starts with being honest with yourself and everyone around you. Let me explain.. Balancing your life in college is hard, [dang] near impossible. It was one of the hardest times in my life for various reasons, most of it being that I wasn’t honest with myself. It took me until near the end of my sophomore year to realize and admit to those closest to me a couple things:

1) I was severely unhappy and needed help . So if anyone identifies with this, balance starts with you, inside. If you have a problem you must face it head on and you cannot face it alone. (Do a little research, depression and anxiety in college students is astronomically high.) I also surrounded myself with some people who weren’t good for me and didn’t push me to do better. So I was honest and let go of those friendships that weighed me down.

2) I asked myself a lot if I was doing my best. Every time I wanted to stay in bed instead of get up for my 8 A.M. I had to ask “Amanda, is this really yor best? You got up at 6 or 6:30 in high school and 7:30 A.M. one day a week is like plucking your toenails off? Come on.” The thing about college that a lot of people know, but don’t actively practice keeping yourself in check. Parents aren’t there any more. You are stuck with yourself and, for some lucky people, those who care enough to back you up. I had two roommates for a year that seriously helped. But just the simple, daily mantra of “Are you doing your best? Can you do better?” worked really well for me. I had to be HONEST with myself, either yes, I truly was or no I was not, which was unfortunately the case most times.

So there’s just being honest; with yourself, with the quality of what you’re doing, and the worth of what you’re trying to accomplish. Now balancing school with maybe a job and relationship and family and social is so tough. But what’s your first priority? It should always be yourself. Find one or two things that calm you and give you release. Do those things once a day or every other day. People may say school comes first… You do. Why? Because who are you going to school for? I hope the answer is for yourself because otherwise you’ve got it twisted.

And again you’ve got to be honest. Are you taking care of yourself? If that’s got a check mark then your second priority comes into play and only after you’ve taken care of yourself. A happy and honest person finds balance in life and that’s what I believe.”

Wow.  I know that was a long one, but she sent it to me and I couldn’t not share it. It is so true that you have to be focusing on you before you can balance anything else in your life. Great peers, mentors and resources can aid you in that incredibly as well.

Final Balance Advice and then I’m done I swear!

Find your way of balancing, whether it be through routine or spontaneity, faith, friends, schoolwork, working out, ice cream every Tuesday… whatever it may be make it yours and wobble with it.