Kansas State University


Student Stories

Tag: school

Study Smarter, Not Harder

If you have a part-time job it can be tricky to balance college and work. I found a few really neat tricks to get some quality studying done while at work. It will work well if you have a campus job like me where you can do work with your earbuds in. Continue reading “Study Smarter, Not Harder”

The home stretch


I hate to be “that guy”, but dead week starts Monday and finals week starts the Monday after, the end has never been closer (in a thick, suspenseful voice). However, having gone to class all semester and battled procrastination to study and do homework, I feel somewhat prepared, and even though I have not started studying for final exams yet, I plan to just take full advantage of dead week to tackle classes one at a time in the order they come. A lot of people may be feeling very overwhelmed right now, but here is what I am going to do and I hope it works for others too. Continue reading “The home stretch”

Tests, life, and the like

As I sat in Hale anticipating my first accounting test, I stared blankly at the closed textbook in front of me; notes strewn across the table, blank notecards standing in a neat stack, and my highlighter sitting with its cap on. For some reason, instead of diving in to analyzing bank reconciliations and internal control procedures, remnants of my professor’s test preparation tips swam about my thoughts. He explained that this test won’t be like most tests. (Cue panic mode.) It will challenge us to not just regurgitate the material, but truly understand and comprehend it. He encouraged us to push ourselves to think past the course material and think about what the information truly means, not merely what it says. The class’s pre-test tension was high, and his advice was met with puzzled looks and sighs of anxiety.

The more I reflected on his test style and advice, the more I began to think about the incredible lesson lying beneath this moment. Many times we cringe when approaching a test with anything but multiple choice questions, but think about it:

How many times in life are there 4 perfectly concise options laid out before making a tough decision?

If you’re anything like me, such situations are few and far between. Most times in life, we are faced with tough decisions and must make them without full knowledge of all possible options or much time for reflection. In that moment, I understood: this professor has our best interest in mind, and is making a conscious effort to better equip us for the real world; not some world in which we answer to option B, or option C. This test serves as a beautiful example of what college is about. It isn’t about memorizing bulleted lists or terms to get an A on a test—-it’s about growing to become better at handling tough situations, learning from our mistakes, and using things that appear at first to be obstacles (accounting tests) as opportunities for growth. I then opened my textbook, picked up my highlighter, and began to study.

In summation: the next time a professor tells you their test “won’t be like most tests”, smile to yourself and be grateful for the opportunity.

xoxo, ellen

Wrapping Up The Year

As another semester quickly comes to an end, it’s important to reflect on both the highs and the lows.  It’s been a great semester and an incredible Sophomore year all together.  I can’t believe that I’m almost halfway done with college; it’s so surreal!  I sound like a parent or something, but I feel like it was just yesterday when I was at Summer Orientation enrolling in classes for my Freshman year.  Time flies by so fast in college; it’s as if I just blinked and two years have gone by!  There’s been ups and downs throughout my time at K-State, but I’ve got three important things I’ve learned from them that might help you out:

1. Enjoy your time in college, but try to balance fun and school work.  It’s easy to get caught up in all of the fun things that K-State has to offer; it’s important to remember why you are here though.  Getting all your responsibilities and schoolwork taken care of should always come first, but don’t forget to reward yourself for accomplishing your work.  Too much fun can lead to poor academic performance, and too much work can drive you crazy!  Finding the balance that’s right for you is a key to success in college.

2. You’re not alone — there are over 24,000 students here at K-State, and that means that there’s got to be people here that are going through the same thing you are.  Whether you’re stressed about a class, trying to find someone to talk to, or trying to get involved with something, there’s resources out there available to you.  The teachers, faculty, and K-State student body as a whole are collectively the best bunch of people you’ll ever meet.  The community here is unlike anywhere else, and everyone here truly cares about your well-being.  Joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to become instantly plugged in to K-State and a guaranteed way to find people with similar interests to your own!

3. Get involved!  Academics are the reason you’re in college, but involvement is what really makes your experience meaningful.  It doesn’t matter what you get involved in either!  There are literally hundreds of student organizations you can become a part of, and there’s something out there for everyone.  Whether it’s a leadership role in your house or residence hall, joining the Sky-Diving Club or the Harry Potter Alliance on campus, playing intramural sports, or anything else, you’ll never regret trying something out.  It’s important not to get too involved and become over-committed (like how I feel sometimes), because that can really burn you out and interfere with your academic performance.  However, my college experience has been truly fulfilling so far largely due to the organizations I’ve been a part of.

I hope you find those tips helpful in your future or current college endeavors!  I should probably catch you all up on what’s been going on with my life too.  Since my last post I’ve finalized my schedule for next semester, continued training for my teaching position, completed the Professional Advantage Program for the year by attending some really interesting lectures, assisted with our new philanthropy – Miss K-State (we raised over $3500 for the Global Service Initiative!), got an A on a Finance 450 test(!!!!!), saw my fraternity brother perform at Sunset Revival and went to a sorority formal in the same night, attended the Spring Football Game (Jake Waters v. Daniel Sams), and started and selected members for the new Honors Ambassadors Program.  It’s been so busy but so fun too!  This week is dead week, and I think it might actually be pretty dead for me for once.  The week after this is Finals Week, and then it’s Summer Break!  I might be staying in Manhattan for part of the Summer, but I’m not sure yet.  Be sure to check back; I’m going to post a picture of the girl I helped with Miss K-State and myself!

Preparing For Finals

It’s December – wait, what?!?! Since coming to college, my favorite month of the year has at times been far from care-free, brought on largely by the stress of finals week and end-of-the-semester academic requirements. To be honest, I’ve never really felt like my professors asked too much of me – I’ve mostly felt like my prioritizing and time management skills haven’t always quite been up to par. Today, I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned so far at K-State for effective end-of-the-semester management – I’m by no means an expert at this, and I’ve often found that just because I know that I should be studying doesn’t necessarily mean I do, so take my advice with a grain of salt! Here goes:

Hale Library - frequent study spot!

1. Prioritize and plan your days: with so many competing classes, work requirements and extra-curricular activities vying for your time, the simple ability to not only make a to-do list, but to make one that is prioritized, is really important. I’ve found that no matter how busy I get or how much studying I have to do, I can find comfort in a list of what I need to get done in order of importance.

2. Be disciplined: once I’ve made my list, reality sets in – I actually have to do it. No matter how good being organized may feel, hard work and discipline is still the one and only essential ingredient in the quest for success. Take your prioritized list one step at a time, take reasonable breaks, and stay active – it’ll be worth it!

3. Sleep, Eat, and Exercise: the boring stuff, right? As fun as pulling all-nighters may seem (OK, maybe people other than me don’t find that fun) and while sacrificing a bit of sleep to study more can occasionally be worth it, it’s just not maintainable over the long haul – at least not that I’ve found. In addition to getting enough sleep (or close to it), healthy eating and exercise are two other important parts of college life – especially at the end of the semester.

So there’s my advice! Nothing earthshaking or incredibly innovative, but rather the truth that I’ve found to work for me. I like a challenge – the opportunity to push myself excites me, and finals week and the end of another semester provides just that!


Life’s Good!

Just got back to Manhattan yesterday, and it’s great to be back!  I went skiing in Colorado for a few days and then relaxed in Kansas City for the rest of Spring Break.  Before I left for break, I was elected to be this year’s Silver Key Vice President.  I’m really excited about this opportunity, and it’s looking like I’m going to have another busy year ahead of me.  We’ve already had an Exec Board meeting for Silver Key, and we have our first actual meeting run by the new Exec members tonight!  Wish me luck…  I’ve still been applying for other positions, scholarships, advisory boards, etc.  If I fill out one more application, I might explode!  I’ve been keeping busy with philanthropy chairman duties in my fraternity, long range planning, and schoolwork.  I applied for the new Executive Mentor Program with the College of Business, and I can’t wait to find out who my mentor will be.  This is a really cool program that matches a student with an alumni from K-State with similar interests and majors to help with the student’s college and career planning.  I’ve heard great things about the program, and there’s even a chance that you could be matched with the CEO of Hershey’s!  Think about all the chocolate!!

I came into K-State with almost 30 credit hours from a local community college.  All of those credits, along with some helpful advice from my Business Advisor, are going to make it possible for me to graduate K-State in five years.  That doesn’t make any sense right? Wrong… In those five years, I’ll be able to acquire a Minor in Leadership Studies, a Dual-Major in Accounting and Management, and a Master’s Degree in Accounting.  I have no idea what I’m going to do after all that, but hopefully between my Executive Mentor and my diverse studies and qualifications, I’ll be able to find a great job once I graduate.  Plus, I’d get to hang around Manhattan for an extra year which would be amazing!

Halfway Through First Semester

I’m still having a great time in Manhattan, and the Cats are still winning! We had an awesome patriotic-themed date party Friday, a huge win against Missouri on Saturday, and a day to catch up on all the missed sleep on Sunday. After my one class Monday morning, I got four loads of laundry done, typed two papers, ran errands, and planned out a function with a sorority. It was such a productive day!

To anyone interested or even considering law school, I would definitely recommend joining Pre-Law. I’ve had so many cool opportunities this year already because of Pre-Law, including seminars regarding law school, informational meetings, and a chance to meet the Dean of a law school!

The rest of this week has gone really well. On Thursday, I aced a test and I had a really fun Leadership class. It’s been a long week- I’m so glad it’s the weekend! The Cats are playing at Texas Tech this tomorrow night, and I can’t wait to watch the game with some friends. I’m hoping to catch up on some sleep, and I’m hoping we’re still undefeated after this weekend. GO STATE!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Where the heck did the last week go? I’ve been sooo busy it’s insane! Since my last post, I’ve written three papers, went to four sorority houses with arms full of roses, learned the layout of campus like the back of my hand, asked a girl to our first date party (she said yes!), met a thousand new people, and have managed to find around 20 total hours of sleep. But, even with all that was going on this week, I aced my first test and have over 100% in my Honors Agricultural Economics class!

Week One @ K-State!

Hey everyone!  It’s been a whole week since I’ve been in Manhattan, but I’m already right at home.  I moved in to my fraternity house on the 16th, and classes started this past Monday.  I’ve had so much fun this week making friends and settling in to my new school!  The first few days were spent getting to know my Fraternity brothers and learning the ropes.  I’ve already got a couple helpful hints for success at K-State:

I would definitely recommend joining a Greek house – there’s 47 total organizations at K-State between the Fraternities and Sororities, and I can almost guarantee that you’ll find one that fits you!  It’s a great way to make new friends and to get help when you’re not quite sure where a class is, or where the best place to get pizza is in Manhattan!

Another recommendation I have: make sure you have enough time to get to class!  As I learned this Monday, it’s kind of embarrassing to have to sprint across campus to get to your first class on time.  Also, you might end up being really sweaty and having to stand up in the back of your packed lecture!  Lesson learned…