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Tag: tips

Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life

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.

Is it that I find the silver lining in everything? Is it that I am too easily entertained? (I would put my money on that.) Or is it that I coincidentally have a knack for everything I do? (I would NOT put any money on that- at all.) Continue reading “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”

Blogger Roundtable: You Must Take This Class

What's your favorite class at K-State?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!

Continue reading “Blogger Roundtable: You Must Take This Class”

It’s all in your head

One thing I learned last Saturday was that the way you hold your piece of charcoal makes the most difference in the flow of your drawing. I like the believe it’s the same with the way you hold on to certain feelings that affects the flow of your everyday life. Process of drawing with charcoal by artist Anita Lehmann.

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.

Finals Week Prep

So it’s Sunday, the night before the Finals Week. Time to freak out, right? No! Finals week can be stressful, but as I am going into Finals Week and the end of my junior year, I think I’ve finally developed a strategy to help me get through this week with as little stress as possible.

Embrace the stress.  “Whaaat?! Embrace the stress? What does that even mean?” Well, to me, it means accepting that you might feel a bit stressed and tired. It means resisting the urge to curl up in bed or watch Netflix because it feels like you have too much to do and you’ll never accomplish it all. I try to remind myself that it’s only a week (maybe not even that long, depending on when your finals are) and then its summer break!

Sleep. No seriously, get some sleep! I always hear people talking about how they stayed up all night studying in the library before a final. I even heard a story of someone who stayed in the library all night, and brought their toothbrush and clothes to change into before their final. That just sounds awful to me! I won’t sit here and tell you that you should never pull an all-nighter, because I definitely have and I’m sure the majority of college students have, but I’d recommend not pulling an all-nighter for a test. I mean, how much information are you really retaining at 3am? And the number of horror stories about people staying up all night to study, only to fall asleep and miss their test, makes it seem too risky to me. You can cut down on a lot of stress by staying on top of your work so your prepared at the end of the semester. I struggle a lot with this, Netflix just always seems like a better time than writing a paper you know? But I try to remind myself how much more relaxing Dead Week and Finals Week will be if I get it done ahead of time.

Talk about summer plans, movies, ANYTHING except finals. Sometimes when I hear people talking about finals it starts to feel like a competition. “Oh you have two really hard finals? Well I have THREE!” “Wow, you only got 4 hours of sleep last night? That sucks, I only got like 2 hours.” I think that we start to sort of encourage a negative attitude about finals. Talk about summer, family, anything to get you excited and put you in a happy mood!

These are a couple of things that I try to do help get me through Finals Week. It might not be possible to completely get rid of the stress, I mean, finals are definitely important. But they don’t completely determine  your entire future, and they don’t have to be as awful as we make them out to be. So just remember this and that there is only one week until summer break!

Good luck on finals!



Coffee. Need I Say More?

Dear Friends,
In the spirit of December, I extend a warm invitation to encourage you to spend time with your friends and family over the next few weeks. Especially as finals are quickly approaching… It’s important to surround yourself with positive people!
If you’re struggling trying to find things to do or places to meet, look no more. After hearing raving reviews I decided to check out Arrow Coffee Co., a local (I’m all about the local) coffee shop, that has it’s own unique spin on traditional coffee. Check this video out for more details.  http://vimeo.com/71831133
The minute you walk in you feel at home. With a genuine down to earth feel, my friends and I were welcomed immediately. 
Needless to say, the coffee was great and the music was on point.
Definitely check this place out!
P.S. Your first drink is FREE, no strings attached. 


Five Ways Wildcats Can Survive the Winter

We’ve enjoyed hikes on the Konza and watched the trees change color… but it’s time to prepare to battle the elements. Here are a some essential items and a few tips to beat the cold, in The Little Apple.
1.) High quality gloves-
This is the most crucial clothing item you should invest money on. Yes, we’re in college but the 50 cent gloves are not the way to go here. Find some based on what you are looking for. Warmth is important but so is convenience. Try to find some that have touch screen capability so you won’t need to take off your gloves in order to respond to a text. Also, to the bikers and long boarders, definitely look into gloves that have windproof technology. I tried to get away without using windproof gloves last year while biking to campus and it was miserable. Trust me when I say it’s worth spending the extra money to get the gloves you need.  
2.) Spill proof thermos-
Warm drinks are a necessity. Teas will help you get over colds, while coffee will help you get out of bed.  To avoid spilling hot drinks all over yourself while walking to class, invest in a high quality traveling thermos. Your beverage will stay warm and you can end up saving some money too. For example, Bluestem Bistro gives you $1 refills with a purchase of their insulated travel mug (it comes in cute colors too).
3.) Learn the secret passages around campus-
Review your K-state maps and figure out the closest route to your next class. Try to navigate a route that uses as much indoor space as possible.
4.) Warm socks-
Ask for wool infused synthetic socks for a holiday gift. Wool socks tend to be a little expensive, so ask for these beauties as a stocking stuffer. They’re perfect when your bedroom is a little chilly and when it’s time to truck onward to class. They also help wick away moisture that may cause blisters down the road. Manhattan Running Company and Pathfinder are two local stores that carry these products
5.) Carry lip balm with you-
This has multiple uses; not only does it save you if your lips are chapped from the wind, but if your hands are red and cracked you can always swipe some on target areas.
Remember, winter isn’t all that terrible. The best memories on campus can be made in the snow.
Get ready- it’s almost time to start wishing and asking President Schulz for a snow day on Twitter!

Dedicated to My Fellow Juniors #CreateYourLegacy

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 #EMAW

Nailing the interview

While your campus tour guide might have told you about all of the great job opportunities available to K-State students or the 475+ organizations we offer to get involved in, they might not have mentioned that some of these things require an interview process to get in. For those of you (much like myself) whose heartbeat began racing and muscles tensed at the mere mention of the word “interview”, I’ve compiled a list of tips that have been shared with me over the past three years of my college career to help subside the panic and do your best in these challenging events.

After high school, several interviews will be built around “behavioral-based” questions. If you’re anything like me, I was clueless as to what that event meant, let alone how to go about answering them. With a little help from our friend Google, you can search the most commonly asked questions—and then think about how you would answer them. While you won’t know exactly what your interviewer will ask, you can at least anticipate possible questions and avoid being completely bewildered.

One of the most helpful things I did for myself in regards to prepping for behavioral-based questions was essentially mapping out major leadership or life experiences that have had a significant impact on who I am/how I lead. Brainstorm times you did really well on a group project or achieved a tough goal. After that, think of times you really blew it. And no—I’m not kidding! We experience the greatest lessons by failing big-time, and then bouncing back and learning from it. Potential employers and organizations want to know that yes, you are capable of achieving, but also that you are able to accept your mistakes and show resilience.

This one might be second-nature, but always be prepared to speak to why you are best fit for the position you’re interviewing for. Hint: don’t simply say “because I want it!” Think about your strengths and skill set and relate those things to the position description. Use specific examples as to how your strengths would play out well in said position.

While you can run yourself ragged trying to prepare for questions and anticipate every situation you might face, that’s only half the battle. I’ve felt incredibly prepared for an interview, but then blew it because I got no sleep the night before or was flustered when I entered the room. Get good rest the night before. Eat your favorite breakfast. Wear your snazziest blazer. Show up early and give yourself time to focus, whether that means a little pre-interview meditation, a mini self pep-talk, or simply time to focus your energy. It’ll pay off.

Last but not least—let your personality shine through everything you do. Don’t be afraid to be yourself! An employer or organization would much rather have someone who can be honest and genuine over a robot who answers every question with precise execution.

Remember that practice makes perfect, and that the more interviews you go through, the more comfortable they get. Ask for advice from others who have gone through similar things. Always be learning. Always be improving.

xoxo, ellen

Roomie Survival Guide

I went “potluck” and was assigned my roommates. It was the best decision that I could make and I think it was a great experience. I am even continuing to live with one of my roommates! I know it can be scary when you go from not talking to strangers to living with people you might have never met before, but I have a few tips to help you navigate this new relationship.

1) Open communication is essential. Always address issues as quickly as possible, before grudges can develop. Try to always include everyone involved in the matter in the discussion. Things may get heated and a “pause” may be necessary to resume conversation at a later time when people are more calm and rational. Overall it is really best to just get everything out of the way and out of your system.

2) One way to facilitate this kind of openness is to make a “Roomie Agreement” and amend it as necessary as time goes on, but to stick to it. Residence Assistants and other hall staff have a sheet you can use as a starting point. Make sure to address how to handle issues that arise in the future as well as prioritizing . For example, does your roomie expect to be asked politely to clean the shower when it is their turn? Simply asking not ordering can make a huge difference and will preserve the peace in your new home.

3) Get to know your neighbors. If you share a bathroom, floor, or hall you will probably interact at some point. You might as well start things on a good foot. Your RA and the rest of the hall staff is also worth befriending. By the end of my time in the hall the front desk knew me by name and it was just very pleasant to see friends every morning.

4) Know when to hold them and when to fold them, if things are out of control you can talk to hall staff and your roomie about switching rooms. Especially when you share your room with more than one person. You deserve to be safe, healthy, and happy. Your home should be a place of NO JUDGMENT where you can be yourself.

5) Don’t be afraid to go potluck. Living with friends and family presents a challenge if things don’t go well and you can still make time for them even if your aren’t sharing a room with them.

Personally, I can’t wait to move back to Manhattan! 42 days!