Wow! Time has REALLY flown by! One day, I was just moving back to IU after an unusually hot and dry summer, and next thing I know, I'm working on cases and papers galore at the end of my fourth college semester! Here's a quick update on what's happened during my year:
This, when combined with everything else, consumed the better part of my first semester. I'm not complaining; it's probably my favorite part of college. There's nothing better than spending a full hour and thirty-five with some of your closest friends each and every day. AND I GET TO MAKE PRETTY MUSIC!!! We did some pretty fun shows this year, including our final show of the season (below), which included music from Mario and Angry Birds. And as soon as the football season ended, it was on to Big Red Basketball Band! This year, I played at all women's games, and I also got the chance to sub for friends at a few men's games, which was super exciting this year! I'm SO glad I chose band!
Crap Happens...Deal with It.
As much as I love my family and as nice as it is to visit home every now and then, I think I can honestly say that my worst college memories will be of unexpected trips home. Although I certainly should have known such things would happen, it never crossed my mind until...well, it happened. Last semester, I had to have emergency surgery, which meant I had to drop everything, pack my bags (for an unknown amount of time), and call my parents to come get me on about three hours notice. My family and I didn't have any sort of plan for this type of situation, so I'm extremely lucky that things worked out as well as they did.
Advice: You can't plan these situations entirely, but you can (and should) have some sort of plan in place should you ever have an emergency and need to travel home. Oh, and don't text your parents about any sort of illness or emergency. They tend to panic. Trust me; I know.
Oh, and for the record, I only missed three classes and one rehearsal in the entire ordeal. It wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared :)
Life on the Floor
Last year, a friend and I (both business majors living in the Kelley Living-Learning Center) decided that even though we both loved the KLLC, we should try living amongst non-business students in the Teter Honors Residential Community. We were a bit skeptical at first, but it's one of the best decisions we've made yet. I would almost go as far as to say that everyone should spend two years in two different dorms on campus; it gives you such a different perspective on college life, and you meet amazing people that you might never meet otherwise.
We love our floor! We spend a lot of time in the lounge just hanging out and having great conversations on every topic imaginable. On the weekends, you can typically find floor members watching movies together in the lounge or playing Just Dance or Cards Against Humanity. We walk across the street and grab Pizza X or Red Mango - It's a great time!
Advice: Live in a Living-Learning Community. It's a great way to meet people with similar interests. And don't be afraid to spend your second year in a different dorm or neighborhood - it's a great way to meet even more amazing people.
An Emotional Day
October 27th was a huge day for me. It was the last time I zipped up my beloved FFA jacket. Ever.
I was very involved in FFA in high school, so much so that my advisor and his wife are like family to me. There were many weeks that I spent more time with my "FFAmily" than with my actual family. I competed in crops judging and parliamentary procedure and operated my own asparagus enterprise, and I was very successful. Because of my success and involvement in FFA, I was awarded the American FFA Degree, the highest award given by the national organization, awarded to less than 1% of membership. Upon receiving this award, though, members complete their FFA membership and must hang up their jackets...forever.
This was an extremely emotional event for me. I had great experiences in FFA, and although it raises eyebrows when I tell people that I was involved in FFA in high school, I wouldn't trade it for the world. My blue jacket and I had been through thick and thin, to contests, conventions, and even a photo shoot. I already missed FFA, and even though I knew in the back of my head it was already over, I still didn't want it to end. On the other hand, I was one of the few to earn this award. Doing so added my name to a short list of members from my chapter who had performed to this level. I am now one of only a few female members from my chapter to receive the award, and my dad and I are the first father-daughter pair of recipients from our chapter (he received his degree in 1982 in Kansas City). I knew I had to let go. When I returned to Bloomington, I closed the door to my room and choked back tears just long enough to unzip my jacket and retire it to my closet.
The Classes I'd Rather Not Take
No matter what your major, you will have to take at least one class you absolutely do not like at all during your college career. Period. For me, it was macroeconomics and accounting, and having both in the same semester was definitely a challenge. I powered through it, though, and I made it out without being beaten too badly.
Advice: Be strong. You'll question yourself in these times, but don't stress too much. It all works out in the end!
Clubs, Clubs, Clubs
These will also keep you "on your toes." IU has TONS of student organizations to choose from, and you can't find one that interests you, you can start your own! Clubs are great because you meet more people who are interested in the exact same thing as you, plus you get to do fun things with them (not to mention they often provide food)! I'm the Vice President of Promotions for the IU chapter of the American Marketing Association, a club for students interested in marketing. We get together once or twice a month and just talk about marketing, which is great for me because I just can't get enough of it!
Advice: Join a couple of clubs as soon as possible. It makes college that much more enjoyable, and having more than one place to be involved helps you discover what your true interests are.
On the Road Again!
No, it's not nearly as exciting as my trip to India last summer. I love traveling, though, so even small trips make me super excited.
In late September, I went on the annual away trip with the Marching Hundred to the Chicago area. We played at two games: one at Highland Park High School, plus the IU vs. Northwestern game. It was a blast - there just aren't too many things better than a weekend away with some of your closest friends! When we weren't too busy with band stuff, we explored the neighborhood and found a fantastic halloween store. We just had too much fun with these glasses!
In January, before I'd even finished my first week of classes, I took two days off to job shadow at the Kohl's corporate headquarters in Milwaukee. It felt really odd to email professors I'd never even met to tell them that I was missing their class in the first week, but it was totally worth it. Shadowing at Kohl's was like a buffet of all things marketing, and I didn't feel even a little bit guilty going back for seconds! Milwaukee is such a fantastic city and my day at Kohl's was so great that I really didn't want to leave! At least I got to come back to Bloomington; it's pretty great too.
The next weekend, it was off to Chicago with the Teter Honors Residential Community. We spent a three-day weekend exploring the city and had a blast! I definitely should have been in Bloomington catching up from my travels the previous week, but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to travel with friends. I think it was worth it in the end.
Advice: Take advantage of every opportunity you possibly can. You won't regret it.
Lots and Lots of Studying
It has to happen sometime, right? With all the other things I find myself involved in on campus, I often find myself studying at really, really odd hours. Fortunately, there is always at least one other person awake and studying, no matter how ridiculous the hour. Having such an unusual schedule does make adjusting to the non-college world a challenge over breaks, but I enjoy everything else I do so much that the late nights and lack of sleep seem like a small price to pay. I think it's worth it, 100%.