Kansas State University


Student Stories

Tag: Goals

It’s all in your head

One thing I learned last Saturday was that the way you hold your piece of charcoal makes the most difference in the flow of your drawing. I like the believe it’s the same with the way you hold on to certain feelings that affects the flow of your everyday life. Process of drawing with charcoal by artist Anita Lehmann.

Trying new things is part of the essence of going to college, we do it on a daily or weekly basis. With every new experience you learn something new and with every new thing you learn you grow.

Some of us, however, always end up learning and growing more than others. The reason for that is that while some are trying something new and being brave enough to embark on a new venture, others try a new attitude and are brave enough to embrace a new perspective.

I believe attitude to be a skill of success, and perhaps the most important one there is. The way you make yourself feel about things in your everyday life dictates your level of success in your personal or work life. Attitude also controls one very important thing, and that is one’s happiness, without which, everything else is perishable.

Last Saturday I attended a design workshop at the Beach Museum of Art with Anita Lehmann, an artist visiting from Seattle, WA. I had signed up for the workshop 6 weeks in advance and had totally forgotten about it, and when I got the email reminder Saturday morning only one feeling was running through my body: dread.

It was the next morning after a Friday night that ended quite late, and the workshop was from 10 am to 3 pm. I have classes and work every day of the week and I’m always up by 7 am to start preparing for my day and I am usually back in bed by midnight. Every day but Saturday; Saturday is my holy day (No pun intended). On Saturdays I get to sleep in and do lazy activities in my pajamas to help me decompress and recharge, but now I had to spend five hours on my feet bent over trying to draw with tools I’ve never used before in my life.

However, I knew that I was bound to this room at the museum for the next five hours and not attending the workshop would reflect negatively on me as the spots were limited and that means I probably took a spot away from someone who would’ve attended.

Right then and there I decided to change my attitude, the way I’m making myself feel about the workshop. I could’ve gone in there with a straight face and sucked it up until 3:00 PM, or I could’ve put a smile on my face and walked in there and listened to what the instructor had to say and done my best to enjoy the time I’m spending. Either way I would’ve spent the same amount of time and felt the same sore back and feet. So even though I wasn’t entirely excited to begin with, I did my best to be enthused and content with being there.

That design workshop with Lehmann ended up being the most gratifying, enriching, and soulful artistic experience I’ve had in years. I enjoyed it so much that by 3 o’clock I was hoping she’d ask us to draw something else just so I can stay and take in more of the experience. So much so that I could actually write two or three blog posts about this one day.

You might have that dreadful 7:30 AM class that you signed up for because it was the only one left, an assignment that you can’t possibly see the rhyme or reason behind being assigned it, a job that is as boring as the day is long, or student loans that feel like a boulder on your back. Next time thinking about these things brings you down, try instead thinking about the time you’ll have left to do with your day and how healthy and good it is to wake up early, how rewarding it is to get an A in a class by the end of the semester, what you could do with the paycheck you’ll be getting in two weeks, and how if you play your cards right, you can take your student loans out in a few years, one baby step at a time, and you’ll be left with a degree and a college experience for life.

26 Days Left!


WE HAVE 26 DAYS LEFT UNITL SUMMER IS HERE (including today, weekends, dead week, and finals week). If you’re like me, you’re strugglin’ to find the motivation to finish the semester in full force. However… I swear we don’t have too much left. I say this, trying to convince myself as well.

To prove that time is going to pass quickly and to motivate you to continue putting forth full effort, I’ve taken some pictures of what 26 days looks like… In the form of rice and some other random stuff. Keep trucking K-Staters. Good Luck!

1.) 26 writing utensils. For all those notes you’re going to take to prepare for finals. 









2.) Here are 26 shoes. Not 26 pairs though, that would be ridiculous. 









3.) 26 cents. Not even enough to buy the guac at Chipotle. 









4.) 26 grains of rice. What you actually can buy with 26 cents at Chipotle. 








5.) 26 coupons. I may have a problem.









Anyways, these were all kind of random… But hopefully one of these pictures struck a cord with you and showed you how few of days there really are left until SUMMER. Finish strong K-State!



A Solution for New Year’s Resolutions: Pt. 1

Ah, mid-February. The coldest bite of winter is almost behind us (yay!), mid-terms are almost upon us (not yay!), and it finally seems like we’ve settled into the swing of things. Now that we’re all settled in for the semester, let me throw a small wrench into your day with a simple question:


How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?

Continue reading “A Solution for New Year’s Resolutions: Pt. 1”

Hangin’ with a Governor

I’ve mentioned before how I think K-State students and faculty are some of the best people around. They take the time to say “hello,” they’re often hilarious on Twitter (check out @DrKellyWelch and @kstate_pres, to name a couple), and they always seem to be available to help me out when needed. One professor here at K-State, Dr. John Carlin in the School of Leadership Studies, just so happens to be a former Governor of the state of Kansas!

A couple of weeks ago, I met with John Carlin to discuss a couple of things–where I’m at with the law school application process and with the leading of my fraternity (of which he was president during his time in college!). Regardless of one’s political affiliation, I believe that Governor Carlin’s leadership style–marked by his commitment to building consensus and compromising for the greater good–demands respect. Governor Carlin still seems to believe in the impact and effect that working “within the system” can have–that was evident during his time as a leader in my fraternity and now as a professor in the School of Leadership Studies.

Governor Carlin’s stories of his time at K-State and the lessons he has learned throughout his vast and varied career were encouraging for a number of reasons. What’s remarkable is that his story isn’t entirely unique: many professors at K-State have worked hard and succeeded (often GREATLY) in the political, business, and medical fields, only to return to Manhattan to share their talents with K-State students in the classroom.

My point? While K-State may seem like an intricate web of academic colleges, departments, majors, minors, and pre-professional clubs, the instructors here care enough to take the time to make your experience in Manhattan something special. That’s a principle that I heard a lot coming to K-State as a freshman, and one that now as an upperclassman, I know to be true. I wish I had taken the time to meet with my professors and advisors earlier…the advice they have to offer will make it worth it!



Semester Update

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. This has been especially true over the past few weeks here in Manhattan! It’s hard to believe I moved back to Kansas from my summer internship in DC over a month ago and that it’s already the fourth week of my senior year. Things are moving quickly, life at K-State is as good as ever, and I have a few updates on my senior year goals that I outlined a few weeks ago!

1. Intramural soccer—it was on my “senior year bucket list,” so I made my intramural soccer debut last night at the Rec! My team lost 1-0, but we played hard, and I think things are looking good for the rest of the season! Remind me to get in better shape some time too…

2. Life as a fraternity president—things are off to a smooth start! Our new cook is making some incredible food, and she’s quickly becoming a part of the family environment at the chapter house. We have 22 new members this year, and so just like every fall, we’re busy getting to know them and teaching them about our chapter. We’ve even held a successful Ice Cream Social already this year—over 750 people stopped by the house on the first night of school to hang out!

3. My new graduation date—as I’ve mentioned before, about a year ago, I switched my major from Microbiology/Pre-Med to Political Science/Pre-Law. This summer, I found out through some discussion with my advisor that I won’t be able to graduate this coming May. In order to graduate with a degree in Political Science and minors in Biology and Leadership, I’ll be staying around for a fifth year in Manhattan! My VERY positive reaction to this is a testament to my love for K-State—I immediately began thinking of the opportunities the extra time in Manhattan will afford me—primarily the potential to study abroad next summer, something I’ve always dreamt about.

All in all, Fall 2012 is flying by! Don’t worry…I’m learning a few things in the classroom too. As the football team continues to rack up victories and the weather gets slightly more bearable, the number of prospective students I see on campus is increasing as well! If you’ll be on campus this fall for a visit, don’t hesitate to hit me up. I’d love to get coffee and discuss all things K-State!



From May until the beginning of August, I had the opportunity to live and work in the nation’s capital as a summer intern for one of Kansas’s U.S. Senators. After 11 weeks in D.C., I can say that I learned A TON about my field of study, had A LOT of fun, and—major cheesiness warning—learned some important life lessons along the way.

Now that my first week of class back at K-State is wrapping up—and yes, it’s just as much fun as ever—I’ve started to realize the true value of my internship this summer. Three of those cheesy life lessons I was able to learn in D.C. have quite the application here in Manhattan as well.

1. On Capitol Hill, I learned the importance of doing the little things well and working hard—even when no one was watching. My internship often times provided me with a lengthy to-do list of mail to read and actions to complete. If I didn’t stay focused and make sure all the small details of the job were taken care of, there could be bigger repercussions for the entire office. As I work to maintain a solid GPA here at K-State, I find that same mentality to be important: even when I’m tired and an assigned reading doesn’t look too appealing, I have to be disciplined and move forward, knowing it will be worth it.

2. Not surprisingly, my summer was made a lot more fun by the fact that several of my fellow interns were a TON of fun to be around…especially the ones from K-State! I learned that the professional world was about a lot more than just accomplishing a to-do list—instead, whether or not I enjoyed my job had a lot to do with me taking the time to get to know those around me. For many of you, this might seem like a “no, duh!” type of lesson, but I can honestly say that valuing relationships with those around me continues to be an area of focus for me here on campus—and I’ve been here for four years! Without fail, I feel more fulfilled when I go to bed at night if I’ve spent time getting to know my peers.

3. Everywhere I went in D.C., I felt like successful people surrounded me. That was not only inspiring, but allowed me to pick out a common personality trait amongst my peers: a commitment to making things happen. In DC and at college, you can’t just sit back and allow the world to pass you by. Instead, I believe you have to take charge of your situation, meet new people, and spend your time doing things you’re passionate about. The cliché is true: college is what you make it, and at K-State, there are enough opportunities that you can make it practically ANYTHING!


“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” –John Maxwell

Beginnings are the best. Whether it’s the beginning of a new semester, new calendar year, or even a new week, I’ve always been a fan of opportunities to look back, learn, and improve in the future.

I recently re-read one of my favorite books of all time, “Make Today Count,” by John Maxwell. I highly recommend it! In the book, Maxwell outlines the twelve habits he tries to live out on a daily basis. Ranging from having a good attitude to valuing relationships and personal growth, Maxwell’s reminders are especially great for college students. One theme is especially prominent in the book: that each day, it’s critical for us to spend our time wisely, focusing on the values we hold dear and goals we want to achieve.

The book got me to thinking about my goals for the upcoming semester. As I move back into my fraternity this week, I want to start the semester off in a goal-minded way. Though I sometimes go overboard and set a TON of ‘em, here are some of my goals for the fall semester of 2012:

  • In Blue Key, I want to do what I can to motivate others and lead by example.
  • In my fraternity, I want to incorporate the advice and consent of the entire chapter in all decision-making.
  • I’m taking the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) at the beginning of December (16 weeks away, but who’s counting?), and I want to devote 10 hours a week to studying.
  • Like a lot of K-Staters, I try to “do it all” when I’m Manhattan, and relationships sometimes fall by the wayside. Each week this semester, I want to make an effort to hang out with individuals I don’t get to see as often as I’d like, whether by getting coffee or going on a Sonic run!
  • Oh yeah, school. I want to spend enough time outside of my classes studying. I’m taking some upper-level classes this semester, so that means I’ll need to study something like 2 hours a day on weekdays and 3 hours on weekends.
  • Sleep. It may not be as exciting as hanging out with my friends, but I really ought to get enough sleep this fall.
  • Finally, I want to have a lot of fun too. College is more than grades, and life is more than a resume. I have a “K-State bucket list,” and one item in particular—trying intramural soccer for the first time—WILL be happening this semester. Stay tuned for updates on any potential injuries I may sustain!

As cheesy as it sounds, I would STRONGLY encourage you to set some goals this semester too. Try to focus on the different areas of responsibility in your life: school, any K-State activities you might be involved in (and I REALLY encourage you to get involved), your family, your friends, etc. If you’re like me and occasionally forget the importance of having fun, remember to set some “fun goals” too. You could even make your own K-State bucket list. No matter what, make sure to look at your goals regularly; this semester will go quickly, so don’t waste any time!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle