Tag Archives: sigma alpha

What I Learned at College

Growing up I was always told high school would be the best 4 years of my life. While I focused on school work, my shot putt footwork, and FFA I realized that for many this would be their favorite 4 years, but it wouldn’t be mine. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the people I went to school with, I made some lifelong friendships, and had experienced things that helped shape me into who I am. From breaking my personal shot put record my senior year to winning the state Ag Sales competition, these experiences truly showed me that working hard and preparation can really make a difference. However, growing up as a first generation student, I never really knew how to prepare for college; the diversity, the classes, the freedom, and the homesickness. This is where I begin to tell you on what I have learned from college as a first generation college freshman.

1) The Diversity:

I grew up in a very small town in northern Illinois, basically in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, I never experienced much diversity with other cultures and overall just different minded people. Let me tell you one thing I noticed the first time I walked onto the great campus of K-State, the people. Everyone walking around me had some sort of buddy, they were all happy. I never noticed how many different backgrounds could make up a campus until that first day. These people all mixed and I realized that here on campus I could finally experience a wide range of diversity. Whether it was when I got to work with several people from all around the globe, people from Kansas, or even other people from Illinois that all had different experiences and and backgrounds that brought them here.

2) The Classes:

Let me start out by saying the very first class I went to my very first semester, I fell asleep (SHHH don’t tell my mom). I was sitting in the very back of my first huge lecture hall, psychology 101. The reason for this mid-day snooze was a mix of not being able to sleep the night before from nerves of my first day and a very, very monotone professor. I won’t name any names on who this professor was, but she turned out to be an extremely passionate in psychology and teaching. This was my first experience of what college classes were like. However, as the semester continued on I realized these classes take a lot more work than I ever experienced. I was always used to not having to study and classes coming easy to me. Well if that is how high school was for you, then I will let you know that college changes all study and work habits. At least it did for me, and I hope knowing this could help any future college students with classes.

3) The Freedom:

I always knew that I would no longer have my parents and teachers watching over me, making sure I was in class, and pushing me to do my best. It truly didn’t set in until that 8:30 class on a Monday in the middle of the semester. I woke up and didn’t want to go to class and I didn’t have to. To be honest with you I wanted to lay in bed all day and watch netflix, but I couldn’t. Since I was paying to go to class, I needed to go to class.

4) The Homesickness:

Growing up, my family has always been close. My two older brothers helped raise me and shape me into who I am. So when I moved to Kansas (9 hours away from my little town and family) it was hard to leave. I never knew how hard until about three weeks into the semester. It was the longest I have been away from them. That feeling is something that can’t be explained and it can’t be prepared for. I believe that feeling homesickness is one of the best things I have learned at college, because it reminds me of all those back home whom I love and who love me.

In Sisterhood,

Kendra Snyder

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Dear Younger Sister,

Dear Younger Sister(s),

Being the oldest in a family of 3 girls, I always wished I had an older sibling to be able to help me through new situations and always be there to give me advice. Instead, I was the guinea pig for my parents on everything from how to deal with curfews to going through the college decision making process. Through my years I have learned a few key lessons that I feel are some of the most important and what I wish I knew before going to school. So to my sisters and really anyone else, here are a few key pieces of advice to take into consideration in college and in life in general.

1. Never lose your faith

When coming to college, this was one of the first and biggest lessons I learned. My faith was a huge part of my life back home and something that very much shaped me into the person I am today. By keeping my faith through college, especially the first few months where everything was changing, I was able to keep that part of my life consistent and I knew I could always go to God whenever I was feeling homesick, beaten down, or even when something amazing was happening. God will always be on your side and by knowing that, I know you can get through anything.

2. Don’t be afraid to be weird

I know that in middle school and high school all you want to do is fit in. I’m telling you now that it’s not all it cracks up to be. Don’t be afraid to be weird, different or break a norm because you think you will be judged. I promise that if anyone judges you for being yourself, they aren’t worth your time. Make sure that you are making it more of a point to make yourself happy, rather than trying to just fit in, fitting in is boring anyways.

3. Don’t let your life revolve around boys

I know this is very cliché and in school one of the biggest things to talk and think about is boys, however, don’t let that been the only thing you think about. There’s so much more to life than what boy you have a crush on or who likes who. On the same point make sure you’re not wasting all you time on a boy who doesn’t even think twice about you because you are worth so much more than that.

4. Take chances

Never be afraid to try new things or break out of you comfort zone. This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in college as you are given so many chances to try new things. You may not like everything you try and that is absolutely okay, but I promise if you don’t, you might live with regret. Whether that be trying something small like a new food dish or deciding to go to Arizona with your best friends, don’t be afraid to say yes and try new experiences because college is the best time to do this.

5. Call home every chance you get

Finally, one of the most important things is to remember your family even while your crazy busy at school. A call home can mean so much to your family and even if it’s a short 2 minute chat on your way to class. That little call will go so far and will leave you and your family feeling happy.

I could go on with many more little pieces of advice, but for now I feel as though these 5 are enough. Keep these in mind as you head into your college years and life in general.

In sisterhood,

Claire

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The Calm In the Storm

We use the saying “the calm before the storm” all the time when talking about some period of our lives right before we know all hell is about to break loose. Maybe before the semester begins or when we know we have like five exams in two weeks. Most of the time I don’t feel like there is ever that period, that my life is a constant mess of storms that just seem to come one after another. If you are fortunate enough to get a break, be sure to use that time to recover and prepare for the next one that is surely coming. However, if you are like me, you may have to find a different approach. It has taken me nearly 20 years to realize this, but I have finally been able to find the calm in the storm.

 

“My soul finds rest in God alone because my confidence comes from him.” Psalm 62:5

 

What a weird concept right? In the midst of test week, work, and every organization’s many activities, there can’t possibly be a lull in that chaos! You may have to look for it for awhile, but there is. I find my calm in simple things throughout the day like reading at night, on the walk home, or in the few minutes I have to myself before I fall asleep or get out of bed in the morning. I used to tell myself that if I just got through this week, or this semester that everything would calm down. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. I have had to accept that at least in this season of my life, I will be incredibly busy, and that that is okay. You realize that even though you have oodles of stuff to do, it is perfectly acceptable to take a breather and regain your bearings. That doesn’t mean drop all of your priorities, but taking just 15 minutes to yourself will make the world of difference.

 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

 

Almost everyone I have talked to this semester has said the same thing, “I am so busy this year”. Welcome to the club bub. Can I just be honest for a second? Being involved sucks. Shocker right?  Y’all were thinking it anyway. Employers look at your resume and say, “Wow look how much stuff you did in college, you must’ve been busy!” Yeah you could say so. Being an officer in several clubs and also serving on separate committees and coordinating large events and getting work experience and doing well in classes and getting eight hours of sleep and trying to be healthy? I don’t know about you, but for me a couple of those get nixed pretty fast. Unfortunately, we live in a fast-paced world that is constantly on the go, and we don’t have much of a choice in the matter.

 

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

 

However, this is not my own personal rant, so let me get back to the point. Take time for yourself. Find those little things, which you are probably already doing, and find the joy in them. Make your own “happy place” if you will and use it. Find comfort in the fact that this too shall pass, even if you can’t quite see the end of the tunnel from here. There is a reason that we are doing all of this, and sometimes that is hard to see in the moment. Remember to keep pushing, keep the faith, and find the calm in your storm.

 

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind me and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

 

In Sisterhood,

Alex Tuttle

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How Sigma Alpha Helped Me Graduate Employed

College will hands down be the most amazing experience of your young adult life. Is college easy? Absolutely not! Is college all fun and games and good times in Aggieville? Not by a long shot! There will be, without a doubt, an abundance of late nights, bad professors, horrible roommates and classes that put you through hell. Personally, I shed a lot of tears and made a lot of calls home to Mom and Dad just to survive the rough times. However, college has blessed me with the chance to travel to amazing new cities, an abundance of lifelong friendships and crazy memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Despite the ups and downs and curveballs college throws at you, the whole goal of college, whether you’re going onto graduate school or vet school or simply pursuing your under grad, is to get a job when you’re done. With everything we have going on as students it’s easy to lose sight of our end goal. As a graduating senior looking back at my college experience I can honestly say Sigma Alpha had a huge role in preparing me for my future career. And here is how:

4. Professionalism, Professionalism, professionalism

As a former FFA and FBLA member, I thought I had professionalism down to a “T”, at least for someone of my age and experience. Boy was I wrong. With Sigma Alpha’s emphasis on professionalism I have learned how to handle many different situations in a professional manner. Anything from personality conflicts to dancing the night away at Emerald Ball, my sisters have lead by example and surrounded me with knowledge and experience that I would not have been exposed to otherwise.

3. Confidence

Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be the Social Chair of an organization. Before college I preferred to stay at home with my books than go out and socialize. Meeting an entire organization that shares my values and interests changed the game for me. Sigma Alpha helped me step out of my comfort zone and grow as a person and a professional in ways I never would have without those relationships in my life.

2. Support Through the Failures

You will, without a doubt, experience rejection more times than you can count. Boys will dump you, friends will ditch you and employers will say “no”. I went through four different job interviews before I was offered my position. For every milestone I reached and accomplishment I made, there was a long list of failures and embarrassments that came before it. My experience with Sigma Alpha has taught me that failure is a very unpleasant but necessary part of life and that the most important part of rejection is to surround yourself with people who love you and support you despite your failures.

1. The Ag Industry is Home

During my long job search, I interviewed with a wide variety of companies. I interviewed for finance and analyst positions and I was genuinely excited about them at the time. However, after I left the interviews and I was the only one in the room who knew what meat science and agronomy were, I knew those positions were not the ones for me. Sigma Alpha inspired me to follow my passion for agriculture and showed me that this industry is the only place I will ever feel truly at home.

I have to sincerely say thank you to Sigma Alpha for all that you have done for me. I will never forget the memories and lessons you’ve shared or how much I grew while being a part of this amazing organization. Carry on your traditions with pride and never forget to live life with the heart of the bull.

In sisterhood,

Megan Schuster

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Tips on How to be Organized in College (From the Most Overly-Excessive Organized College Student)

Be Prepared.

I know some people suggest waiting to get textbooks until the first week of classes. That the professor for that class will tell you if you actually need it or not. At least at Kansas State, if it says you need the textbook, you probably need the textbook. Unless the textbook is crazy expensive, or you’ve talked to a friend who has already taken the class, get the textbook wayyyy in advance. What I do is order from Amazon.com, and pick the cheapest one. It usually takes a month of so to get here, but its super cheap. (i.e. I got a $50 textbook for $8; totally worth it. I attached screen shots of the book I got for cheap. Now, it’s too close to the school starting that you can’t get it for that cheap!)

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 12.18.30 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-01-04 at 12.18.53 PM.png

Also, when you do get your textbook, read the first chapter, or even the first few pages. Make sure this class isn’t going to be way over your head. If you can’t even understand the first few pages, maybe you need to set up a tutor, or do a little pre-studying before the class starts. It may sound like it’s a little much, but it keeps the stress down for me knowing I’m not going to be overloaded with a bunch of material that sounds like French to me.

Keep your classes separated.

Whether you hand write your notes or type them, keep all your classes separated. It makes me cringe when I see someone use one notebook for all classes. I use OneNote from Microsoft Office to take notes. This has tons of awesome features! You can record a lecture in class as you take notes. When you go back to listen to the lecture, it will follow along with the notes you were typing during that time in the lecture. You can also share these notes with other people in the class. (There is an option to allow editing or read only) In most of my classes, the teacher asks a student to send notes to a student who is disabled or has trouble taking notes during class. I can just allow them to see the notebook and BAM. They have my updated notes for the rest of the year.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-45-27-am            You can separated your classes into different “notebooks.” I make a notebook a different class, or even clubs, to make it easy to find what I need.

 

You can also have different sections. I use this for before midterm and after midterm. You can separate these into tons of different things, but this is what works for me. The sections are the tabs at the top of the document. Finally, you can make different pages. These are on the right side of the screen. I use these for different lecture topics or chapters of a textbook. Below I have inserted a screen shot of a page of my notes. (I green highlight anything my professor hints will be on the test.)screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-44-16-am

Plan to do assignments and papers.

A big problem most students have with getting assignments done on time is they only write that assignment on the due date in their calendar. If you know you have free time during days before the assignment is due, write that assignment down! That way when you look at that day, you can be reminded to at least start that assignment or paper.

Put yourself in an environment where you like to get stuff done!

If you get distracted easily at home, don’t study at home. I like to go to coffee shops; I can focus, I have a constant source of food or drinks, no one (usually) talks to me, and I am energized by well tasting coffee. (Shout out to Arrow Coffee Co.)

Have “Get Yourself Together” days.

Okay, this is something I completely made up for myself, but it works for me. If I know I have nothing to do on a certain day, (Say after church on Sunday) I have a “get myself together” day. Basically, from the time I can start, I don’t watch Netflix, I don’t nap, I don’t lay in my bed on Pinterest, I do things that are going to help me out for that week. I do laundry, dishes, make my bed, write things in my planner, take out the trash, run errands, pay bills, go grocery shopping… ya know, adult stuff. Usually, once I get a couple things done, I get on a roll. I then want to do more and more stuff. The best part is when you come home from errands and the house is clean, there are clean dishes and clean clothes and you get a refreshing feeling.

All you have to do is find out what makes you an organized person, and do that. It’s different for every person, but if you get in a routine, everything gets easier.

In Sisterhood,

Ashley Ellenz

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Fight For Yourself

It sounds cliché right? Fight for yourself. I never fully understood this expression until about a year ago. Growing up I always did what was considered to be “acceptable”. Little did I know I was losing myself in the process. I was letting work, school, and extracurricular activities control my life. While I don’t regret one decision I’ve made, there are things that if I could go back and do a little differently I would. First of all, your high school reputation doesn’t define the rest of your life. I had many friends in high school but today only a handful of those I could still call friend. In college there are many many chances to make new friends and meet new people. Want to know something glorious about college? When you leave your hometown and venture to a new atmosphere, you get to CHOOSE who you want to be. You may love yourself already or you may not. But college is the chance to be who you want to be.

Second, it is 100% acceptable to be single. In today’s society, everyone feels pressured to be in a relationship and get married but it truly is okay to be single. Your girlfriends call and want to go out dancing, guess what? You’re probably free to go out with them and make incredible memories that’ll you will laugh about years down the road. You don’t have someone constantly checking in on you just to see “what’s up?” I do admit, it’s nice having someone there for you, but don’t make it your priority and let it drive you mad. That perfect relationship you’re looking for will come when the time is right.

And third, don’t be afraid to try something new. Invest yourself in multiple activities. Whether it’s a club, job, school work, personal time, or even having a social life. It’s important to find balance and stay active. If I would have stuck to the beaten path I’ve always taken I wouldn’t have found some of my closest friends that I have today! You never know what you might discover if you just take the chance and risk a little. To wrap this up the point I want to get across is: Find yourself. Grow within yourself. Make time for yourself. Learn to love yourself! Life is SO much better now that I’ve learned to love myself! Because I’ve learned to love myself and take risks I’ve discovered things about myself I never knew before. And overall, I’m a much happier person with MY life!

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”

-Miranda Alumbaugh

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Why an Overwhelming Amount of Debt is Just Fine

Third year of college. It’s crazy to think it’s already been almost two and a half years since I first set foot on K-State’s campus. They always said high school would be the best time of your life, but I’m finding out that’s not necessarily true. These past two and a half years have flown by and I can only assume that’s because I’m having fun.
I came to K-State with one intention: Preparation for Veterinary School. I knew it’d be a lot of hard work (re: extremely hard work), but I thought, ‘It’s worth it.’ To this day, I still have no regrets on starting my undergraduate career at K-State in Animal Sciences and Industry, Pre-Veterinary Medicine. I originally had considered starting my undergraduate studies at a smaller Division Two college, but decided to take a big leap and come to school in a place I didn’t know. Things could have gone a lot differently, but for some reason I chose the route I am on today.
The first two years of college seemed difficult at the time, but looking back, I had no idea what difficult really was. This current semester has been tough. Sometimes I wonder how and why I keep pushing. It’s been hard to find a week this semester without an exam or two, and yet I study any given night of the week. While some of my friends are out having their version of “fun,” I’m having mine. Sure, studying isn’t exactly waving your arms in the air and screaming, “WOO,” but studying now is what is preparing me for my future, which will be fun because of the hard work I’m putting in at this moment.
As I’m getting into my more difficult years of college, questions from outsiders arise. “How will you do it?” “How is it worth it?” “Why MUST you study SO much?” “Have you thought about the amount of debt you’ll have after veterinary school is all said and done?” The final question is the one that tends to grab my mind lately.
Debt. Debt is many, many things. Good is not one of those things. For a Junior in college who already has a considerable amount of debt, debt is not something I am particularly excited about. Which is probably why this is a question that has been coming up often from people around me. “Why is debt okay?”
Let’s say I successfully conquer my last year and a half of undergraduate studies, have applied to veterinary schools across the country, and happen to be accepted to a veterinary school. Family, friends, and myself would be elated at this news. Veterinary school is something I’ve wanted a very long time. However, once this settles in for a few, reality shows her scowling face. Four more years of harsh exams, late nights, no income, and double the debt. For many people, this sounds like a lot of work for a lot of stress and a lot of “not worth it’s.”
Here is why this is all just fine to me: I have a passion. For a long time, I’ve had a passion to help animals and the many people surrounding them. I understand the struggles I will face will test me in more ways than one. However, it is because of this understanding that I believe I can power through to do what I love someday. School is hard, but it keeps me busy and for that, I love it. Earlier I said time was flying because I am having so much fun, then I discussed how rough of a semester I’m having. Sounds contradicting, but I actually am having the time of my life thanks to college. Having extremely busy weeks helps me to explore and do exciting things during the moments I have free time. I’ve learned to budget my time and make all of it count. College is something I am very grateful for and I look forward to hopefully spending at least six more years learning for the remainder of my undergraduate career and into veterinary school.
While studying instead of partying and increasing debt instead of getting paid may be difficult, I have learned there are no handouts in life. Sure, I may be paying off loans until I’m seventy years old, but to me, it’s worth it and I would do it a million times over if I had the chance. So if you have a passion, don’t be afraid to work for it. Don’t let things scare you away because if you don’t follow through with it, you’ll be spending your life wishing you did. Veterinary school may be a lot of things including increasing debt, but if you love something as much as I love the idea of helping other and animals, it is all truly worth it in order to do what you love in the end.

In Sisterhood,

Natalie Timmons
Rho Class
Sigma Alpha
Alpha Omega Chapter

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3 Things You Can Learn From Your Dog

 

It is amazing how pets can turn your days from bad to good in a matter of seconds. To say my excitement was real when my dog got to spend a week with me in Manhattan is an understatement. We had a blast and it really made me think that she has actually taught me a few things in life!

 

1.Enjoy the little things

Jordee has taught me to not take things in life for granted. She gets so excited over the littlest things; like when the refrigerator door opens and she thinks she is going to get a snack, or when you ask her if she wants to go for a ride. It’s small things that make me happy, which I tend to forget about sometimes.

 

  1. Unconditional love

My dog loves me on my worst days and on my best days. She is always so excited to see me even if I am a hot mess. A dog’s love is the true definition of unconditional love.

 

  1. Responsibility

When you have a dog you can no longer just think about yourself. You now have to care for something else. It has been a very good experience in my case because Jordee is pretty much awesome!

 

It is definitely true when they say a dog is a girl’s best friend!

 

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The Impact of Stress

The definition of stress is “ a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” On average, most college students get 6-6.9 hours of sleep per night, and an insufficient number of hours of sleep per night may not only impact our moods and health but also GPA.

As college students we all have been accustomed to dealing with not going to sleep until the wee hours of the morning, but studies have proven that this does more harm than good. Lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, increases weight gain and obesity, mental health issues, as well as the extremely important decreased academic performance. Stress in college students can affect the ability to concentrate and the brain is basically fighting against itself when the student is trying to get work done. So even though it may seem like a smarter idea to stay up late to prevent stressing out for the exam in the morning and getting some late minute cramming in, the simple solution to study better and more efficiently is to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep a night. I promise you that your body and your grades will thank you for it later.

In Sisterhood,

Karin O’Leary

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10 Tips for a Successful Study Abroad Experience

This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Ireland on a 10 Day Faculty led Agriculture tour. Dr. Fox made an excellent itinerary for our trip to Ireland. We visited Dublin, then went to the more rural areas of Galway and Sligo. We toured the Guinness Storehouse, National Irish horse stud, sheep farm, cattle auction house, University of Dublin dairy, Country Crest and many other points of interest for agriculture majors. I was nervous to go out of the country at first, but overall it was an unforgettable experience that I’ll never forget.

1. Make copies of your passport/license/credit cards: I made copies of all of my important documents before leaving the country just in case my purse got stolen or lost.

2. Be open to experiencing new things: Try new foods, go on a hike, talk to the locals.

3. Exchange money before arriving in a foreign country: I learned that it is best to exchange currency in the US before you leave so that you know the exchange rate and don’t lose a lot of money.

4. Sleep on the plane: Take advantage of the down time on the long plane ride over the ocean, you’ll be thankful you did when you arrive. Take sleeping pills if you need to.

5. Watch out for thieves: Pickpocketers are always looking for tourists to take advantage of…you will stick out. It is best to have your money in a few different bags so that you don’t lose everything if you lose your purse.

6. Put down your cellphone: Your cell phone probably won’t work anyways and even if it does, don’t use it because it will cost you!!

7. Meet new people: I went with 25 people I didn’t know and came back feeling like a family, make connections!

8. Take more than enough pictures: All your friends and family members will want to see what you got to see, so don’t forget your camera!

9. Embrace the culture: Take some time to learn about the history and the culture of the country that you visit so that you can better understand it once you arrive!

10. Have Fun!

The best part of the trip was going with a few friends and making many new friends along the way. I encourage everyone to try a study abroad experience while they are in college!

In sisterhood,

Karley Stockton

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