I love what I do, and I feel really grateful that I can say that. That thought made me think even more about why it is I am yet to dread anything I do and unlike a lot of people I do not have any miserable tasks hanging over my head. This is an “explore as you write” kind of blog-post where I just threw a random thought or feeling onto my laptop screen and at this point I do not even know where I am going with this.
There is always that one class you take with you after college. Whether it’s a soul-baring writing class or a tough-as-nails statistics course, this one class leaves its mark on you and challenges you to stretch the limits of your brain and redefine your comfort zone. Read on to learn which classes at K-State spurred our student bloggers on to great new heights and why!
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.
As a co-chair for the Union Program Council, UPC, here at K-State, I get to plan several amazing events each year and help with many others. It is always a great thing when we have an event like Kevin Hart be so successful after all the hard work that goes into it. Continue reading “What Now K-State?”→
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.
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.
Junior year is a special year for us in college. We’ve mastered the Wabash and can recite the K-state fight song in our sleep.ISIS is a piece of cake. Adding classes, no problem.We finally know our way around campus without looking at the online map.We’ve established our favorite study place in Hale (if anyone beats you there, you become slightly unraveled).No money in the bank, but you know you have that $10 of free printing.But here’s the thing, as awesome as that is…There are some weird feelings about being a Junior too.We’re leaving K-state in not too long… Most of us are over half way done.Now more than ever, I think it’s crucial to try to focus on why you came to K-state. You chose to be a part of this family for a reason. Spend any extra time that you have (I know it’s not that much, but the little time you do), creating a legacy. Utilize your energy and help the new generation create the experience you had. Focus on what made you fall in love with our campus in the first place, and do what you can to help it grow..Yes, K-state is evolving and changing… just like we are.With the time we have left, make the effort to keep going strong. Don’t phase out. This is our time to push even harder to make K-state a closer and greater family.#CreateYourLegacy #EMAWCheers,
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!
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!