Orientation Station: All You Need to Know for that Special Day

Upon signing my acceptance letter for my entry-level position after graduation, I was immediately flooded with information about a process I have to partake in we K-Staters know all too well: orientation.

Yes, even as you start a new job, you have to go through orientation.

Upon seeing that requirement, it brought me back to my younger years (well more like a short 4 years ago) of when I attended orientation as an incoming freshman to K-State.

K-State Orientation is a time of a multitude of brochures, smiling people in purple, free food at the Union, and meeting with your advisor for the first time. Although this day sounds exhausting, here are some tips for making the day exciting and most productive for you.

1. Wear purple!
You are a K-Stater now! Time to start building that purple wardrobe!

2. Arrive a few minutes early!
You will be let in right at 8 am, but arriving a few minutes early will help you get your feet under you, letting you take a deep breath before all the hustle and bustle begins.

Speaking of feet…..

3. Wear comfortable shoes.
You will be walking around the browsing fair, to and from your academic advising appointment, and maybe taking a campus tour later in the day. Nothing can bring down that day faster by not wearing the right shoes and your feet hurting all day.

4. Wear something you are proud of looking at for the next 4 years.
You will be taking your picture for your student ID picture that day so the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-don’t-want-to-be-here look may not be the best decision. :)

5. Bring a copy of your transfer hours.
If you know you will be bringing in AP credit or college credit to your major, it may help you immensely to bring those along with you to your academic advising meeting so you can show your advisor what courses you already have taken so you can get into the classes that will keep you right on track with where you are as a student.

6. Ask questions of your Orientation Leaders!
At one point during the day, you will have the opportunity to be in a smaller group of students while being shown a presentation by an Orientation Leader(OL). Your OL will be a charismatic current K-State student who is just dying to answer  your questions. They can answer anything from what is the best food to have in the residence hall dining centers to where are good places to study. OL’s will be your best resource for finding out about all things K-State!

And just for good K-State practices…..

7. Do the Wabash Cannonball
There will come a point when you are sitting in a large hall in the Union will all your fellow incoming K-Staters and the Wabash Cannonball song will come on over the speaker! It is within your best interest to stand up and participate! It will make the day so fun and will truly build your K-State pride initially.

K-State does an excellent job in meeting your needs that day, along will adding extra fun here and there to help get you excited to be a Wildcat. The old saying, “The more you put into something, the more you will get out of it” really applies on this day. Take this chance to learn all about what you are interested that day so you are ready to take on K-State the first day of class in August.

And just think…..for those of you going through Orientation on June 19th and 20th……Know that there is a recent K-State grad going through her orientation for her big-girl job at that exact same moment.

We can do this, team! *deep breaths* We can do this!

As always, GO CATS!!

Heidi

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From Pot Luck to Great Luck

We have all heard the saying “The greater the risk, the greater the reward” Most of the time we think about this in the context of monetary decisions, but what about when it applies to human relationships?

Some might say I took a “risk” my senior year in choosing to live out of my sorority house and live with two biological sisters who weren’t members of my sorority. The first sister named Mollie is someone whom I had frequent interactions with via a common student organization and the other, Maggie, I had only heard about from Mollie.

Flashback to January 2013, where Mollie and I were chatting away in the Program Suite of the Alumni Center where we both serve office hours for our student organization, Student Alumni Board. I was sharing with Mollie about my worries finding a place to live my senior year since I would be moving out of my sorority house. I knew I preferred to live south of campus and didn’t know where to even start looking. At that time, I had reached out to a few sorority sisters only briefly to see if they had wanted to live together. Unbeknownst to me, Mollie offered, “Hey, we have a roommate who is graduating and Maggie and I are stressing out trying to fill her spot for next year. We live to the south of campus and the rent is super reasonable. Would you be interested in living with us?” After a quick viewing of their house, a discussion about the lease and which room would be mine, my mind was made up. I would live with these charming sisters for my senior year.

Flash forward to today, I can say with firm sincerity that it was one of the best decisions I have made being in college. Mollie and Maggie welcomed me in with open arms and it has provided nonstop fun ever since for all three of us. Whether we are talking about our admiration of Benedict Cumberbatch (see Sherlock), grabbing blizzards from DQ, or chatting about life into the late hours of the morning, I always look forward to coming home at the end of the day to see them. They have taught me how to recycle, dance, dress with style, cook, and see the world through a different lens. We even have the fortune of going to Europe together after graduation, due to our parents’ generous graduation present.

I admit there are times when we have to give and take. I buy WAY too many tortillas and shredded cheese that fill up the fridge, while they have inside jokes that go way over my head. We had to figure out how to sort through what was clean and not clean in the dishwasher and we all let the recycling pile up for weeks before any of us take it out. But these things don’t stand a chance against ruining a great friendship that has been formed already.

For future freshman out there who are fearful about the idea of going “pot luck” or rooming with someone you don’t know or don’t know well, I am speaking from experience that it could turn out to provide you with some of the greatest friends you will ever meet. Although I can’t promise everything will turn out peachy for each and every person who decides to go pot luck, living with someone you don’t know as well will teach you compromise, respect, understanding, and general care for your neighbor that will benefit you the rest of your life. Plus, they already chose K-State, so that already entails them to be a great person ;)

This post is dedicated to two very special sisters in my life. Here’s to you Mollie and Maggie! May the rest of the semester provide more wonderful memories to come!

Go Cats!

Heidi

 

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Cats in the Capital

Check out some pictures today of my time representing K-State to our state legislators in Topeka at the State Capital. It was a super fun day and we were proud to show our purple pride along with reconnecting with alum whom currently work in public office.

Enjoy!

Heidi

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Two Chapters in One Photo

They say a picture is worth one thousand words, but can a picture sum up one person’s life entirely? For my life, this is that photo.

On a side street in Wichita, these two buildings sit. The one on the right is Blessed Sacrament Catholic Grade School. Though I did not attend this grade school, I was a part of the Wichita Catholic School system growing up and therefore attended basketball games, scholar bowl competitions, choir performances, and other events in this building. My college roommate also attended this school before attending the high school were we met each other. Though it appears to be nothing more than a building on the outside, this building represents memories of childhood and adolescence for me. This building represents my roots. It represents the family I grew up with in Wichita and the wonderful community I was surrounded by.

Moving to the left side of the photo, you will find a white house whose property line lies adjacent to Blessed Sacrament. Though white on the outside, this house bleeds purple. This house is owned by a K-State alum and his wife who generously host members of the K-State community at their house who come to hold a K-State Sunday recruiting event for seniors in Wichita who are interested in attending K-State. I have been to this house not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times as a student, once when I was a high school senior being recruited and 3 other times as a K-State student doing the recruiting.

This past Sunday, I had that fourth and final visit. As I walked into the house, memories came flooding back to me. I remembered the doorway where I took my very first photo with Willie when I was a high school senior, just days away from fully committing to coming to K-State. I remembered the pink bedroom upstairs where I recruited students the very first time as a K-Stater representing the School of Leadership Studies. And finally, I remembered the table where I stood and talked to a family who was from my high school and recruited their son to K-State that day. That house has so many memories for me……..and it isn’t even my house ;)

It was sad to walk down those front steps for the last time on Sunday afternoon. I realized that both these chapters in my life are about to close. I will no longer call Wichita “home” here in the next couple of months, nor will I be able to call myself a K-State student either.

Surprisingly, I am anticipating this change with sincere optimism.

This photo represents two very predominant chapters in my life. They were what shaped who I am today. Though very different, these worlds created synergy for my life, producing a foundation I am so thankful for and ready to share with this world.

Someday, I hope to travel down that street and glimpse into my past once again, thankful for the spectacular beginnings of Wichita and the life-changing experience of being a K-Stater.

Hopefully, that image won’t be covered in snow ;)

Have a good rest of the week!

Heidi

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A Snow Day Itinerary

9:30 am – Wake up relaxed to find snow falling quietly outside my window, welcoming the day of freedom from school.

11:00 am – Get ready for the day, after spending an hour having life chats with my roommates.

1:00 pm – Make lunch

2:30 pm – Walk 4 blocks in 9 inches of snow to meet up with some friends from a nearby fraternity where they made hot chocolate and snow ice cream to ring in the joy of the day.

3:00 pm- Make the trek to campus with those friends to the Quad on campus to engage in snowball fights, sledding, and memory-making.

4:30 pm – Find a hidden igloo in Bosco Plaza where the 6 of us friends squeeze ourselves into for a few minutes and snap a few pictures.

4:45 pm – Return home and share with roommates all the fun adventures of the afternoon.

5:00 pm  - Cuddle up with a good book (not school related I might add) ;)

6:30 pm – Walk to Houlihan’s with roommates to enjoy dinner together and talk about our Euro trip coming up in June

6:45 pm – Celebrate the fact of ANOTHER snow day to come the next day!

 

In college, we are told to keep active with classes, extra curricular activities, and pursue choices that help make us meet our career and personal goals. There is little room left for complete relaxation and days to go by without being productive. Thankfully, snow days help us push the reset button from time to time. I spent the day with people who made memories with me, talked with me about life choices, and disregarded the responsibilities of life as a college student just for a short time.

In our lives, we are going to be busy with  jobs, community engagements, civic responsibilities and much more. These, although vitally important, can pull our attention away from the most important things in our lives: the relationships with those around us. We all need a “snow day” or two to really engage with those around us who make our lives worth living. Unfortunately, the busyness of our lives can pull our attention away from it.

My advice to you: make sure you take some personal “snow days” once in awhile to relish in your friendships and relationships around you.

I know I certainly did yesterday!

Stay warm out there, K-State Nation!

Heidi

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My Last First Day

Ok….so it really was probably in August as that is considered the “traditional” first day of school, but for the sake of the blog, let’s go with it.

Today, I made the cold trek to my last first day of classes in college EVER! I had a few moments to realize the magnitude of this day as I walked briskly, hands stuffed in my pockets, listening to my iPod, and burying my face in my scarf.

Today would be the last time I would receive a syllabus and eagerly jot down my exams coming up this semester.

Today would be the last time I would hesitate in the front of the class for a split second as I made the all-important decision of where to take a seat that I would sit in for the entirety of the semester.

Today would be the last time I would stand in front of my classmates and share my name, major, hometown and fun fact in order for my classmates to “get to know me”.

Today, I realized I will only have one more finals week, one more Spring Break, one more basketball game as a student vs. the other school down the road ;) , and one more semester of carrying a backpack. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about that last one!

Looking back on these past 7 semesters, I truly believe that I went to the best school I could have ever chosen. How did I know this? Because I was glad to be going back to school today. I was glad to receive those last syllabi, choose that last seat, and write my information down for the sake of my teacher. Today meant that K-State still isn’t quite done with me. There are still things to be learned, mistakes to be made, friendships to begin, and memories to create. I can’t wait to see what this semester holds. My goal for this semester is to truly define what K-State has meant to me so that my experience will be etched in my heart forever as a “spot I love full well”.

This isn’t the beginning of the end. It is merely the best chapter in the book.

Happy first day back everyone!

Heidi

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Service in the Heart of Texas…. K-State Style!

K-State’s emphasis on service knows no bounds. Students leave K-State with an arsenal of knowledge in their particular field of study, but also come away with a deep understanding of the importance of serving one another.

Last week, I had the fortune of being a part of a program called Alternative Breaks through the School of Leadership Studies. This program allows teams of students to travel to different locations around the U.S. and learn about a specific social issue. My team went to Fort Worth, TX where we engaged with those experiencing homelessness, along with assisting shelters and resource centers to fulfill their missions to serve these people.

I can say without a doubt it was one of the best trips I have ever taken! Our eyes were opened to the needs of those that surround us everyday and the importance of serving people to help meet their basic needs.

We worked closely with the Day Resource Center of Fort Worth, providing resources and creating individual connections with people who used the services at the center. We spent time at the Salvation Army where we served dinner to 200 hundred people in a matter of an hour, 3 nights in a row! We spent a morning at a shelter where we sorted thousands of canned food items to be stored, along with spending some time to maintain a garden nearby. The work was hard, but the looks on the faces of those we served was the best compensation for our hard work that we could receive. 

The staff at each of the locations we served were so grateful to host us and learn about us. They asked us questions about Kansas, often criticizing us for bringing the cold weather down with us ;) and talking sports with us due to the immense success K-State basketball has been having. We even met one gentlemen who is an alum of Texas Christian University who provided us tickets to go watch our Wildcats take on the TCU Horned Frogs while we were there. We were in such awe of the hospitality and kindness we were met with wherever we went!

Looking back on this trip, I understand that service is a universal language. When we have the ability to humble ourselves and place the needs of others before us, the opportunities to make relationships become endless.
At K-State, you will find service at the heart of all things we do. We recognize that we have been blessed with the opportunity to obtain a wonderful education, but acknowledge that becoming a true steward to the world is by maintaining an attitude with human service at the core.

Service can change a heart for the better. Let K-State be your stepping stone to a life full of fulfilling service!

Go Cats!

Heidi

 

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Take a Study Break!

Yup…..I said it.

Finals week is that time of year where it becomes the fad to barricade yourself in the library, a building on campus, coffee shop, etc. to spend hours upon hours studying for the many end of the semester tests that decide the fate of that semester GPA.

Let’s be honest…. saying the words, “I have been studying for 8 hours straight through the night, only surviving on X cups of coffee”is almost a point of pride for some people. There is something to be revered about those who are able to focus on books and notes for hours and hours. I admire those people and know that their finals week will be successful for them.

With that said…..

My message to you this day is don’t be afraid to take a break during Finals week. And by break, I do not mean grabbing a granola bar out of the pantry and boiling yourself another hot cup of coffee, only to turn around and get back to studying 5 minutes later. This week is a time of study and focus, but it is also a time when you can reach out to friends that may be graduating this December, studying abroad next semester, or one’s that you know you won’t see until January 21st. Take some time this week to get away from studying for tests and focus on the friendships you have been blessed with due to your attendance at K-State. We have all heard it said, “College years are the fastest 4 years of your life” I can say that with full conviction and I am in my second to last finals week EVER.

This week, I implore you all to remember: You will not remember taking that test or writing that paper, but you will remember that Sonic run, movie night, Aggieville outing, or that hour spent on the couch talking about holiday plans.

Your GPA may grow or it may fall,
but the friendships you make will always stand tall.

TAKE A BREAK!

Heidi

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Teaching your peers….and your peers end up teaching you!

I do not plan on becoming a mom anytime soon, but I am assuming I had one of those “proud mom” moments yesterday.

This past semester, I have had the opportunity to be a LEAD 212 Class Leader for 12 students who are taken LEAD 212: Introduction to Leadership Concepts. Each Monday, I met with these students and facilitated conversation about the concepts presented in the large lecture. During the semester, we had the opportunity to collect canned food for a food drive entitled Cats For Cans! During this project, my group had to process how their work as a team impacted not only the community, but also themselves as developing young leaders.

Last night, they presented their findings to the professor and myself. There were a few points where my eyes about welled up with tears. In college, I never thought I would have the opportunity to impact a group of freshman in a teacher role. Looking back on this semester, I think they taught me more than I taught them. I kept thinking to myself, “They got it. They have obtained the knowledge better than I ever thought. ” I was blown away.

During college, students have chances to work, inspire, and lead their fellow peers. These opportunities come in either the form of holding an executive position in a greek house or organization, coordinating philanthropy events, or leading a group of 12 freshman like I did. In whatever you do, allow yourself to be taught by your peers. True leadership means serving your followers and giving them all the power to make the choices. All you need to do is be a resource and provide some guiding direction. The rest is left up to those you are leading.

Seeing my students grasp the knowledge will always be worth more than having the position next to my name any day.

You are never to old to find the true value in serving others, allowing yourself to be second to their needs. That is the K-State way!

 

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Senior Year to Senior Year: What’s the Difference?

When landing a job as a senior in college, one would think that stress immediately goes away.

“I have a job. Now I can just breeze through the rest of my senior year. There is no need to stress” is a common thought I have on a daily basis. Let me reassure you…..stress does not go away, it merely changes face.

During these past weeks of realizing that I have a plan after college graduation brings me back to my senior year of high school.

“I know where I am going to college. I can just breeze through the rest of my senior year. There is no need to stress”

Hmm…these two thoughts sound very similar :)

We have come to that point in our lives as young adults where we will be making some exciting, yet life changing decisions: Where to attend college, what to major in, where to get a job after graduation, where to live after graduation, etc. This list goes on and on. What I have found is that those stresses we encounter at each of these turns in our lives look very similar at each point.

Here are some similarities:

The same stress an incoming freshman experiences when trying to decide what residence hall = a new college graduate finding a new apartment in KC.

Leaving your friends in high school for the time being = saying goodbye to college friends for the time being.

Acquiring responsibility for paying for your education, books, a residence hall room on campus = acquiring responsibility for paying for rent, insurance, all meals, gas, etc. for the rest of your life.

Taking responsibility for all your college coursework, attending class, and making connections with your professors = taking ownership for your role in a company, making sure you arrive to work everyday on time, and connecting with your boss and employees.

Now…don’t get me wrong. These stresses are time consuming and can take energy, but they are exciting! Don’t think that you need to have your life all put together by the time you step onto campus at K-State. I sure did not :) And some may argue….I still don’t :)

Your time as a college student becoming a young professional is all about making mistakes, trying something new, and becoming the best version of yourself. I would argue that the journey is better than the destination.

My portion of the journey has brought me to this interchange of college to the real world, while high schoolers are arriving at the interchange of high school and college. My best advice to you: Grab the wheel with both hands and don’t look back. These next few years about to be the best of your life!

I know mine have only just begun! I can’t wait for it to begin!

Go Cats!

Heidi

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