Category Archives: College Life

What I Learned During my Freshman Year at K-State

Like many college freshman, college was a whole new territory for me. In high school, I graduated at the top of my class, knew everyone in my school, and never really had to spend time outside of school studying; however, college is the exact opposite for me. College definitely took some time to get used to and find my place among the 24,000 other students. Below are the top 5 things I learned during my freshman year at K-State.

It’s okay to not know anyone the first day!

When I first moved into my dorm room at the beginning of the fall semester, I knew very few people at K-State. Of course I knew of some people through FFA and the few kids from my high school that attend here, but as far as close friends, I had none. College is a completely new chapter in my life, a new start. It’s exciting to be able to start over and create a whole new path for yourself. So many new friends to be made. While in college, I was able to find friends that were interested in the same things I was and find my lifelong friends.

Try new things!

College is a time to branch out and try things you never thought of or had the chance to do back home. Don’t be afraid to go and sign up for that club or take that class that is outside your comfort zone. You never know what you might learn, and who knows you might end up loving it. For me, joining Sigma Alpha was something that I’d never thought I’d join. Because I decided to branch out and try something new, I have had so many great opportunities and met so many great women in the agricultural field.

Don’t bring all your clothes!

As much as I wanted to bring every article of clothing and every pair of shoes, my small dorm room wouldn’t allow it. When I moved into my dorm room in the fall, I brought way too much stuff. The dorm rooms are small, but when you over pack and bring to much stuff, you room seems even smaller. I promise you can live without the sandals that you haven’t worn since two summers ago.

Your GPA doesn’t depict your future!

All through high school I easily got straight As, but that’s not as easy to do in college. Don’t let grades define your self-worth. Of course we all want a 4.0, but it’s okay if we don’t achieve that goal. There are going to be some classes where you struggle a little more and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get an A. Your experiences, study abroad, internships, and connections made is what is really going to make you stand out to an employer, not just the high GPA.

Have fun!

Everyone says the college years are some of the best years of your life, and I truly believe that. This is where you make life long memories and friendships. You get to explore things you never knew existed and finally become the person you want to be when you grow up. Don’t just spend your days away studying for every class, set time aside to have fun and make those lasting memories, because on day you’ll graduate and your college years will be over.

In Sisterhood,

Mallory Meek

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Kansas State University, livestock, Our Sisters in Agriculture, Uncategorized



Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important.

Respect of others is a critical measure of the significance of your own life. Have you noticed as people grow older, how important being respected becomes to them? As life plays itself out and the end seems near, the only things that seem important are love and a healthy regard by those who matter to us. Respect is a measure of a life well spent, a life that was useful to others.

Men had it easy in earlier times. Regardless of his position outside, a man was the king in his own home, with wife and children pandering to every wish, tiptoeing around him and creating a respectable aura for him. Remember how Grandma treated Grandpa? Or, how our parents barely spoke with their own Dads out of a respectful fear and a distant regard? Grandma made sure to create a respectful aura around the man of the house, and he reveled in that feeling of regard.

Such respectful pandering creates an aura around a person, which forces others to look at him in a new light, a rub off from the regard of others. Those men earned that respect merely by being the providers and protectors.  As roles diffused, the man’s aura diminished and he came to be treated as less God-like. Now he had to earn that respect by other means. Some accepted this easier than others.

Respect does have a ripple effect. You tend to respect those who are respected by others. And so, it becomes important to be respected by those immediately around you. Certainly there is a regard you gain by sheer dint of your position or your relationship to someone. But far more precious is the regard you earn through who you are, how you conduct yourself, and how you interact with others.

The first step towards gaining respect of others is to be able to respect your own self. The confidence and aura that a healthy self-respect gives is unmatchable. It serves as a magnet that attracts the regard of others. In order to respect yourself, you have to live and conduct life on your own terms, in a sincere and honest fashion. Understand what you value most, and then live by your values. Curiously, self-respect increases further when you see others respecting you for your qualities or contributions. And so it becomes a golden circle – self-respect arouses respect in others, which further enhances self-respect!

The second step is to respect others. When you do that, you attract respect back. Respecting another means to treat all as equals, make time for them, and appreciate them. It means lending an ear and letting them know they are important to you. Inculcate the belief that in some way everyone is better than you at something or the other. This nurtures humility, which is an attractive, respected quality.

Living by your values ensures that you are consistent and dependable. People appreciate dependability. It is a virtue that earns you a reputation like nothing else.  So, always keep your word and do what you promise if you wish to earn people’s respect. Say what you mean and do what you say.

Sticking to the truth no matter what the provocation or outcome is a laudable quality that earns you high regard from all. Always doing what is right earns you lasting respect. Don’t just do what is expected of you – everyone does that anyway. Step up to participate in causes you believe in, and to speak up for what is right.

Respect is the outcome of integrity and generosity of spirit in personal as well as public life. Both are important. One at the cost of the other exposes your underbelly and leads to loss of reputation. Inculcating a passion and pursuing excellence in public life, and ensuring a good character in personal life, are the keys to earning respect all round.  It is when you are above reproach in both that you gain lasting respect and love from those around you. Respect cannot be taken from someone you bully, it’s earned from a life-time of self-respect and integrity.

In Sisterhood,

Dandi Thomas.

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Fellowship, Kansas State University, Leadership, Our Sisters in Agriculture, Professional, Sigma Alpha, Uncategorized

Sigma Alpha Halloween Party

On October 26, 2011 the Alpha Omega chapter held a Halloween Party, hosted by active member, Lauren Rumbaugh.

Sigma Alpha members dressed up with their sisters in themed costumes. Theme ideas included The Three Blind Mice, cliché sayings such as who cut the cheese, iPods, Wizard of Oz, Decades, Royal Flush, and many others.

Along with the costumes and fun social time with the other Sigma Alpha girls, there were also hot dogs, and various side dishes with a small bonfire. Costumes from each family were very creative and it was a blast to watch as the other sisters described their ideas.

After introducing the costumes, the girls were put on two teams and mummy wrapped two girls in toilet paper to see who could get it done the fastest. I feel it’s safe to say that it was a great time for all the girls who were in attendance.

After the first part of the week being hectic with club activities as well as exams, it was a great stress reliever for myself, and a great way to catch up with a lot of my friends that I don’t always get the chance to talk to in business or professional Sigma Alpha meetings.

Social meetings are a wonderful way to see what your sisters are up to not only in professional but in everyday life, and it gives you the opportunity to gain advice about courses and personal life from the actives as well.

Until next time,

Bridget Hoover – Membership Candidate 2011

By Bridget Hoover

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Filed under 4 Pillars, College Life, DIY, Kansas State University, Sigma Alpha, Sisterhood, Social

Life of a Coach

So I’m trying something new — serving as the Assistant Coach of the KSU Dairy Judging Team. I loved my time spent on the team; I learned SO much about myself and the dairy industry as a whole!
Now, coaching is an entirely different process. Sure, I’m still judging cows and heifers, but I also get to teach the other K-State judgers how to defend their placings using oral reasons. As a communications major, talking has never been hard for me … but learning dairy terms proved to be challenging.


This past weekend, I coached the Kansas 4-H Dairy Judging Team at the NAILE (North American International Livestock Exposition) in Louisville, Ky. They are a very talented group of college freshmen! These three individuals all grew up on dairies, so they know plenty about cows, but it was my job to fine-tune their reasons. I’m happy to report that they did great, and finished 9th overall in the contest, 5th in reasons, and placed in the top 10 in 3 separate breeds! Additionally, a few individuals got their names called individually!

The team at the awards breakfast (L to R): Myself, Darren Mueller, Andrea Steenbock and Maggie Seiler.

We even made time for some sightseeing while in Louisville! We went to Churchhill Downs and took in a few horse races as part of the Breeder’s Cup weekend. Here’s some of the teams’ shenanigans!




By Robin Kleine

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Filed under Agriculture, College Life, Cows, Dairy, judging, Kansas State University, Leadership, Milk

Bowling for a Cause and Fun!

This month for sisterhood, we had a great opportunity not only to bond but to help with a great cause. A cause our chapter feels strongly about as we also participate in raising money for cancer awareness. Phi Eta Sigma hosted a Bowl-A-Thon at the KSU Bowling Lines on Tuesday, November 1, all the proceeds of the event supporting the Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research (whom we volunteer once a year to help with their Pink campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness).

At this great event, we entered 3 teams of 4 members, each team was allowed a warm-up for 5 minutes and then we bowled two games. At the end of the tournament they added together all of the scores and gave prizes to the top three teams. Along with this the night started off with entering your name in a random drawing for some awesome prizes! Unfortunately only one of our girls, Gina, won a prize from the random drawings, but that did not stop Brandy from winning prizes for being the first to bowl a strike, twice!!

Along with finding out that if you offer a prize, Brandy will bowl some strikes, we learned a few other things about each other. Such as:

*Tara’s family loves to bowl! They have a bowling team and she is pretty good at it herself!

*While being dedicated to spending time with our sisters, we also can multitask and study for tests or grade papers.

* Everyone likes to bust a move on the dance floor when they play random songs. I personally learned a new dance move from Sarah Jane… something about catching it and passing it along the line… it was pretty neat; just remember you have to have good timing!

*We tried to help each other learn how to bowl better and try not to get so many “gutter” balls or for some they bowled the best they ever had that night.

But mainly, overall, it was a great night with lots of laughter and support for each other.

OH! And the most memorable moment of the night besides all of the laughing, dancing and just enjoying each other was when they announced the winners… and the last place got a prize too… well that last place was one of our teams! But hey… we enjoyed it and they won little bowling sets to practice on!

**Sisterhood is a time to bond with one another outside of chapter and to learn more about one another. It is a time for stress-relieve and some would say, “a small break from school and work” to relax and enjoy times with your sisters. Our chapter does this once a month.

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Filed under College Life, Kansas State University, Philanthropy, Sigma Alpha

Miss America at Kansas State University

Appreciation & agriculture; there isn’t any better combination that fits Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, who will speak to K-State on Tuesday, November 15th at 7p.m. in McCain Auditorium.

Coming from a rural agriculture focused town in Nebraska, Teresa makes it her passion to inform the nation about supporting farmers and their contribution to feed the nations ever-growing population.

Miss America will speak about “Agriculture in America Today” fall presenter in the Upson Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations of nonperishable food items for the Flint Hills Breadbasket are encouraged.

I encourage everyone to attend as she is a great representation of not only our nation, but agriculture as a whole. Check out her video titled “Real Farmers, Real Food.”

By Natalie Laubner

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Filed under Agriculture, agvocacy, College Life, Cows, Crops, Dairy, Kansas State University, Leadership, livestock, Milk, Nebraska

Tale of the Great Pumpkin [Recipe 2]

The next recipe is so so so simple! I found it on The Traveling Cowgirl’s Blog.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1 box butter cake mix
¼ c. canned pumpkin
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
3 eggs
2/3 c. water
1 can cream cheese frosting

Just a few simple ingredients!

I just gave the measurements that I used exactly. Literally all you do is follow the directions on the box, replacing the oil or butter with the pumpkin, and adding the 2 T. pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Place 24 cupcake papers in the pan. Fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake 15-20 min at 375 degrees.

22 minutes away from delicious cupcakes!


(Mine took about 22 because of the added density from the pumpkin.) Allow to cool, and frost liberally with cream cheese frosting.


Robin Kleine


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Filed under College Life, food, Recipes

Interview Do’s and Don’t

Yes, It is that time of year. For graduating seniors like myself, we are running off campus to look for our first “big kid” job. Interviews can come natural for some, but may be more difficult for others. I’ve put together a quick Do’s and Don’t list based on my experiences:


Do take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview — or be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there.

Don’t chew gum during the interview.

Do remember that the interview is also an important time for you to evaluate the interviewer and the company she/he represents.

Don’t inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you’ve received an offer.

Do ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry.

Don’t ever not ask any questions — it shows a lack of interest

Do try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with — or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names.

Don’t make assumptions about simple names — was it Jon or John — get the spelling.

Do write thank you within 24 hours to each person who interviewed you.


These tips came from





By Beth Holz

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Filed under 4 Pillars, College Life, Kansas State University, Leadership, Professional

Creating Candyland

I finally assembled my costume!…The day I was due to wear it, but I completed it nevertheless. I’m happy to report that I believe the costume was a success. I put about six or seven hours of work into it, and conned my very helpful boyfriend into assisting me. So I would advise anyone else looking to make their own costume to start earlier than the day you plan to wear it. Annnnnd now I present more tips!

Avoid sewing if you can.

I chose to sew a pretty good amount of my costume, and I think that was what took up a lot of time. The skirt alone was about two hours of hand sewing.


If you’re short on time, go for ready-to-wear components when you’re purchasing items for your costume.

I considered making the candy to put on the dress….and I did to some extent, but mostly I just bought mass quantities of candy and glued them to the dress. It doesn’t get any more realistic than that!

Remember to order any online items way ahead of time.

I really wanted a light purple wig to complete the costume…but I erroneously assumed I could find one in a local store, so I never ordered it. By the time I realized none of the wigs I saw at stores would work, there was no way to get the wig on time without astronomical shipping costs. Regular hair it was.


Accessorizing is an easy way to really complete an outfit and make it look like you put a great deal of thought into it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either. When I decided to re-construct Katy Perry’s Candyland look, I knew from the beginning I wasn’t going to try to find similar shoes to the ones she wears. Where else would I wear metallic green heels? Instead, I took some of my own heels and hot-glued peppermints, butterscotch candies, and gum drops to them. I did the same with a necklace I already had and some of my earrings too.

The finishing touch on for my look was to paint my fingernails and dip them in candy sprinkles.

Hopefully this will help in your own costume-making endeavors, or if not, was at least an interesting read. Thanks for reading!

By Autumn Schobert


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Filed under College Life, DIY

National Convention 2011 – Arlington, VA

Although I was a little nervous being the only girl from our chapter going to D.C, I was able to branch out and gain connections with chapters all over the nation!

It has always been my goal as a member of the executive officer team to expand our connections with our national chapter, and the convention definitely gave me the opportunity to do so. Not only did I get to tour parts of our nation’s capitol, but I also learned about our new national chapter website (found here)and was able to expand my skills on conflict management and the usage of social media within our chapter.

The speakers were truly motivating, and I highly encourage our girls to go to future conventions! 2012 Convention will be held in Omaha, Nebraska October 11-13, and I am excited to see our group of ladies attend and further develop the wonderful chapter we have already created! Alum, please share your National Chapter Experiences in our comment section!

Talking to the nice man beside me on the subway to the Washington monument. Don’t worry, the Nebraska chapter was with me!
Washington Monument
Until next time,
Brandy Cleveland


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Filed under College Life, Kansas State University, Leadership, Sigma Alpha