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Stressed Out of My Mind

It’s that time of year again.  A test and paper in one class, a project in another, plus a few more papers, projects and tests in the rest can make for an extremely stressful time.  Then when you add working a job and trying to make time for a social life, things can get out of control and suddenly you find yourself in a downward spiral.  Thankfully, there are some simply things you can do to help manage your stress better. Continue reading “Stressed Out of My Mind”

Your ACT Score Matters… For One Year

My junior and senior year of high school, I stressed and studied and obsessed over my ACT score. I took an ACT prep course online. I studied old tests. I took practice exams, all in hopes of earning AT LEAST a 28.

I got a 27.

I got a 27 three times.

Is 27 a bad score? No. It easily got me into the only college I wanted to go to, K-State. It helped me receive several scholarships. It is 6 points above the average national score of 21. My parents were pleased and proud of me, yet I felt like a disappointment for not earning my elusive goal of 28.

When I came to college, I realized something. My ACT score holds no value here.

My professors don’t care. My classmates don’t care. My current and future employers don’t care. My friends don’t care except to tease me about it.

Your ACT score truly does not matter once you are in college. It won’t matter after. Don’t let it freak you out. Study, prepare, sleep and eat well before the test, be on time, and do your best. Don’t let it take over your life.

There are a few essential ingredients for success that the ACT doesn’t measure. These include communication, will power, creativity, innovation, problem-solving ability, work ethic, dependability, and kindness.

Success in college and after is not determined by your ACT score. However, it is determined by how hard you work and how you treat others. Practice these skills more than ACT language usage, and you’ll be fine.

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!

Spring Break, New Updates, Enrollment, & More!

It’s been a while since my last post, because I have hardly been able to sit down and catch my breath for the past several weeks!  I’ll start with Spring Break – what an incredible time!  I went skiing in Colorado with three of my Fraternity brothers for most of the week, and it was soooo much fun!  The snow was great, and it was a lot of fun spending all that time with my friends.  I also got to go back to KC for a few days; I really enjoyed seeing my family and Roxie since I hadn’t been home all semester.  It was right back to the grind once I got back from Spring Break, but that was a much needed vacation!  Since then, I’ve had boat-loads of meetings, a couple tests, and a couple papers due.  I started training for being a Student Teacher next semester, got into Business Ambassadors, and became the President of Chimes Junior Honorary!  It’s looking like I’m going to have a really busy Fall Semester — surprise…

I enrolled in my classes for next semester today!  I came in to K-State with a bunch of credits from Johnson County Community College, so I get to enroll sooner than a lot of my classmates.  A tip for everyone during enrollment — enroll as soon as you possibly can!  You can set up your schedule before you enroll to make sure you get the times and teachers that you want, and then all you have to do is click a button when your time comes and you’re golden!  I’m taking a nice variety of classes next semester: Leadership, English, Management, and Accounting.  I’m going to have one class on Mondays, three classes on Tuesdays/Thursdays, and no classes on Wednesdays/Fridays!  I’ll probably end up teaching on Fridays, but this was the first time that I’ve had Fridays off.  I think next semester is going to be another good one here at K-State, and I’m really looking forward to it!  I’ll leave you with some cool pictures from my trip to Colorado.

IMAG0269.jpg Relaxin’ at the top of a cliff!

IMAG0263.jpg

Incredible view of the mountains!

What A Month!

As I’ve often said before, time literally never slows down!  The past two weeks I’ve had: three tests, two papers, countless meetings, Silver Key selections, two date parties, more meetings, three interviews, and Fake Patty’s Day!  The tests went pretty well; the meetings were mostly for Silver Key and the Professional Advantage Program; the date parties were a ton of fun; the interviews were nerve wracking (I made it into Chimes!); and Fake Patty’s Day was a blast!  As always, my sleep schedule is waaaay off – I think I might be nocturnal…  I’m still waiting to hear back from Business Ambassadors and the Peer Teaching job, but I think I’ve got a good shot at both!  Fake Patty’s Day is a Manhattan tradition where we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a week early since we’ll all be on Spring Break for the actual holiday.  Hundreds if not thousands of people come visit for a whole day of fun, and it was great seeing a lot of my friends that go to different colleges.  Yesterday we had our New Member Retreat for Silver Key.  It was a chance to help the new members get to know each other better and find out what the organization is really about.

I’ve got one more test this week and a few meetings, but Spring Break starts on Friday!  It’s crazy to think that we’re halfway through the semester; I feel like I just got back from Winter Break.  It will be good to be home for a few days to see my family and Roxie, and then I’m headed to Colorado to go skiing with some of my Fraternity brothers.  I can’t wait for the trip; I know it’s going to be a lot of fun!  I’ll leave you with a great picture of my date and I at her Sorority’s Formal!

Formal.jpgRocking the bow tie!

Snow Day!

As if the semester didn’t start off busy enough for me, it just keeps getting busier!  My calender for the month of February literally has four days without any meetings/tests/interviews/etc.  I found out this past week that I didn’t get into Student Foundation which was a major bummer.  It was an honor to get an interview though; it’s probably one of the hardest organizations to get involved in at K-State.  We had one of our last Silver Key meetings last week, and our last event was today at the Meadowlark Retirement Community.  We got to go play board games, decorate cookies, and dance with some of the people that live there!  I met a 100 year-old lady today that has lived in Manhattan her whole life!  Can you imagine the changes she’s seen over the years in this city?? I had my first test of the semester last week in Finance 450, and let’s just say I need to study harder for the next one…  We had a snow day last Thursday after getting like a foot of snow, and it was awesome having the day off!

Anderson.jpg A cool picture of snow-covered Anderson Hall!

 

Today was my interview for Chimes Junior Honorary.  I was pretty nervous about it and it was tough, but hopefully I’ll find out if I made it in the next week or so.  The interview process for Silver Key started today as well; we’ve got one hundred incredibly qualified individuals to sort through and narrow down to forty.  I’ve got another busy week coming up, including two tests on Monday, lots of Silver Key interviews, a Soaring with Eagles Reunion, the Business Career Fair, a meeting with an assistant to the Athletic Director, two applications due, and more!  I’d better get back to studying, seeing as how my test is in about six hours — until next time!

It’s Over!

After over six months of preparation, the Sleep Out for the Homeless has come and gone.  Silver Key raised over $3,000 in donations for the Manhattan Emergency Shelter!  The actual event was this past Friday night when 30 of us slept outside in order to gain an insight and raise awareness for the homeless population in Manhattan.  It went better than I could have ever imagined thanks to the hard work of the members of Silver Key.  The event featured the Mayor proclaiming it “Homeless Awareness Day”, a speaker from the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, and Salsa Dancing lessons!  It was a ton of fun, but I’m really glad it’s all over.  I feel like there’s been a million pounds lifted off my shoulders!

I’ve got two tests coming up this week, and a paper due on Friday.  It sounds like a lot, but with the Sleep Out being over with I feel like I have all the time in the world!  I’ve finally caught up on some much needed sleep, and I’m starting to get over my cold.  The Cats won a huge game this weekend, and are now ranked 7th in the nation!!!  Things are really starting to look up, and I’ll be sure to post some pics of the Sleep Out once I get them!

Almost Done!

I feel like this semester has flown by before my eyes!  My first Final Exam of the semester is next week, and I can’t believe my Freshman year is almost over.  I’ve been super busy the past few weeks, but I’ve also had some really cool opportunities.  For instance, the Higher Learning Commission was at K-State a couple weeks ago to review our accreditation.  Without their approval, a degree from our university wouldn’t mean nearly as much as it does today.  I got the chance to sit down with a few of the Board Members and tell them about my K-State experience: the ups, the downs, and everything in between.  We passed the accreditation review, hooray!

Another awesome thing that I found out about last week was my Executive Mentor.  This new program offered to Business Students matches successful K-State Alumni with current students to help mentor them.  The purpose of the program is to help students with professional advice, job and internship opportunities, and networking.  A few short weeks after applying to the program, I found out that my Executive Mentor is Dennis Dautel, the CEO of Landscapes USA and other businesses in Austin, Texas.  I got the chance to meet him at the first annual Executive Mentor Luncheon this past Friday.  He’ll be mentoring me throughout my time at K-State, and even afterwards hopefully!  I’m really looking forward to learning about his experiences and advice in the business world, and I may even get the opportunity to visit his office in Austin this summer.

Silver Key has been keeping me busy as always.  I’m in charge of all the committees, as well as the annual Sleep Out for the Homeless.  This is our biggest event of the year, and I’m already setting dates and reserving a spot for next September!  It seems as if the responsibilities and tests and meetings never end, but that’s what college is all about – figuring out your strengths and weaknesses, and how to manage your limited time.  I’m all about the all-nighters this semester to help get everything done, but I always end up paying for the lack of sleep the next day!