Kansas State University


Student Stories

Tag: 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!



Wildcats Fight the “Comfort Zone”


Meet Joe Tinker, a Junior in Psychology and the newly elected student body Vice President of Kansas State University. While it’s impossible to describe Joe in a few sentences… His ability to quote the Office on cue and his dedication to cheering on all KSU sports are just a few of his unique qualities. His influence on students at K-State comes down to his genuine care about us as individuals and as a student body. I owe many of my accomplishments to Joe’s support and encouragement. I can honestly say, I know he’s going to be a life-long friend. In this guest blog, Joe writes about the true meaning of what the K-State family is, friendship. I encourage you to read his testament to what K-State is truly about. -Cajsa 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s society has waged a war on the individual. It stresses conformity over self-expression. This philosophy is perpetuated by the socially constructed safety area that we call the “Comfort Zone”. The comfort zone is a dangerous place that the world has devised to avoid any sort of conflict or rocking of the boat. It strips us of all of the qualities that make us unique while preaching compliance above all. It is a sanctuary for mediocrity; a refuge that you can go where you’ll never fail and never grow. It’s scary to think that some people live under this shelter their entire lives and lack the courage to live out their true mission. The truth is, you were not made to live in the comfort zone. You were made to radiate to others the greatness that lies deep inside of you.

The comfort zone manifests itself as something different to everybody. To some, it may be avoiding that inner voice that we know is right but lack the courage to follow and accept the difficult but positive change that it will bring. To others, the comfort zone is a mask that we put on to hide our true self from the world. Nobody wants to be the weird kid in the room, so we fabricate a false identity in order to fit in. Think of someone that you think is “weird.” Are they not just being their true selves? How can we judge someone who deeply knows their personal mission and cares little about conformist worldly expectations?

“People won’t like me if they get to know the real me,” we reason. We hide our true strengths from others because we are worried about what others will think if they ever truly knew us. Courageous is the person who knows this fact yet still chooses to be themselves. We need to realize that nothing will ever work better for us than being exactly who we were made to be. You can’t be someone else, because they are already taken. Life begins when you let go of the false identity you constructed for yourself and allow the fiery passion that lies deep within to lead you to a wellspring of true and perpetual happiness.

If you are worried about what people will think of the real you, then it’s time to re-evaluate who you are with. Surround yourself with people that identify qualities in you that you don’t even see yourself- both positive and negative- and are willing to tell you them. I’m so fortunate to have met such authentic and sincere individuals at K-State that I get to call my true friends. These are the people that ask the tough questions, refuse to accept mediocrity, and push you to your absolute breaking point because they know your potential. Someone who suppresses your natural strengths and is disinterested in your passions is not someone worthy of knowing the real you. A “friend” who always tells you just what you want to hear is not a friend. There is no room for the comfort zone in true friendship. True friendship is emotionally exhausting and just downright painful at times. And it should be this way- as it is through these grueling struggles that we come to know ourself and flourish into the leader that we were created to be. It has been the highest privilege to spend quality time with the friends that I’ve made at K-State, and I am forever indebted to their selfless example of character and affection. 

Joseph Campbell says, “We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Today is the day you release yourself from the chains that are holding you back. Today is the day that you refuse the mediocrity that society offers.

Today is the day that your new life begins. Embrace it.

EMAW, Joe Tinker

Directionally Challenged

With everything going on (happy finals week!), it’s hard to know if we’re running away or toward something. The markers or miles stones can look the same either way. So how do we know when to turn around or keep going?

Maybe the key to solving this, is planting your self in one place for awhile. Rather than constantly moving or taking flight, take a firm stance. You might find that what you want, is actually right there beside you.

As a strategic thinker and an intense planer, I tend to become unsteady when something goes against my already made future that I’ve written out for myself. By constantly running to get to my next goal or step, I struggle to remember that the best things in life, can happen in a form of a surprise or in the memories I’m creating today.

My goal is to end this semester and the year 2014 by creating space and time to focus on the now. Studying your present relationships, joys, and to celebrate what you’ve accomplished that’s right there in this very moment right beside you. It’s time to reorient our selves and figure out which way to keep going.



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.


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!


Olympic Medal People

I have a major obsession with the Olympics—I love the competition, the 24-hour-a-day TV coverage, and the patriotism Americans show during those two weeks. The Olympics were especially cool this year because of a high jumper from K-State named Erik Kynard. Kynard exceeded expectations and won a silver medal for the United States (and wore some sweet socks in the process). These days, it’s not unusual for K-Staters to see an Olympic silver-medalist on their walk to class in the morning!

While we often think of our athletes as the only ones deserving of an Olympic medal (like our football team this past weekend!), I’d like to suggest several non-athlete leaders at K-State that are more than deserving:

1. Academic Advisors—since coming to K-State, I’ve been blown away by the quality academic advisors, always at the ready. Coming in to college, I was certain that medical school was for me, and I developed a great working relationship with my pre-health advisor, Susan Watt. When I eventually realized last year that law school was the path for me, she was more than supportive and helped me through the transition. She remains someone I can go to for advice whenever I need it.

2. Leadership Studies staff—K-State’s largest academic minor (housed in the coolest building on campus!) is Leadership Studies, and there’s no question why it’s so popular: the Leadership Studies staff members are amazing. One of the program’s most prominent professors, Mike Finnegan, recently came to my fraternity and conducted an in-depth StrengthsQuest training and facilitation—for free!

3. K-State Facilities and Maintenance staff—OK, so this one might be “out of left field,” but seriously—they do an incredible job of keeping campus looking nice. Just walking across campus can put me in a good mood, and I always look forward to showing off K-State to my friends and family from out of town.

My list has one theme in common: it’s full of people. It’s been said before, but needs to be said again: the quality of people here at K-State is what sets us apart. Whether they’re named Erik Kynard or not, campus is full of individuals deserving of an Olympic medal!


The Book of Eli

Welcome to my first blog entry, “The Book of Eli.” Catchy, eh? Whether you just happened to have stumbled upon it or were linked here by my encouraging (eh…maybe “threatening” is a better word) tweets, I’m glad you made it, and I hope you check back often.

So, for starters, who am I? I’m Eli Schooley. I’ll be a senior at K-State this fall, majoring in Political Science/Pre-Law. I live with 61 of the coolest people I know (sounds cheesy, but it’s not far from the truth) in my fraternity. I love politics, I want to do big things in life, and I live for awkward moments–I’m pretty good at creating them, whether intentionally or not. I’m into running, tennis, racquetball, Harry Potter, constitutional law, Washington, D.C., half-marathons, Greek Life, writing, current events, faith, and eating cereal without milk for breakfast. Also, I’m obsessed with Twitter and use hashtags in real-life conversations–often without thinking about it. Oh, and I’m never sarcastic. EVER. I’m a pretty simple guy, really.

Like I mentioned, I enjoy writing, so it makes sense–in my mind at least–to start a blog. I have a lot of opinions, so why not create an outlet for them? My next few months should be pretty exciting, so I think it’ll be cool to document them. I’m currently serving as president of my fraternity, which keeps me pretty busy. I’m involved with a senior honorary at K-State called Blue Key (I’m psyched OUT OF MY MIND for it!), so I’ll be mentioning it pretty often too. When I’m not studying, I like to spend large amounts of time running, eating food from Sonic, and watching terrible reality TV–often with my roommates at 3 a.m. Life at college is fast-paced, but I love it.

My blog doesn’t have a narrowly-defined purpose, so you can expect a wide range of topics to be covered: my thoughts on life at K-State (#EMAW), the lessons I learn as I work my way through college, and probably a lot more. My college experience can best be described as a journey. I’ve grown a lot, met a TON of cool people, and been blessed with some pretty awesome experiences–and I know it will continue. So thanks for stopping by my blog; I hope you check back often!