we’re done!

Finals are done! Which means I never have to look at business law again! (until I’m an adult in a real business setting probably)

So I’m sure you’re aware of how amazing Drake students are. But I’m gonna take this time to tell you a little bit about how amazing my friends are, and their success this semester.

My first brag is about one of my friends who has been consistently successful at Drake. She’s a P1 this year, and for her first semester in pharmacy school, she decided to take on 18 credits. In spite of her intense course load, she ended up with a 4.0 this semester, and still managed to be involved at Drake and have a social life.

My second brag is about a friend who decided this semester that she wanted to go abroad in the spring. She figured out what she wanted for a program, and went about the 2 month application process that was basically another 3 credit class added to her already full schedule. (the program she decided on is one where she will be working hands on in a hospital setting, in a country where she is not 100% confident in the language but has fully committed herself to learning) I couldn’t be more proud of her finishing the semester with excellent grades and watching her prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

My last brag is about a friend who really found her stride this semester. She got a part-time job relevant to her major and worked hard in her classes to finish with solid grades. Along with this, she led her Sims family in an active social life. And she was social too I guess. This was the semester I felt she really found her passion for her major, and it was awesome to see that happen.

I could tell you more about my successful friends and their various internships and activities and accomplishments, but I think you catch my drift here. Junior year started off great at Drake, and I can’t wait to see how it ends!

Except Spring semester doesn’t start until January 26th. So I’m gonna hibernate for a few months to try and recover from finals week and I will see you all when the snow melts, byee

Procrastination amirite?

I like to give myself options when it comes to studying. “Do you want to stay on the couch and watch Hulu or do you want to go to the library and power through your management study guide?” I always hold out hope for myself that I’ll make the right decision. And then it’s 6 PM and I’ve finally finished this season of America’s Next Top Model, while my study guide stares at me blankly from my desk. He looks a little disappointed but I think he knew all along.

Studying is just so not my thing. I would much rather go to my classes and pay attention there than to read dense definitions in thick textbooks the day before the exam. I always do both though, just to cover my bases. Studying = not my thing. Cramming = definitely more up my alley.

I think my problem skills reside in the fact that I work best under pressure. With my BLAW exam being next Friday, there’s really no pressure right now for me to study for it. Thursday night though, I will do some of my best studying (probably (hopefully)).

Also I just get distracted so easily. If I have my computer out in front of me and I’m supposed to be looking over my slides from Marketing Research, I mean that gets really hard when I have to have The Office playing in the background. For the white noise… and the entertainment. Studying doesn’t entertain me I guess is what I’m trying to say. So I think that’s why it’s so hard for me to do.

Anyway wish me luck on my exams. They’re not until the end of this next week though so I’m not worried (yet).

Black Thursday (formerly known as Thanksgiving)

Just kidding. How sad is it that people would choose to spend their Thanksgiving evening with strangers, in line, for 10 dollars off of 20, rather than with their own families.

The past couple of years (but actually not last year because I think I worked) I’ve gone with friends or family to Black Friday shop wait in line. And sometimes I’ve gotten good deals, but it’s never been worth the jet lag feeling for the rest of that day and the grumpy holiday shoppers that will relentlessly push and shove their way to that end goal of an empty, sad wallet, and 12 shopping bags full of junk.

Seriously nothing is worse than Black Friday. Which is why I think it’s so stupid that they’ve turned it into a Black Thursday/Black Weekend/Cyber Monday/Shop Till You Drop event. (wasn’t shop till you drop the best gameshow btw)

I love gift giving but I’d rather my loved ones spend time picking out something meaningful or making a heartwarming gift than waiting in line on a holiday for a good deal.

Idk I’m just saying. Black Friday sucks. That’s all. My Thanksgiving was wonderful. xoxo

Job Shadow @ Alt Studios

This morning I got the opportunity to job shadow at Alt Studios, through some great connections I couldn’t have gotten outside of Drake.

After adding my marketing major this semester, I’ve been trying to take a look at the different routes marketers can take with their career path. I spoke with a market researcher, a brand manager, and a few different professors, and wanted to see what the creative side of marketing had to offer.

Alt Studios is an advertising agency in downtown Des Moines. They deal with integrated marketing solutions and plans for companies seeking to expand or redevelop their brands. I think that when I thought of ad agency, I thought of mostly designers. But today I got the chance to speak with a really cool marketing strategist about her role in the company.

Her career sounded like something I could definitely see myself doing. It involves a lot of communication- both with each individual client and with her creative team as well. It also involves a lot of strategy (hope this isn’t shocking to anyone) on how to make the brand better, by combining her own ideas and plans with that of the client and her creative director. Making a plan for a specific campaign would be so thrilling. You’re using PR and Marketing and Design and Interpersonal and Communication skills all at once.

I also got to speak with a designer and an art director about their roles. They mentioned that the design job in an ad agency wasn’t exactly what everyone thought. It was a lot of taking what the client gave you and reshaping it or editing that image, rather than creation from scratch. They also shared with me about the differences between corporate life and agency life, and which they preferred. In their opinions, corporate life was much more of 9-5 workdays, good benefits, job safety, set budgets, & set company roles. They then went on to say that while their jobs in an agency weren’t necessarily as steady (one week they could be swamped with projects and the next, nothing) and the benefits weren’t the same, they enjoyed the flexibility of this type of work environment.

Everything I gained from this job shadow will affect my future career choice. As of now, I still don’t know what I want. And from what I heard, not everyone has the same experience with corporate vs. agency. Who knows, maybe I actually love cubicle life and just haven’t figured that out yet! (it’s doubtful)

I also got some great advice on the importance of networking and how self-branding can help you stand out from the crowd when you go to apply for jobs.

I figured out that I need to figure out how I plan on combining my majors. I think I’ll look into how international companies do marketing, or maybe look into seeing if international ad agencies are a thing. Maybe I can work for a marketing firm somewhere in Latin America, or be the international marketing rep for a local company. I’ll figure it out eventually, probably.

It amazes me that it’s almost Christmas break. That means I have a little more than 3 semesters to figure out how I want to spend the rest of my life. That’s a little scary. But also kind of exciting.

Enjoy your Thanksgivings! xoxo

The Right Study Spot Can Change Your Life

Being a junior, I am now very experienced in subjects like these.

On campus study spots:

For when you need peace and quiet… the reading room//the entire second floor of Cowles//study rooms in lower Cowles.

For when you need background noise… Cowles cafe//Olmsted cafe//your dorm lobby.

For when you actually don’t want to get any work done… the study room of your dorm//your room//places with generally high traffic.

For when you have group projects… Scooter’s//second floor Aliber//Cowles cafe//your dorm lobby//lower Olmsted//lower Hubbell.

For when you need comfort… the study spots by Pomerantz stage//Cowles cafe.

Off campus study spots:

For when you need coffee… Mars Cafe//Smokey Row//Caribou Coffee//Starbucks downtown.

For when you need peace and quiet… the central library downtown.

For when you don’t want to get any work done… kappa kitchen//my room//anywhere that involves another human that doesn’t want to study either.

For when you have group projects… West Village rec rooms//central library//Smokey Row.

This isn’t really an exhaustive list of every study spot so don’t take it that way. But a few suggestions if you’re looking for somewhere new. And take in mind that these are just what I use, except for the peace and quiet suggestions because it is impossible for me to study in an environment like that. When I can sit in a comfy chair and here people talking twenty feet away from me, that’s when I’m most productive.

Feel free to comment with any of your own favorite study spots at Drake!

Stress

It’s coming down to the wire. Or it will be in about 2 weeks’ time and I’m feelin’ the pressure.

Webster’s Dictionary defines stress as:

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Sources of my stress:

My classes. Mostly business law. I have never had to do so much memorizing in my life. In high school I usually just got the grade by arguing around the point if I didn’t know the exact answer. Business law requires you to memorize exact definitions and concepts, and then apply them to real life situations. You have to look at it from every angle, and as interesting as it is, memorizing has never been my strong point. Arguing, writing, processes, math… I can do those things. Or if I can’t, I can figure them out. You can’t “figure out” how to memorize. It’s just not in my blood. My other classes are less stressful, just a lot of final projects all culminating in a wave of homework that is looming dangerously close to the private beach where I’m trying to soak up the last rays of relaxation before diving in headfirst. Was that a good analogy or what.

Christmas shopping. I love to buy the perfect presents. But I’m actually usually really terrible at it. Combine those two things with my lack of monetary funds right now and you get a stressed out holiday shopper.

Christmas plans in general. When should I travel to the east coast to visit that kid I’m dating? (6 month anni a few days back, if anyone was interested <3) When will my sister be in town so we can eat Christmas cookies and watch Elf? When is my other sister bringing over my precious little nephew? What is Christmas morning gonna look like this year, as the last Wheeler girl to leave the nest continues to linger? Should I get an internship for J Term? How should I go about pursuing a three week job opening..? Because those are rare. <<<<STRESS

Money. I mean I’m in college so that’s normal. Dealing with the stress of classes so that someday I don’t have to deal with the stress of those dolla signs.

ETC– When you start to get stressed out, it’s a slippery slope. Suddenly little things that didn’t stress you out before are blown way out of proportion to the point where forgetting a pencil for class is basically a catastrophic event for you.

Thankfully this weekend I got to visit my sister up in Wisco and it was a pretty relaxing weekend. So I’m preparing myself for the next three weeks by throwing myself into my assignments and studies. You can catch me at your local coffee shop or Cowles lib until finals week releases me from the stress blanket it’s currently wrapping me in,

xoxo,

Can we talk about how much easier it was to find things to write about abroad?

Because seriously. My blogging problem abroad came when I didn’t have enough time record all of the amazing things that were happening and the cool cultural differences I got to experience. And I didn’t have enough time because I was out there experiencing all these crazy awesome unique things.

Here… I mean there’s a lot going on, there always is at Drake. But it’s way different. Here I stay mostly on campus, where everyone’s just like me- focused on school, motivated, ambitious, English speaking… It was such a distinct experience to be studying in a place where you walked down the street and saw people that were so different from you, and you wanted to know how and what were those differences exactly.

So I think that’s where the problem is. I love to write about new experiences, and things that surprise, or wow me, or leave me in awe. And every second of my Chilean experience gave me something that fit into one of those categories.

I think I’m just really missing Chile today- my chilean gringos, mi familia, my street dogs, my real chileans, mi pollolo. That’s one thing they don’t tell you about studying abroad… that you have to come back. It seems like it would be implied but it’s something people don’t like to think about really.

But to focus on my current adventure: the semester is going really well, minus business law which is the hardest class I think I’ve taken here so far. I’m loving my time here and the new people I’ve met since I’ve been back. My Spanish is improving. I added a new major (marketing). But back in my normal life, Chile is still never far from my mind.

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Te extraño, el pais de mi corazon.

Traditions (Drake Themed (surprise))

This past weekend, the gamma theta chapter of kappa kappa gamma initiated our newest class of leading ladies! We’re all so proud of the girls we chose to carry on our kappa traditions.

Whether you’re in greek life or not though, I think tradition is so important. It makes college more fun. And, I’m anticipating that it will make life after college more fun as well. I can’t wait to meet up with my best friends years from now and still be able to celebrate the same traditions we did at Drake.

Relays is always the first that comes to mind, probably because it includes so many traditions under one umbrella. There’s street painting, which occasionally (always) accidentally (completely planned) ends in a paint fight. There’s the relay events themselves, where alumni reunite and reminisce around the big blue oval. There’s square painting on Court ave., which gets the Des Moines community involved. This is followed by a free concert on the street (last year was HOODIE ALLEN). There’s also indoor pole vaulting, which is weird, yes, but also a pretty good time. And lastly there’s the road run! I ran it my freshman year with my sister, using the word “ran” loosely here.

Drake has other traditions as well.

The kissing rock is one, where couples go to lock lips and lock in their commitment to be together forever (I think that’s the tradition? no?).

We also have our basketball team, which has made us proud time and time again, and made attending games a fun tradition for students and alumni alike.

There was also something a few years back where trays from Hubbell Dining Hall would substitute for sleds when the first snow hit. But this is 2014 and those trays were used in like the 80s I think. Now we use ipads.

There’s probably more traditions but these are just some of the first that come to mind. Whatever your traditions are, make sure to keep them alive. They’re what bond us together, cheezy and I’m ok with that.

xoxo

Bulldog Madness… But for real

Like it was actual madness. We went to it last year so I wasn’t expecting anything substantially different, except maybe more food which I was totally okay with. But then they did this shooting contest where they picked some rando from the crowd and gave him the chance to win a TRUCK. But like, it wasn’t really realistic. He had to make a lay-up, a free throw, a three pointer, and a half court shot, all in 30 seconds. And after the first 2 missed lay-ups everyone kind of gave up hope. Like this guy was really really bad at basketball. But THEN in a miraculous show of talent luck, he pulled it off..! Like in the last second. Everyone is buzzin about it.

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And it made ESPN’s top 10. AND The Des Moines Register covered it which is almost cooler than the ESPN thing.

So insane, the crowd went nuts.

The study abroad process

1) Find a program that works best for you. Aspects you should look at:

  • COST
  • LOCATION
  • COURSE OFFERINGS
  • MEAL PLAN
  • HOUSING
  • EXCURSIONS AVAILABLE

Not necessarily in that order but whatever works for you.

2) Apply for your program. This probably costs money so make sure you’ve settled on your perfect program! At this point your parents should probably be aware of your decision as well…

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3) Get accepted to your program. Celebrate, probably with hats & balloons & cake.

4) Start your To-Do list. This is where the real work comes in. Depending on the program you choose, you could have anywhere from a few to a TON of items to check off your list. All of these are necessary for you to embark on this experience of a lifetime, so I would suggest starting sooner rather than later. It’s basically like taking on another 3 credit course.

5) Get your visa. This is usually at the same time as you’re checking things off your To-Do list, although this has it’s own To-Do list all on its own. Again, start as soon as possible with this process in case something goes wrong. I received my visa a little late… and by a little I mean the week before I left for Chile.

6) Make a packing list. At this point you should have done a little research on the climate of where you’re headed and should be prepared to begin your list. You need to be prepared for 4 months… This means make sure you have your prescriptions in order, don’t forget your retainers, and remember they probably sell shampoo wherever you’re going. Also, if you want to make a good first impression on your host family, bring along gifts from your hometown! I brought my fam some snazzy Drake apparel and a book on the beauty of Iowa.

7) Say your goodbyes. Thank your family for all their support, make sure they know you’ll message them when you reach your final destination, and off you go on the journey of a lifetime.

xoxo