Kansas State University


Student Stories

Tag: Student Life

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

The Battle Between Man and Schwinn

I am happy to say that I am the proud parent of a brand new bicycle! Anyone have any ideas on what I should name it?

I'm following Lea's example. If she can do it, I sure can! Photo credit: www.people.com

It took me several months to muster the courage, but a trek from Nichols to Umberger in ten minutes pushed me to make a decision, quick. I have been nothing but happy with my brand new investment, telling everyone who would listen about my totally sustainable method of travel, but when I was ready to take it out for a spin…I had to slam on the brakes. Quite literally.

It turns out I forgot how to ride a bike (cue giant gasp)!

I was already nervous about getting back on a bike, but my nerves grew exponentially as I attempted time and again cycle around my neighborhood. I’m sure I gave someone a good laugh with my foot by foot method. My troubleshooting skills are not the best, considering I haven’t ridden a bike in at least 5 years . I can’t even believe I’m saying that considering how much I love biking!

I must have stopped and checked everything at least 15 times before I called it a night and headed home. A bit defeated, I called a friend and she almost cried laughing. You have to admit-a 20 year old who needs training wheels is kinda funny.

In the end, I decided to keep my cycling skills and my bicycle locked up for now.

But just you wait. I will be back on the roads before you know it. Training wheels and all!

7 Things Every College Student Should Be Thankful For

There’s something about the holiday season that always makes me reflect on all the things that are great about life. Maybe it’s all the cocoa and curling up next to the fire, but I always get a fuzzy feeling when I think about all the things I’m grateful for as a college student.

So here’s my list of seven things EVERY college student should appreciate:

Ever felt like this? Always remember: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

1. You have a full time job- Being a Student!

Once we’re shoved into what everyone keeps calling the “real world”, we’re going to miss the days of finals, all-nighters and, most of all, BREAKS! When is the last time you heard of a business professional getting a 3 week vacation on an annual basis? It just doesn’t happen. And unlike class, work is never cancelled.

Remember, you are lucky enough to be able to study at a University as phenomenal as this one. That isn’t always the case and I know there are a million people  who would jump at the chance to receive such an education. Cherish it, my friends. Education is like gold.

2. Anything and Everything Free

I am so so so grateful for everything I have received at no cost to me just for being a student or walking across campus. I know I need all the help I can get on a college kid’s budget, so THANK YOU to all of the organizations who donate funds and provides us with Wildcat swag.

3. Strolls (or Sprints) Across Campus

Running around from class to class may be a bit stressful at times, but with a campus as gorgeous as ours, it’s worth the walk. I can’t count the numbers of times I have I seen a sight that just takes my breath away. Just take a look!

4. Anything open for 24 hours

Hale has to be one of my best friends on campus. Why, you might ask? Because I can always depend on Hale. I’s there when I wake up, when I need help with my homework, when I forgot I have to print off a report and and have to be in class in five minutes, and for some, even a place to have sleepovers.  Hale never judges me for what I look like and never kicks me out even though it may be late and waaaay past our bedtimes.  Hale library: thank you for being a friend

5. K-State Culture

Manhattan is such a fascinating place. Here you will find people from all over the world-people here for education, employment and enjoyment. With all that makes us different, there is one thing every Manhattan inhabitant shares: a love for our purple and white. Manhattan is dripping with Wildcat pride and one of the only places I know where purple is always in style (and has been for a long time). What a wonderful place to call home away from home.

6. Oodles of Opportunity

If you had asked me what I would do at K-State a few years ago, I would have told you a number of things (what I’d major in, when I’d graduate, etc…), but this year, I have realized how much I have done (not to brag). Never in my life did I expect to experience half of what I’ve done at K-State and I can’t even to begin to guess what will come next. K-State has afforded me and many other students with so many opportunities. Not only are we, as students, encouraged to get involved in our academics, we are given the chance to grow, learn, explore and do!

7. Your Faithful Followers

No, I’m not talking about those individuals on your Twitter account. I’m referring to all the people in your life who are your biggest fans (family members, friends, faculty/staff, mentors). I know for a fact that I would be no where near as where I am today without constant encouragement, love and support from my family at home and the one I’ve come to know here. If you have anyone in your life that has gotten you to this point, show them how much you appreciate them. These times will test you in ways you never imagined, and you’ll need their guidance and advice to get you through, believe me.

Thank You!  Gracias!  Dankie!  Grazie!  Merci!  Obrigado!  Gratias Agimus Tibi

To everyone who has ever said a kind word, shared a kind heart and changed me for the better. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and only hope I can return your love and compassion.  I recently happened upon this quote from Buddha:  “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

I believe that you have epitomized his words and you inspire me to live out your example.