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Was I Accepted? – By Guest Blogger Alyssa Kirk

For most of us, the only thing we have known is school. We started out by going to pre-k (not all of us did this, but some of us did), we moved on to kindergarten, elementary,  intermediate, middle and then to high school. Some of us went to get community college, others went straight to university. What happens after the four (maybe five) years it takes to get your undergrad. Continue reading “Was I Accepted? – By Guest Blogger Alyssa Kirk”

Home is Where the Heart is

Homecoming has come to a finish for the 99th year.  The Wildcats won 23-0 against Texas and the weather was perfect.  This year’s overall homecoming theme was K-State Coast to Coast.  It represented the journey across the nation to K-State and how we have “family” across the nation and around the world.  12 Greek Pairings, 4 Residence Life Pairings and 17 Student Organizations participated in the week’s events.

The week kicked off with the annual 5K Run/Walk with almost 900 participants.  Sunday ended with Pant the Chant at Bramlage Coliseum in which Greek Pairings and Student Organizations competed in a contest similar to a step-show.  Tuesday brought Paint the ‘Ville and Wildcat Request Live to Bramlage Coliseum.  Paint the ‘Ville is a competition where participants receive a window within Aggieville and have 7 hours to paint a picture on it according with the Homecoming theme.  Wildcat Request Live is a talent show in which Greek Pairings create a dance routine to a song of their choice incorporating their theme for the week.  Thursday, hundreds of little ghouls and goblins came to the K-State Student Union to take part in the Children’s Carnival which is co-sponsored by the Union Program Council. Each group participating sets up a booth in which children from the community can do some fun and creative activity and usually receive a prize.  The Children’s Carnival theme for this year was Party in the U.S.A.  The parade made its way through Manhattan on Friday evening followed by the pep rally where the winners of Homecoming were announced.  The overall winners for 2014 include Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Sigma in the Greek division, Strong, Moore and Smurthwaite in the Residence Life division and Men’s Crew in the Student Organization division.  The Cats played an amazing game against Texas on Saturday morning and came out victorious.  I took the picture below on the field during the second quarter.

Serving on the Homecoming committee was a great honor for myself and an even greater way to serve the K-State community.  I would encourage everyone to apply to be on the committee in future years.


For more information on the Homecoming results from 2014 visit any of the following:

Nailing the interview

While your campus tour guide might have told you about all of the great job opportunities available to K-State students or the 475+ organizations we offer to get involved in, they might not have mentioned that some of these things require an interview process to get in. For those of you (much like myself) whose heartbeat began racing and muscles tensed at the mere mention of the word “interview”, I’ve compiled a list of tips that have been shared with me over the past three years of my college career to help subside the panic and do your best in these challenging events.

After high school, several interviews will be built around “behavioral-based” questions. If you’re anything like me, I was clueless as to what that event meant, let alone how to go about answering them. With a little help from our friend Google, you can search the most commonly asked questions—and then think about how you would answer them. While you won’t know exactly what your interviewer will ask, you can at least anticipate possible questions and avoid being completely bewildered.

One of the most helpful things I did for myself in regards to prepping for behavioral-based questions was essentially mapping out major leadership or life experiences that have had a significant impact on who I am/how I lead. Brainstorm times you did really well on a group project or achieved a tough goal. After that, think of times you really blew it. And no—I’m not kidding! We experience the greatest lessons by failing big-time, and then bouncing back and learning from it. Potential employers and organizations want to know that yes, you are capable of achieving, but also that you are able to accept your mistakes and show resilience.

This one might be second-nature, but always be prepared to speak to why you are best fit for the position you’re interviewing for. Hint: don’t simply say “because I want it!” Think about your strengths and skill set and relate those things to the position description. Use specific examples as to how your strengths would play out well in said position.

While you can run yourself ragged trying to prepare for questions and anticipate every situation you might face, that’s only half the battle. I’ve felt incredibly prepared for an interview, but then blew it because I got no sleep the night before or was flustered when I entered the room. Get good rest the night before. Eat your favorite breakfast. Wear your snazziest blazer. Show up early and give yourself time to focus, whether that means a little pre-interview meditation, a mini self pep-talk, or simply time to focus your energy. It’ll pay off.

Last but not least—let your personality shine through everything you do. Don’t be afraid to be yourself! An employer or organization would much rather have someone who can be honest and genuine over a robot who answers every question with precise execution.

Remember that practice makes perfect, and that the more interviews you go through, the more comfortable they get. Ask for advice from others who have gone through similar things. Always be learning. Always be improving.

xoxo, ellen

First Day of Junior Year

I have to admit, I was nervous. I had all of the notebooks, sticky notes, pens, pencils, highlighters, folders, and textbooks I could need but that didn’t help reassure me. How could I be nervous? It was just another day at school? Except, it was the first day of the semester. I had a new schedule, new professors, and butterflies in my stomach.

I walked into my first class of the day and within the first 15 minutes my professor took away all of my anxiety. I know how to be a student. My professors care about my success. I have the amazing opportunity to further my education and personal development at an outstanding place called Kansas State University. This year is going to be awesome!


To Do While in College: Road Trips!

Many of my friends know that I love to travel, so it’s no surprise that one of my favorite aspects of college thus far has been the road trips I’ve gotten to go on. It seems like some of the most fun, random, and at-times ridiculous things occur on road trips – whether driving in a larger city or discovering a “forgotten” small town somewhere along the way. Road trips aren’t just for finding a good laugh though; I believe they also provide an awesome opportunity to get to know individuals better, turning acquaintances into friends.

During my time in college, I’ve gone on several road trips, and made a lot of memories in the process. As a part of my fraternity, I’ve gotten to go all sorts of places: to a leadership conferences in Kansas City, to a convention in Ohio, to another fraternity chapter in Illinois, and on our annual ski trip to Colorado. As a part of my involvement in Student Governing Association, I got to travel to Washington, D.C., last Spring Break to attend a meeting with the leaders of the other student governments from around the Big XII. And of course, I can’t forget about one of the most fun reasons to hit the road: K-State sporting events. This year, I attended the K-State v. Iowa State football game in Ames, Iowa and I’ve gone to various other basketball and football games on the road.

Wherever I’ve been, I’ve had fun with the K-Staters I’ve traveled with, and at sporting events in particular, the “wildcat spirit” has made me feel like I’m at home in Manhattan, no matter how far we’ve gone. Road trips are memorable, and college schedules often afford one the opportunity to go on several of them. So get a car, grab some K-State friends, and head out on the open road! You’ll be glad you did.


Home For Thanksgiving

Being away from K-State always has a way of reminding me just what it is I love most about my time in Manhattan – what it is that has made my experience so far at K-State so incredible. While K-State provides a number of awesome services to students and opportunities to get involved, when I’m away from campus it becomes clear that it’s the relationships with the people I’ve met in college that I miss the most. Sure, K-State’s campus is beautiful, my classes this semester are engaging, and I enjoy the activities I’m involved with, but if it wasn’t for the “people aspect,” my K-State experience would not be complete.

When I left high school and set off for college (making the lengthy 35 mile drive to Manhattan!), I somehow doubted I’d be exposed to individuals who would one day become some of my best friends. Fortunately, my doubts about college friend-making at K-State were erased within weeks! While I still maintain a number of my high school friendships, I’ve been lucky to meet a number of awesome individuals at K-State. What do they all have in common? They value relationships and the people around them. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the biggest lessons I’ve learned at K-State are the true value of relationships and the importance of putting in the time to get to know those around me.

I see examples of this unique attention to relationships on K-State’s campus daily. From my former academic advisor who still offers to assist me whenever needed to the numerous members of my fraternity willing to do nearly anything for each other, it’s a fact about our university that is impossible to ignore. The bottom line? K-State has taught me the importance of relationships. As I enjoy a break at home for the next few days, I hope to live out that principle while spending time with my family. I’ve experienced firsthand the fulfillment of knowing others well, and I’ll never be the same because of it.


Leadership Appreciation

Last night was Blue Key’s annual Leadership Appreciation Reception. The leaders and advisors of all student organizations at K-State are invited to the event, and after Mr. K-State himself (Dr. Pat Bosco, Vice President of Student Life) spoke, an award was given out for Advisor of the Year.

I’ve heard Dr. Bosco speak many times, but last night he made a few points that especially stood out to me. When he speaks with alumni of K-State, it’s often not the in-the-classroom, textbook learning they remember most about their time in Manhattan; no, it’s the knowledge they gained through student leadership experiences at K-State, outside-the-classroom involvement opportunities, and real-world experiences that they remember most.

So far during my time at K-State, I feel like many of the most beneficial concepts and skills I’ve gained have come because of organizations represented at the Leadership Appreciation Reception last night. What’s more, many of the individuals I’ve been most influenced by attended the Reception, and the reasons I love K-State were on full display: here, students are trusted with responsibilities and duties they aren’t offered elsewhere. If involvement is your thing or influencing your peers is a desire you have, K-State is the place to be. Leadership is appreciated across campus, and learning in the classroom is just the start.



This week, one of my good friends Phil Harner (a K-State alumnus!) is in town for a brief visit. Now living in Philadelphia, Phil is a great example of a life-long K-Stater who’s passion for our university is obvious. I asked him to reflect on his time in Manhattan and his trip back home! -Eli

As a young alumni one of the first questions I always ask whenever I come back to Manhattan and K-State is “what’s new?”  Since I graduated in May 2011, the Flint Hills Discovery Center, Rec Center expansion, Justin Hall addition, new hotels, changes to Aggieville, Basketball Training Facility, and more all make Manhattan feel quite a bit different than when I left. At the same time, some things feel like they haven’t changed at all.

As I walked through Anderson Hall and saw high school seniors and their families meeting tour guides for campus visits, I was reminded of what a difficult time I had choosing a school. Seeing the Engineering Complex full of people late at night took me back to the days of staying up late trying to finish another Engineering Physics or Calculus assignment.

Listening to Pant the Chant practice in Old Stadium reminded me of working to memorize a complex clapping routine (2007 PTC & Homecoming Champions!). Hearing Kyle Reynolds and Javi Lopez tell the story and impact of K-State Proud made me remember the early years of the campaign.

The faces around campus change with time, but the stories and experiences are as powerful as ever.  Throughout your time at K-State, don’t get so caught up in being busy that you forget to enjoy the things that make college special. Don’t be afraid to seek out opportunities that might cause you to change. You’ll be amazed as you experience college by how some aspects of your character evolve, and how some things stay the same. Above all, enjoy your time in Manhattan- as Eli’s bio says,“YOCO”.

Go State,


Intramurals: Fun For All

If you’re similar to me, you once had dreams—or maybe still do—of being a star athlete, of bringing home the state championship, of reaching the finish line first, and maybe even of making an appearance at the Olympics.

And, if you’re REALLY similar – athletically speaking – to me, then you may have realized by now that these dreams are NOT so likely to ever be realized. I love sports, but they’re not really my thing – sure, I was OK at cross country and tennis in high school, but my chances of reaching the Olympics are, to put it gently, slim.

So what’s the answer for sports-lovers who have an ability level just SLIGHTLY below that of a Division 1 athlete? Intramurals, my friends!

I’ve talked before about my participation this year in intramural soccer, but my intramural career hasn’t been limited to that! I’ve played intramural basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, flag football, tennis, racquetball, and most recently, intertube water polo (you read that correctly!). Intramural sports at K-State are truly for everyone who want to participate – various leagues exist, and all ability levels are welcome – trust me.

Besides the good exercise and opportunity to continue my Olympic pipe dreams, intramurals are a lot of fun. I’ve played various team sports with members of my fraternity, and I have a variety of hilarious memories from my time at the Chester E. Peters Recreational Complex. If you’re like me and loved your days of high school stardom (whether or real or imagined), intramurals may be just the ticket!