archived, articles, graduation, kansan, ku memories, Senior Year, words from my heart, writing from the heart

From my personal archives: "Advice from a recent grad: What I wish I had known…"

[Graduation, May 2012, with Prof. B. One of the classiest, sassiest, most inspiring women I’ve had the privilege of having as a mentor.]


This is a column I wrote for our college paper, The University Daily Kansan, in 2012 for its Back to School issue. I wrote it specifically for KU students but feel college students from all over could relate to it as well. (At least, I hope so.) I hope you don’t mind me sharing it… p.s. this is before the copy editor polished it. The online version is not yet available. I apologize for the errors.

As my time as a student comes to end, I can’t help but reflect on the past five years (victory lap!) while Vitamin C’s “Graduation” plays in my mind… I’m not going to put you through that, but I would like to share some words of advice.  

I’m going to go ahead and get the cliches out of the way first: College flies by. Get involved. Take advantage of the opportunities. Have fun. Study hard. Don’t take these four (or five, or however many) years for granted. Be safe. You will someday look back on this time and miss it. You will. 

Now that those are out of the way (yet, so very true) I am going to add a few of my own “what I wish I had known while at KU” lessons. 

1. The library has the best, I repeat, best resources. Learn how to use them. I’m not even saying necessarily for your projects or papers, but did you know they have an entire DVD section? Or an entire row in the stacks dedicated to Scandinavian Royals? Me neither. I didn’t know this until my last semester. They also have subscriptions to some of the raddest, most expensive websites and databases in the world. If you want a book, they will find it and help you get it into your hands. Any book. Even if it’s flippin’ Amelia Bedelia, they will make it happen. Explore your hobbies and interests now. You have the best resources to do so.  

Also, most of your Western Civ. texts can be found online for free. Most of them are public domain and can be found on google books or somewhere of the like. Wait until after you find out how much of your textbook you’ll use in other classes, then you can decide if it’s worth buying. You can always find rentable texts in different libraries and departments. Honestly, I didn’t use 85% of my textbooks.  

2. Eat at the dining hall. I know, I know, it gets old. I felt the same way. But oh, how I wish I would have listened to my older siblings when they said, “Enjoy it now, because when you have to cook yourself, it’s the worst.” Seriously. My sister would still own a pass to Mrs. E’s if she could get one for her and the rest of her family. After all, who could ever tire of a cereal bar? I think I’ll miss that the most… 

3. Talk to your professors. They are people, believe it or not, and (most) are there because they really do want to help you learn. And (most) are experts on extremely specific topics. And (most) want to tell you about what they know. Go to office hours, email them if you have questions. Know what is worth debating and what is not. That extra credit you turned in and got five out of ten, let it go. Unless, of course, they are blatantly wrong. 

4. Put down your phones and talk to the people around you. After college, you’re probably rarely, if ever, going to be around so many people in the same life stage/situation as you. Everyone is here trying to get a degree (and do so while making the best of it). We’re all on the same playing field–help eachother out. Meet people who are interested in your same hobbies. You may never again see people with the same interests on a daily basis. But don’t stick to only groups that agree with what you think or like what you like. Explore different groups and make friends with all kinds of people. This is how you learn. 

5. I think this is probably the most important thing I wish I had known: Take control of your course order. I wish I had taken more general education classes at the beginning and avoided diving into so many major-specific classes. I have more than 12 credit hours that do not apply at all to my degree. I should have been more open to the idea I would maybe change my mind (which I did, five times) before deciding on a major. General eds: Get them done. Tell your advisor you want ones that are general to many schools and can count for at least something if you change your major. Be smart about your classes. Be open to new majors. Don’t assume you will graduate with the major you started in. If you do, props. Major props (pun intended). I wish I had had my stuff together. 

But most of all get off the computer and go sledding on snow days, tailgate before games, and go to the Union movies. Because Facebook will be around ten years down the road (or so we’re told) but you won’t be on campus forever. Yes, we’re always Jayhawks, but it’s a rare time of your life when you’re surrounded by 25,000 others who hold “Rock Chalk” to heart.


I miss University more than words could ever express. This is a chapter I long to return to, but life doesn’t work that way. All I can do is let those of you going into college or currently in its throws know that this is it. These are times you will miss. Be present. Cherish every single moment.

 

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college, dreams, ku memories, life changes, life decisions, little reminders of life, may 2013, my life, post-degree

All in a year’s time.

Last weekend marked one year since I graduated from the University of Kansas.

One whole year.

In the course of a year so much can happen… and here’s the thing:

It’s not about whether or not somebody else thinks what you’re doing is right. It’s about doing what’s right for you, when you’re ready. It’s about living your life for you and understanding and taking into consideration the advice and hopes others have for you–but really, truly, at the end of the day, going to bed confident with your decisions.

Are you living your life in a way that makes you happy? A way that makes you proud? Are you being brave with your life and at least giving your biggest dreams a chance though others scoff?

At the end of the day these are the questions you’ll have to answer to yourself.

Some of us have found their way. Some have found their homes. Some have started families. And some of us, we’re still finding our way.

But you know what?

None of us are doing it right.
None of us are doing it wrong. 

All that matters is that we’re doing it the best we can.

———————————————————————————–

As for me, I’m still finding my way. I’m still fumbling and waiting and fickle. I have to remind myself that that’s OK. Daily.

But, the adventures I’ve since had are more than I could have ever expected. And truly, I’m confident about my first year post-graduation.

More than anything, if it’s been any indication of what’s to come, I am ready.

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articles, graduation, kansan, ku memories, Senior Year, words from my heart, writing from the heart

Advice from a recent grad: What I wish I had known…

{Graduation. Spring 2012.}

This is a column I wrote for our college paper, The University Daily Kansan, for its Back to School issue. I wrote it specifically for KU students but feel college students from all over could relate to it as well. (At least, I hope so.) I hope you don’t mind me sharing it… p.s. this is before the copy editor polished it. The online version is not yet available. I apologize for the errors.

As my time as a student comes to end, I can’t help but reflect on the past five years (victory lap!) while Vitamin C’s “Graduation” plays in my mind… I’m not going to put you through that, but I would like to share some words of advice.  

I’m going to go ahead and get the cliches out of the way first: College flies by. Get involved. Take advantage of the opportunities. Have fun. Study hard. Don’t take these four (or five, or however many) years for granted. Be safe. You will someday look back on this time and miss it. You will. 

Now that those are out of the way (yet, so very true) I am going to add a few of my own “what I wish I had known while at KU” lessons. 

1. The library has the best, I repeat, best resources. Learn how to use them. I’m not even saying necessarily for your projects or papers, but did you know they have an entire DVD section? Or an entire row in the stacks dedicated to Scandinavian Royals? Me neither. I didn’t know this until my last semester. They also have subscriptions to some of the raddest, most expensive websites and databases in the world. If you want a book, they will find it and help you get it into your hands. Any book. Even if it’s flippin’ Amelia Bedelia, they will make it happen. Explore your hobbies and interests now. You have the best resources to do so.  

Also, most of your Western Civ. texts can be found online for free. Most of them are public domain and can be found on google books or somewhere of the like. Wait until after you find out how much of your textbook you’ll use in other classes, then you can decide if it’s worth buying. You can always find rentable texts in different libraries and departments. Honestly, I didn’t use 85% of my textbooks.  

2. Eat at the dining hall. I know, I know, it gets old. I felt the same way. But oh, how I wish I would have listened to my older siblings when they said, “Enjoy it now, because when you have to cook yourself, it’s the worst.” Seriously. My sister would still own a pass to Mrs. E’s if she could get one for her and the rest of her family. After all, who could ever tire of a cereal bar? I think I’ll miss that the most… 

3. Talk to your professors. They are people, believe it or not, and (most) are there because they really do want to help you learn. And (most) are experts on extremely specific topics. And (most) want to tell you about what they know. Go to office hours, email them if you have questions. Know what is worth debating and what is not. That extra credit you turned in and got five out of ten, let it go. Unless, of course, they are blatantly wrong. 

4. Put down your phones and talk to the people around you. After college, you’re probably rarely, if ever, going to be around so many people in the same life stage/situation as you. Everyone is here trying to get a degree (and do so while making the best of it). We’re all on the same playing field–help eachother out. Meet people who are interested in your same hobbies. You may never again see people with the same interests on a daily basis. But don’t stick to only groups that agree with what you think or like what you like. Explore different groups and make friends with all kinds of people. This is how you learn. 

5. I think this is probably the most important thing I wish I had known: Take control of your course order. I wish I had taken more general education classes at the beginning and avoided diving into so many major-specific classes. I have more than 12 credit hours that do not apply at all to my degree. I should have been more open to the idea I would maybe change my mind (which I did, five times) before deciding on a major. General eds: Get them done. Tell your advisor you want ones that are general to many schools and can count for at least something if you change your major. Be smart about your classes. Be open to new majors. Don’t assume you will graduate with the major you started in. If you do, props. Major props (pun intended). I wish I had had my stuff together. 

But most of all get off the computer and go sledding on snow days, tailgate before games, and go to the Union movies. Because Facebook will be around ten years down the road (or so we’re told) but you won’t be on campus forever. Yes, we’re always Jayhawks, but it’s a rare time of your life when you’re surrounded by 25,000 others who hold “Rock Chalk” to heart.



I added the links for this post, not the original. ; )

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college, ku beauty, ku memories, Senior Year, spring 2012

campus in bloom.

[march 26, 2012]
[I snapped the photo above on my way to class on Monday. This is may be a measly 10 percent of tulips currently blooming on campus. These are the days I’ll miss most when I graduate in May. Because, we’re awfully lucky to rock at basketball & have one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. (Walt Whitman even wrote a poem about it!)]
What I would really like to share with you is this quote I found that seems to sum up my college experience — thus far — quite well. It’s brilliant, really:

You won’t do it at the right time. You’ll be late. You’ll be early. You’ll get re-routed. You’ll get delayed. You’ll change your mind. You’ll change your heart. It’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would. It will be better.Kate Moller

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college, college friends, jayhawk, ku history, ku memories, march 2012, my life

On how much I love being a Jayhawk…

Note: This post may be a bit out of place, but I was born and raised a Jayhawk and in less than two months I will graduate a Jayhawk. It’s such a big part of my life and I love sharing it with you. 

My beloved Jayhawks (see photo above: me & my mom circa 1991. I loved the Jayhawks even way back when) are headed to the NCAA Final Four for the 14th year.  I love the game of basketball, I love the history, I love the tradition. But most of all, I love being apart of the Jayhawk Family.

I’d love to share some links that may explain what it means to be a Jayhawk a little be more:

My friends Sarah wrote this great post on “How it feels to be a Jayhawk.”
My friend Jayson wrote a brilliant essay/article on the “The Rules of the Game: Bill Self, Kansas, and basketball history
An “ode” I wrote to our 2008 National Championship back in 2009
Our Alma Mater & Rock Chalk Chant The rock chalk chant has a rich history which you can read more about here.
Former KU, UNC, UCLA, and NBA coach and Hall of Famer Larry Brown about our arena, Allen Fieldhouse:

“I tell everybody there’s not a place around—I know Chapel Hill, Pauley Pavilion, Cameron, you name it. They are pretty special, but there’s nothing like this. All the guys who scout, I always tell them, ‘You’ll never have an experience like Allen Fieldhouse.’ This is how a college fieldhouse is supposed to be.”

Rock Chalk, friends.
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happiness, heard it loved it, heartbreak, ku memories, memories, northern germany, nostalgic, september 2011, uni 2011

nostalgic beats.

{via: tumblr.}

today i enrolled at my new university. it’s temporary and it’s quite spontaneous. a year ago i was not expecting such a change. a year is funny like that. full of surprises. twists and turns.

during this splendid adventure i keep hearing songs that take me back to different times. very different times.

in the grocery store. the radio. the train station.

it’s funny. you don’t hear a lot of hip hop or taylor swift in germany, but lately i’ve been hearing a lot of both everywhere. and every time i do i’m instantly taken back to vivid memories. good and bad.

i stop and listen for a minute. take everything in. 

i smile— when it takes me back to happy moments– while thoughts of “holy moly that was such a crazy-fun time” and “how i would love to be back there again. if only for just a minute” race through my head.

i sigh — when it takes me back to broken, weaker times. fighting goosebumps and the lump that starts forming in my throat. — and think about how much stronger i’ve become.  i sigh for the girl i was when that song was so important to me.

and allow myself to enjoy the moment. accept the present. congratulate myself on how far i’ve come. literally and figuratively.

and then.

then i get really excited for the future. because if this much can happen in one year, imagine how much will go down in the next ten years.

as for right now? i’ve got this neat beat on repeat. (oh yes. i did just accidentally rhyme that.)

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