What Living At Iowa State University Has Taught Me

What Living At Iowa State University Has Taught Me

Moving to Ames to attend ISU, I knew instantly a change would occur.
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When you move through the seasons of life, the lessons learned will always remain. Each new beginning brings the chance for new lessons and memories to be made.

Here are the lessons Iowa State University has taught me as the beginning of a new adventure.

Always Smile

Ever heard the quote by Mother Teresa, "Let us meet each other with smile, for a smile is the beginning of love"? I truly believe flashing an elegant and shiny-toothed smile builds friendships almost instantly. I've received several comments throughout my lifetime that my smile makes others smile. You never, ever know what it's like to walk in the shoes of a stranger, and you definitely aren't aware of what they're going through. Flashing a smile can brighten their day and let them be aware that this pain will eventually end and remind them to keep on grinning themselves. Smiling is a genuine way to show gratitude and make new friends while you're at it!

Always Thank The CyRide Drivers (And Everyone Else, Too)

These drivers have been some of the kindest individuals I've ever met. Greeting me with a smile and a friendly hello, as well as a reminder to have a great day as I exit. These outgoing drivers have taken time out of their day, most likely away from their families, to serve you as a student and help you succeed throughout your time at Iowa State University. As I'm sure many are aware, groups of individuals on a college campus are in need of reassurance for the work they put in daily. For example, the work employees in the dining halls do to make sure food is available for the taking, the counters are sanitized, the dishes are washed, and so much more. Or the janitors some pass in the halls without a second glance, cleaning the bathrooms and taking care of the entire floor. How about the ones that swipe your card to get you to your favorite gym on campus? The least you can do is thank them.

Remember To Call The Important Ones In Your Life

I think it's fair to say that being a freshman in a new, very large university is a bit overwhelming. However, reaching out to the loved ones in your life helps dramatically. This doesn't just include Mom or Dad, although they definitely deserve a call after guiding you this far in life. A simple five minute phone call to your best friend from back home could not only ease the stress of a busy day of your own, but also theirs too. Two birds with one stone, right? Don't forget to reach out to the ones that have supported you as well, whether that be through a 'life update' on Facebook or as simple as a text. The ones who stay behind the scenes deserve to stay in touch with the ones they love and support!

It's Okay To Not Do As Well As You Thought You Would

As a student in high school with a 3.7 cumulative G.P.A., while competing in multiple sports, as well as balancing a job and having a social life at the same time, I've learned it is definitely okay to not do as well as you thought you would in college. The transition from high school to college is truly as tough as everyone says it will be. I remember thinking in high school that I'd be just fine if I stayed with my study routines, note-taking skills, sleep schedule, and more, but unfortunately, it isn't that easy. It's okay to admit you are struggling in a class, even if you think you shouldn't be. Nothing worth doing is easy; and although nothing about college is easy, it's definitely worth doing.

Never Forget Where You Came From

I came from a small town in Iowa, where we had multiple events going on during the summer breaks as well as beautiful parades and breath-taking decorations for holidays. I'm the middle child in a family of five, who has had her own struggles and overcame them. Moving to Ames to attend ISU, I knew instantly a change would occur. I had to be more careful driving around town, find my new favorite food shops and ice cream parlors, as well as find my new favorite study spots. There is nothing quite as satisfying as arriving home, taking the back roads you know so well, without a GPS. Nothing quite as satisfying as eating at your favorite one-of-a-kind restaurant that only your town provides. And to top it off, there is nothing more satisfying than coming home to arms wide open, to your family.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Brockman

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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