*Last* First Days as a Cyclone, 2019

We shared some FHP students’ reflections on their first weeks as Cyclones here.  Our seniors have a lot of feelings too!  What is it like for them to start the end of their Cyclone careers?

It is definitely bittersweet being nearly finished at Iowa State. I remember on my first day of Freshman year, I walked into my first class — Calc 3 (at 9am, which I thought was a late start time). I was excited but very overwhelmed about learning calculus in the third dimension. Little did I know the girl I sat next to in that class would become one of my very best friends and my roommate junior and senior year!
This year, six majors later, I headed to my 10am (which I now consider quite early) to learn more about politics and not think about anything even remotely similar to Calc 3. Syllabus week doesn’t include many introductions or fun facts anymore, because in my major we all basically know each other already. While I am excited to graduate, it is bittersweet looking back on how fast the time has gone by!
Abby Mankins, Political Science and Environmental Studies

As a freshman I remember an overwhelming sense of excitement and nervous energy about the opportunities available, classes, making friends, finding a routine, etc. Now as a senior I feel a fair amount of sadness that my college career is coming to a close. Some of it bittersweet as I look back on all the amazing things that have been included in the last four years, and some of it regretful as I think about missed opportunities or situations handled poorly. There’s also the surprisingly large sense of dread as I now try to figure out what I’m going to do with my life, but that is also laced somewhat with that same excitement from four years ago as a new chapter of life begins.
Trace Tuthill, Agricultural Engineering

Coffee always helps, too

On my last day of senior year, I still made freshman year mistakes; I went to the wrong building, could not find the right classroom, and waved to someone who I thought I knew but did not. Nevertheless, the first week of school was a great one, especially with sweet friends by my side. I have learned that surrounding myself with people who encourage me to be the best version of myself has been the best way to make the most of my short four years at Iowa State.
Alyssa Dougherty, Dietetics and Global Resource Systems

My last first week was actually full of a lot of firsts because I moved into the residence halls for the first time (Woot Helser Hall!). Being from Ames, I lived at home and off-campus freshman-junior year commuting to campus every morning to save money. I decided to move on to campus with some friends my last year before graduating to get the residence hall experience before that opportunity would be gone. It’s been sweet to wake up and take a run around campus before class, not have a commute to class, and be surrounded by housemates (mostly freshman) who are excited about all the things they’ll do in their four years at Iowa State. Also, the dining centers are lit!
Even with a lot of firsts, it’s been bittersweet. I cherish every time the campanile plays at noon remembering back to the end of my junior year when “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” played and I teared up thinking about all the memories and friendships that will stay with me long past graduation.
I remember my first class freshman year was an 8am Chem 167 lecture in Gilman. It was the huge old lecture hall that was filled with tons of people I didn’t know – it was intimidating. As a freshman, I was so excited to get involved on campus and was overwhelmed by all the possibilities out there. Last week it was fun to come to each class and find so many friends from semesters before to catch up with and it was refreshing to work out schedules with various organizations one more time. In many ways, it felt like coming home. The connections I’ve made and the familiarity to everything at Iowa State is going to make it difficult to say goodbye. I’m so thankful for the adventure at Iowa State that I’ve been given.
Justin Wigdahl, Horticulture

Apparently being a senior doesn’t mean that things go smoothly during the first week. On Monday I forgot to set an alarm, woke up late, and had to rush to campus to make it on time. Then I wandered around Bessey Hall trying to find my second class, looking like a lost freshman. I was late to class a couple times, and managed to fall behind on my to-do list from the start. And of course, while all my classmates only have 12 credits or start class at 11, I have five 8 ams and 19 credits this semester. Am I actually still a freshman?
Hannah Van Roekel, Athletic Training

My last first day of classes came with the daunting but exciting realization that my life is going change drastically in less than a year! I made the conscious decision to tackle my classes this semester with the motto “stress less and enjoy more.” These last two semesters are going to fly by, so why not try to make the most of every minute sitting in lab and lecture? I am so going to miss the people I have met during my time here, but I try not to think about that too much; I still have some time!
Brianna Wilder, Biology

When I first arrived at Iowa State, I was very nervous about my place since I knew no one at this university. Additionally, I had never lived on my own before, so this was a very new experience.
However, after three years at ISU, my first week is very different. I feel very comfortable here now, and I know so many great people! In a typical day, I almost always see people that I know, especially Honors students. It is definitely bittersweet to leave, but I am very thankful for the opportunities that I have received at ISU. It was a great experience overall, and I will treasure it as I move forward to the next phase of my life.
Luke Schoeberle, Computer Engineering and Math

This week I got to experience my 5th (!!) first day of college. I remember freshman year, I was so nervous I walked the route from my dorm to the lecture hall in Sukup for Calc 1, days before so I knew where I was going. I showed up over 15 minutes early on the first day. This year, Monday morning I was so comfortable with campus I started walking to my class and realized I never even checked what building my class was in. I quickly checked my phone and still made it to class on time.
The last first week has brought on so many bittersweet feelings. It feels like just yesterday I was moving in to Helser Hall, but yet I reflect back and realize I have had so many changes and exciting experiences during the last four years. Time really does fly by! I am going to miss so many things about Iowa State, our beautiful campus, football games, run club activities and many more. But, most of all I’m going to miss the people I met while participating in run club, working as a community adviser and studying in Black 1012. The people at Iowa State are truly what make this place feel like home.
Holly Schmitz, Mechanical Engineering

Starting senior year is an exciting time. I remember my first week as a freshman, I met my best friends that have taken me on an amazing journey through the years. It’s sad to know that this is the last year we will all be together but we are living it up to the fullest and soaking in all the fun ISU has to offer. I can’t wait to see what the future holds and will always be a cyclone at heart.
Amanda Heiderscheit, Genetics

My last first day definitely went a lot different than my first one. I have early classes again this semester (ugh) and I set my alarm for 6 so I could wake up and workout before my 9 am. I ended up waking up at 8:49 so I threw on some clothes, my glasses, and a messy bun and got in my car, drove to campus, and made it to English 302H like 2 minutes late. Pretty impressive, right? I also ended up being late to my other class at 11 because I procrastinated and didn’t get my lab books so I had to power walk from Gilman to the MU to get my books and back up to Science 1. Good thing I had to put on a lab coat because I was a sweaty mess when I got there. Looking back, I was much more organized my first day as a freshman, but I was also running late and showing up right on time a lot then too. Some things never change🤷🏽‍♀️
Katie Tupper, Kinesiology and Health

My first day of freshman year, I was nervous and unsure of myself. I didn’t know if I would get good grades, meet new people, and adjust to college, but after my first day of senior year those fears couldn’t be farther from how my college experience went. My freshman year I would wake up an hour before all my classes, make coffee, shower, brush my teeth and get ready for the day. Now, you’d find me in bed 20 minutes before my classes begin. I can make coffee, brush my teeth, and get dressed in record time to get out the door and arrive 1 to 2 minutes before my classes begin. Now that my classes aren’t filled to the brim with 300 students, I don’t have to journey across a narrow row by toppling over backpacks, coffee cups, legs, and MacBooks to find an open seat. I’ve made memories and friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I hope to make more. Stress still comes around with exams, vet school applications, Honors Projects, and everything else that comes with college but this is meant to be the best time of your life. Don’t let stress hold you back from making some of the best memories of your life.
Evan Schwarz, Animal Science

On my first day freshman year, which seems like yesterday, I showed up to my first class 45 minutes early to make sure I got there in time. Total freshman move. On my last first day as a senior, I got a little better and only showed up 15 minutes early. I spent the day catching up with friends and finishing unpacking. I finally moved out of Lorch-Russell and live off campus, which means I have to cook my own meals. Time really flew by, but I can’t wait for what the year has to bring!
Paige Boor, Mechanical Engineering

The first week of my senior year was, like all the others, hectic. The influx of emails began on Monday and requests to sign up to represent clubs became more urgent. As I put my name down on too many Sheets sign-ups, I was a little sad thinking about how this is my last year getting to be a student handing out flyers and answering questions for incoming students. That’s what I’ve loved about Iowa State but what I’m thankful for: becoming a person who enjoys outreach and helping others. Because of all my clubs and leadership roles, I was able to realize that I don’t want to sit behind a desk for my entire life. I want to help others and act as a resource.
My very first day of freshman year, I dropped my phone outside of Parks Library and it shattered. My very first day. Despite starting poorly, I made it through that week. And that semester. And the whole year! And now I’m a senior, with worse things having happened than a shattered phone, preparing to graduate with two degrees (with Honors!) and go on to graduate school. Don’t let a bad first day or week stop you from succeeding – push harder and farther until you get that medal.
Emily Hammer, Management and Marketing

The biggest difference between my first day of classes as a Cyclone and my last first day of classes was nerves. I don’t remember my very first class freshman year, but I do remember breaking down into tears after my first Spanish class that week – and this time, I started the week by meeting with my current Spanish professor about contracting his course for Honors instead. Having been here for four years now, I’m pretty comfortable with where everything is on campus, what I need to do to prepare for my classes, and where to get my daily 3-5 cups of coffee (a back-to-school necessity). Fifth time might be the charm when it comes to a low-stress start to the semester!
Ellie Conrad, Global Resource Systems and Agriculture & Society

I graduate in less than 250 days and I’m still not sure about my majors, but I also don’t know what I would change to. If the adults are right, it won’t really matter anyway.
I didn’t have senioritis that much in high school, but the first week of senior year made it very clear to me that I am going to get absolutely plowed by college senioritis. Only when it comes to homework though, because I already pre-miss everything else about ISU and Ames.
Being a senior is great because there are a bajillion people I adore or am awkward acquaintances with walking around on campus and I love running into a lot of people I know as I’m walking from class to class. That is a huge change from freshman year when I didn’t know anyone and my ratio of eating alone to eating with people was roughly 7:1. I’ll miss Iowa State for a lot of reasons, but the biggest is definitely the people.
Hannah Sams, Marketing and Management

After a semester studying “abroad” in Wyoming, I’m excited to end my 9-month sabbatical and finish the final lap as a Cyclone! Despite 15 “first days” already, the feeling of not knowing “how-to student” persists, and I spend the first week or so every fall overcoming my chronic imposter syndrome. By the second week, I usually find a comfortable stride of class, work, and self-care, but it’s always a struggle finding the train tracks right off the bat.
Some feelings never change: fear manifested in physical form in the syllabi of a few classes (and/or their professors), the moistness that forms when you fast-walk across campus, and the goosebumps rising on my arms hearing the band rehearse for game day.
If I had the opportunity to find freshman-year-me around campus, I’d affirm him that all the stresses of the first week are valid (as they are every week), but never stop trying to take it all in: the good, the bad, the copious amounts of free food on campus. Remember that you get to choose your adventure each and every day at ISU.
Blake Lineweaver, Agronomy and International Agriculture

My first few weeks of classes as a freshman were littered with uncertainty. All I wanted to do was be prepared, but you learn to roll with the punches. I wanted to be as involved as possible, so I started signing-up for around 8 different clubs; however, you eventually fall into a few clubs where you feel the most comfortable and have the most fun. Now, my first week may not have lots of homework, but my leadership positions have kept me plenty busy. My schedule has definitely gotten much more cluttered since Freshman year. Do not take it for granted! I have finally started to understand time management after 3 years, which is an essential skill in college. I am going to miss the friendships I made with my classmates because I was able to see some of the same people in my Civil Engineering classes everyday. Pretty soon that won’t happen anymore… Make the most out of the time here and create last memories because I know I am going to miss it when they force me to leave this wonderful place.
Sam Schreck, Civil Engineering

Now that my last first week of undergrad is over, it’s crazy to look back and think about how much has changed since by first first week 4 years ago. The first week of my freshman year I got to my classes 30 minutes early, walked around campus while constantly checking the MyState app’s map for where I was going, never wanted to eat lunch alone, had no idea what clubs to join, and consistently got lost in the basement of Gilman every week for Chemistry recitation. Now as a senior, I get to class just in time to sit down, know where the buildings are or can figure it out from a glance at the map as I’m on my way to campus, don’t mind eating alone at all (sometimes it’s nice to just relax for a bit), and joined a handful of awesome clubs. While a lot has changed, I do think I will forever be destined to get lost in the basement of Gilman whenever I have to go down there!
As my time at Iowa State is coming to an end, I know that I will be experiencing a lot of last firsts and will be reminiscing on all the wonderful things that have happened during my time here. The years have really flown by, but I am so thankful for all of the incredible people I’ve met and memories I’ve gotten to make. I can’t wait to make many more during my last semester!
Courtney Smyth, Mechanical Engineering

My mom made me take a first day of school pic – here it is!

The start of my senior year is exciting! My classes are all great (so far) and I have a few cool projects going this semester. It’s funny to think about my first week where I was a little chem major excited to work in a lab by myself avoiding people at all costs as I have a new found passion for (human) population studies. I started my week google mapping my classes and relearning the bus system (some things never change- in my defense I’m in a new section of campus every semester). I’m going to miss running into everyone at the library or at my favorite coffee shops!
Sara Ronnkvist, Statistics

I remember my first college course very vividly: HIST 221 in the Molecular Biology auditorium. I was 30 minutes early to class, had my textbooks, and was eager to learn. I think I wrote down every word my professor said that day.
Fast forward to senior year, I was definitely eager to learn on Monday morning but was neither early nor prepared considering I didn’t have any textbooks or even notebooks until later this week. I am a little sad that my time at this wonderful university will be coming to an end come May but am thankful for the people I have met and the knowledge I have gained over the past few years.
Emma Chizek, Supply Chain Management and International Business

My first day of senior year was the best first day of class I think I have had. I decided I wanted to try something, new so I went to kick boxing class in the morning. I then got to see all of my friends that I had made in animal science and get to share the feeling of relief for submitting my veterinary school application. The whole semester is going to be a waiting game of finding out what is going to happen next year. It is so surreal to me that I have dreamed of becoming a veterinarian my entire life and this was my first last day of undergrad before I get to hopefully move on to my last stretch of schooling. My advice for freshman would be to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. You don’t believe it when people tell you college is going to go fast until you are a senior and you realize it didn’t just go fast, it flew by before your eyes.
Allison Wallace, Animal Science

I was a transfer student to Iowa State so my first week of my first semester was not my first rodeo. I had taken a year off from school in order to complete my Initial Entry Training for the Army and I was going from going to school in North Dakota back to my home state in Iowa. Coming to Iowa State, I only knew a handful of other people in the area. I was nervous about making new friends and finding a community to belong to. Over the last three years I’ve developed strong and lasting relationships with many of my peers, and have found a home with them: my brothers and sisters in arms in the ROTC program; within my field of study, computer science; and through the many extracurricular activities offered at Iowa State. As I start my last semester I find myself in a position not all that different from when I started. A large portion of my friends have spread across the country as they explore the next adventure in their lives, and there are few left here in Ames. Instead of being nervous as I was on my first day here in Ames, I am excited for the opportunity to develop new friendships over my last semester. Your adventure here at Iowa State is up to you to control, and the finish is just as important as the start.
Calvin Kranig, Computer Science

My last first day of college was pretty different from freshman year! This year my first and only class on Monday is at 2:10pm. I didn’t read the syllabus, buy textbooks or run around walking my schedule and finding my exact classroom the day before. I casually rolled up a few minutes before class started, sweating significantly less than I would have been 3 years ago. So, overall, I would say I have grown!
Jess Hayes, Management

I gotta say, it’s really weird to think that graduation is right around the corner. Seems like my time on Starbuck was just the other day! I’m really thankful that I’ve had the chance to take advantage of so many opportunities here. From off-road racing with the SAE Baja team out in California to going overseas to study at TU Delft in the Netherlands, I’ve really gotten to do it all and I have no idea how I managed to fit it all in!
One of my favorite memories from early freshman year comes from the end of Destination Iowa State. After an awesome weekend of running around campus and getting to know my DIS group, my team managed to get front row seats to the hypnotist. I didn’t know it would happen at the time but that same group would become some of my best friends in college! As we waited for the hypnotist to begin, music was playing over Hilton’s sound system and my group was developing a strategy to get one of our members hypnotised. All of a sudden, our DIS leader, David, sprung up and began dancing as we all cheered him on. This earned him the nickname “Dancemaster David”, and every year since then my DIS group and I have fielded an intramural curling team named “Dancemaster David’s Super Duper Curling Crew” in his honor. Now that all of us have either graduated or are about to I suppose this will be the last curling crew, but I don’t think any of my group will ever forget our time in DIS or curling!
Sam Vande Loo, Mechanical Engineering

Looking back on my first year at Iowa State, I like to think not much has changed but in reality I’ve learned so much! From learning how to wake up with JUST enough time to make it to class to neutering a cat for the first time at my senior internship, I have loved being a student so much, I decided to do four more years! I will be applying to vet school for fall of 2020 and can’t wait for my last undergraduate semesters as a cyclone!
Megan Conry, Animal Science

Going to my last first day of class felt a bit like remembering how to ride a bike. I was definitely a lot less nervous than on my first day, and I got lost way fewer times. However, I did have a class this semester in a building I had never been to before, so I guess you’re never done learning!
My very first college class my freshman year was in a learning community with a bunch of other industrial engineers. My first class of my “last first day” this year was with almost all those same people. We’re older, wiser, and we never have to take another calc class again. I feel bonded with these people as we’ve supported each other through our degree, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.
I’m excited to finish my degree and look towards the future. I have had so many amazing opportunities through Iowa State that I am so grateful for, and now I’m just looking forward to enjoying many more “lasts” with all the people I’ve met since my first day.
Jaclyn Stiller, Industrial Engineering

September 10, 2016

As a homeschooled student, the first day of school has never been a big deal for me. Except the First Day of College: after my parents left, I sat on my desk chair, under the sloping roof of Harwood House, by myself, and wondered how I was going to tackle this huge scary adventure called College. Since then, I have followed my dreams, made inseparable friends, and failed a time or twenty. Looking back at my 2020 Resume from FHP, baby-freshman-me had a few things right: I really did edit engineering papers, learn CSS, and stick with Tech Comm, Design, and Com Sci. I didn’t photograph the Fashion Show or become a CA, but (even better) I launched a rocket at NASA and landed an internship at Workiva. And I found a home at Iowa State.
Four years later, on the Last First Day, I’m wondering how to tackle the huge scary adventure called Adult Life. Engaged to my best friend and co-Harwood-alum, praying for a full-time job offer, and planning the rest of my life – I’ve come so far and moved so fast that my emotions are still catching up. I don’t want to think about saying goodbye. So, I’m going to enjoy my last semester to the fullest! Thank you, ISU and Honors, for being the best time of my life so far!
Sarah Kreutner, Technical Communication


First Days as a Cyclone (2019)

We asked First-Year Honors Program students to tell us a little about their first official week as Iowa State students…here’s what they said! Here’s what they said in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013, too.

I’ve enjoyed my first week of classes at ISU, and honors has definitely helped. We have a group of friends who all get breakfast together and work on calculus homework in the dens in Starbuck. Honors students are the best resources for other honors students, and we all help each other, it’s a nice community.
Samuel Richardson; E3, Chemical Engineering

Coming from a previously homeschooled student, this first week has been amazing and intriguing.  Imagine the transition from studying alone at home to attending a lecture hall of three hundred students or more!  Yet, the environment has been enriching and I welcome this change with excitement.  I can especially thank the Honors community for making such a large school seem smaller and more personal.  I look forward to these next four years and can’t wait to see how I grow in all aspects of my life.
Jennessa Sharratt; F2, Pre-Dietetics,

Living without AC hasn’t been bad at all, luckily the weather has been beautiful this first week of classes! So far, my favorite spot on campus is Hach Hall because it is quiet and has lots of pretty glassware to look at.
Erika Nelson; M3, Chemistry

This week has been a lot of readjusting to keep up with classes and homework, along with putting a lot of time and effort into marching band for the game tomorrow. I had a great experience relaxing and relieving stress by coming into Jischke, making myself some instant oatmeal, and just sitting and listening to music while I figured out what homework I had due. I’ve found a lot of great places to spend time on campus, and that’s been a great part of my first week of classes.
Adam Eichhorn; D3, Materials Engineering

I had an awesome time at the Honors kick off and it felt so nice to meet some of the people in my Honors seminar! Especially because some of them are also in my major so we have similar interests. My first day of school was as awesome as I expected and I couldn’t be happier to finally be a Cyclone! Shout out to my Honors seminar leader Ashish for helping me study for my calc quiz!
Kaleb Dunsbergen; B1, Aerospace Engineering

FHP Kickoff I would say was the height of my week. I really like my leaders and the other freshman in my group. I love that I have a couple of classes with some so those in my group so it is nice to have some familiar faces in my new classes. Living in the dorms has been pretty good although I feel like I will never take air conditioning for granted ever again. I am unsure whether to say ‘I can’t wait until it gets cooler outside’ because I am sure it will go from cool to freezing really quick lol
Mia Riddley; B2, Mechanical Engineering

I actually had a really good first week of college! I had a lot of fun at the FHP kickoff and I am enjoying my group for Hon121. I was a bit overwhelmed on Monday and Tuesday, but now I feel  less stressed about what college will be like, because I have experienced one week already. My favorite place on campus so far has to be the bench/table area in between Carver and Beardshear. Most of my classes on Tuesday are around that area so in between classes I sit and work on homework or just get ready for my next class. I am super excited for what the next weeks hold!
Elyse Payne; J3, Software Engineering

I have definitely enjoyed my time here at Iowa State so far. My first day went by faster than I thought it would have because I enjoy my classes and they go by faster than one would think. The FHP kick-off was great and I was able to meet the people in my section and get some free food from Hickory Park. I have already joined a few clubs, including Students Helping Shelter Animals, Ag Ed Club, and Collegiate 4-H. I also have already found a great church community and youth group.
Alex McDougall; D2, Agriculture Education – Teacher Certification

My first week has been great! I’m living in Harwood, which has a great community and is good way to meet other honors students. My first day of class started off rough (due to Chem 177L), but the day ended on a positive note (me starting to understand what was going on). I actually enjoyed experiencing the differences between all of my instructors. It has been a very busy week, with all sorts of kickoffs happening nightly. The FHP kickoff was a fun way to meet the people in my honors section, and the food was top notch. I’m super excited to see what research opportunities I can find for next semester! Harwood is having a game night tonight, and then on to the three day weekend! Overall, a pretty solid first week.
Joan Meis; H1, Biology

I was unable to attend the FHP kickoff because I was at marching band rehearsal. However, my first honors 121 class went very well! The first day of classes overall was a little stressful, but I was more comfortable by the second day. Not having air conditioning hasn’t been as issue for me so far. I haven’t found a favorite spot on campus yet, but I have had some extra time between classes to explore new places around campus. I am definitely looking forward to the honors retreat coming up soon, and I’m excited to hear more about all the activities within the honors program!
Megan Wolfe; K2, Chemical Engineering

The FHP kickoff was a lot of fun because it gave honors students like myself a chance to make bonds with other students whether they were in the same Honors group or not. Not to mention it included free food from Hickory Park which is always greatly appreciated by any college student. The first day of class made me very anxious as a student because I had no idea how it would compare to High School. Turns out it isn’t as bad as I thought it would be yet, but the workload is definitely way bigger than it was in High School. The Honors activity I am probably most excited about is the retreat because I am just always looking to meet new people.

Ben Hones; F2, Mechanical Engineering

My first week of classes went a lot better than expected. I would say it went amazing, but my new backpack broke on day five 😦 I guess it is part of the adventure figuring out how to get to the mall on CyRide. Haha! Anyways, Honors 121 is by far my favorite class and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester brings!

Katelyn Langel; G1, Kinesiology and Health

My first week has been amazing! The Sunday before school, while the other kids were nervous about starting a new chapter in their lives, I dressed up as professional rapper Eminem and serenaded numerous sorority girls, which I didn’t think I would ever imagine myself doing if you had asked me a year ago. I loved it, and I love the brotherhood my fraternity provides for me.
Anthony Aldrich; C3, Animal Ecology

Diving right into my ENGR160 was overwhelming, but after getting through the first assignment and reading, the next class ended up being really fun! I’m really enjoying having class with Professor Cademartiri. I’ve also found the perfect studying spot on the third floor of Parks Library. It’s quiet and right in front of a big window so I can get in some sunlight while doing my homework.
Elle Whitney; F2, Engineering Undeclared

I am super excited for the opportunities in research next semester as well as the amazing clubs I have seen this week for the engineering department as well as the clubs I will see soon at ClubFest!
Josh Holtzleiter; M3, Mechanical Engineering

The first week at Iowa State felt refreshing. It was so nice to have a new beginning on a campus where I knew there wouldn’t be anyone from home. This allowed me to create new friendships and to better network myself for the upcoming years. Unfortunately, I did not take a first-day-of-school photo, but if I did, it would have been of me face down on my bed. So far, my favourite spot on campus has to be wherever I’m hanging out with my housemates. The favourite dining center has become Friley Windows, and my favourite food I’ve encountered has been the breakfast breads/cakes.
The Honors program has been fun so far. The resources and opportunities the program provides has been helpful for me so far, and has helped to expand my knowledge and the life experiences I’ve had.
Taras-Michael Butrie; H2, Aerospace Engineering

My first official week as a Cyclone went pretty well! Before the first day I made sure to walk to my classes so I had a general idea of where I needed to go. Also I made sure to put all the locations into my phone map so it would give me walking directions. (I know that is a very freshman thing to do, but being late to class the first day because I got lost seemed even more ~freshman~).
The morning classes started my grandpa texted me at 6:30 and said “you won’t specifically remember many days of class, but you will always remember your first day of college”. My first thought was “My goodness why is my 80 year old grandpa up this early?”, and my second thought was “The man has a point”. I easily remember walking into my first class of the year: Animal Science 114 with probably 300 students in it. That was scary.
The FHP kickoff went really well. Honestly I was a little worried that I would not be friends with my group, but I have two really awesome section leaders and a few of the members are now my good friends at ISU now. The kickoff was a really good way to get to know people, and an even greater way to get some free food! I am really looking forward to the Honors Retreat, so hopefully it does not get rained out again this year.
My favorite thing on campus right now is the campanile. When I am walking around to my classes I make sure to take out my headphones so I can listen to the music. My roommate is a music major and involved in four different bands, and she told me she got to play the bells in the campanile last week! Also, my floor has a big window that has a perfect view of the sunset, so I like to walk down the hall everyday to watch it. The campus is so pretty that most days I just walk around to look at the buildings. I already had to invite a friend from home to show him around.
This weekend I went to the Iowa State football game versus UNI. The game was crazy because I was convinced we had won it four different times. Me and my friends were really stressed out in the third over time. Something weird for me is that my mom went to UNI and my grandpa is from Cedar Falls, so we have always supported UNI sports. Additionally, my family has always supported University of Iowa, my sister goes there now, and growing up I was also a BIG Hawkeye fan. Now that I am at Iowa State I need to learn to despise two teams I always loved when I was little! It is a weird transition, but no worries, I am a Cyclone through and through now!
Jordan Rindels; A3, Animal Science

Honors Summer Snapshots: Sam

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2019 summer routines via photos. Sam Anderson (senior in Biology and Genetics) spent a lot of time with wine this summer for “science”:

I have had the privilege of working in two laboratories this summer in Ames! Each morning, I start my day off in Dr. Johansen’s lab in the Molecular Biology Building.


I work with Drosophila each morning, where I am in charge of taking care of the fly stocks and making their food each week. I am excited to transition to working on my honors research project with this group starting in the fall!


Even though you wouldn’t guess it from this picture, my afternoon lab job includes wine! I spend my afternoons working for Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute housed in the Food Sciences Building. I do a lot of wine chemistry analysis for winemakers across the state and have learned so much about Iowa wine this summer!


The institute also has their own research projects going on, which I have been fortunate enough to help with. In order to have wine for research, we are growing La Crescent and Marquette grapes at the ISU Horticulture Farm just north of Ames!


Besides working in my labs, I have been able to take a few trips this summer as well. While in North Carolina over the fourth of July, I was able to explore the Nantahala National forest and even hike a part of the Appalachian trail.


I also made a weekend trip to St. Louis with friends from my hometown, and of course we had to stop at Anheuser-Busch for a tour and a taste!


Otherwise, this summer has been pretty relaxed, and I have been able to make good use of my kayak on several occasions with my friends. I am excited for my college friends to come back to Ames though as the summer winds down—let senior year begin!

Honors Summer Snapshots: Moira

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2019 summer routines via photos. Moira Henderson (spring ’19 Honors grad in Industrial Engineering) chose between 87 job offers and has landed in Colorado. She is now exclusively wearing Cyclone gear while hiking to identify other Iowa Staters in the mountains:

Hello honors blog! My name is Moira Henderson and I just graduated (!!!) in May with a degree in Industrial Engineering with a Spanish minor. This summer, I started my first full time job with Medtronic in their Operations Leadership Development Program in Boulder, CO.

Medtronic is the world’s largest medical device company and their products improve the lives of two people every second. I am working in their Minimally Invasive Therapies Group where I will rotate through three engineering roles in the next two years (supervisor, manufacturing engineer, and quality engineer). I have been here for about six weeks and I’ve learned a lot so far!


I am a supervisor for my first rotation and my manufacturing lines produce vessel sealing devices. Here is a picture from Medtornic’s website of one of the devices that is used for tonsillectomies and here is a link to where you can see a video of the device used in surgery. If you are squeamish like me, I would recommend not watching it!


One of the best parts about moving to Colorado is being able to explore! This picture was taken on one of my hikes through Chautauqua Park which is only about 10 minutes from where I live and work.


I’ve also been able to try some new places to eat! Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder has a lot of great restaurants and shops!


Over the Fourth of July, I got to watch fireworks at CU Boulder’s Folsom Field! There was a big thunderstorm with hail just before, but it ended in time for us to still watch the fireworks!


Rocky Mountain National Park is only about an hour away from Boulder so I’ve been able to hike there a couple of times already! This is a picture from my first hike ever at RMNP! I wore an ISU shirt and met a couple of fellow Cyclones on my hike!


I was able to watch the sunset on one of my hikes in RMNP! The hike was definitely worth the view!


I am extremely thankful that I have the opportunity to live in this beautiful place and I am excited to explore some more! Although I’m sad that I won’t be moving back to Ames this year, I am looking forward to see what the future holds for me in colorful Colorado!

Honors Summer Snapshots: Allison

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2019 summer routines via photos. Allison Wallace (senior in Animal Science) is literally working with lions, tigers, and bears (don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it) oh my!

I have been interning at Valley of the Kings Sanctuary in Sharon, Wisconsin working with bears, lions, tigers, wolf hybrids, and many farm animals! It is a sanctuary for abused and neglected animals that are often kept as pets and are a non-profit.




When I am not there I am a patient care technician at the animal hospital in my hometown!

I also recently went on a vacation all over southern Colorado:

Honors Summer Snapshots: Leah

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2019 summer routines via photos. Leah Johnson (junior in Agricultural Biochemistry) would like to offer you a wallaby cookie:

Hi all! I’m Leah and I am a Junior at Iowa State in the honors program. I just recently changed my major from Animal Science to Biochemistry, because I realized that I’m much more passionate about the science rather than the animals (although don’t get me wrong, I still love animals). My summer has been a hodge-podge of a lot of different things– calculus homework, giant tortoises, and conspiracy theories to name a few.

I have been interning at Blank Park Zoo in the Commissary, which prepares the diets for the animals at the zoo, while also working as a zoo camp counselor for kindergartners. My internship has given me the opportunity to do a lot of awesome things and meet a lot of awesome people (and animals). A few of my favorite animals that I have met can be seen below in some pretty cool pictures.

Jacobi is the male giraffe at Blank Park Zoo, and those bumps on his head are actually supposed to be there, and very normal! Only male giraffes have bumps on their heads, and although no one really knows what their purpose is, it’s suspected to be for padding during combat.


Barnaby is our male Aldabra tortoise– he’s been here since the zoo opened in 1966 and is believed to be between 70 and 100 years old. He weighs over 500 pounds but is a big old sweetheart. As part of my internship I got a behind the scenes tour and was able to go into Barnaby’s enclosure and hang out with him for a little bit. He loves it when you scratch his back, because tortoises can actually feel sensation in their shells!


My other favorite animals at the zoo are the free roaming peacocks. They love to show off, especially during their breeding season in July. There are three peacocks that wander around the zoo–two of them are normally colored and the third is leucitic meaning that it lacks melanin and is completely white. The one pictured here is named Kevin, after the bird from the movie Up.


While working in the commissary I learned a lot of cool things about nutrition and feeding animals. At zoos especially, many times food is used not only as a means of nourishment but also as enrichment. I got to make ice treats for lots of different animals during the heat wave, and cookies for a wallaby. The cookies were made out of crumbs from the wallaby feed, mashed bananas, juice, and raisins to top them. They were made for an underweight wallaby who needed to get more nutrients and sugar in his diet. Zookeepers are always thinking of new and creative ways to keep animals happy and healthy!


I also went on a lot of fun trips with friends and family this summer. Some friends that I met while working at the zoo and I took a trip to Omaha to visit the Henry Doorly Zoo. It was really interesting to see the comparison between the small zoo that I had been working at and one of the largest zoos in America.

We had so much fun at The Henry Doorly Zoo and I definitely recommend that everyone goes there at least once in their life. We walked through a tunnel of sharks, got to see some super cool jellyfish, and tons of different types of primates:

My family and I also went on a trip to Denver, where we went to a convention for our family company. We flew into the Denver airport–which I was super jazzed about because I was ready to explore the creepy murals and secret tunnels. Unfortunately, they were expanding the portion of the airport where the murals typically are (seems suspicious) so they were off display. I did get a picture with this statue of an astronaut, which I sadly can’t tie into my conspiracy theories.

Overall, I had a pretty good summer. I met a lot of interesting people, learned more about what I think I want to do with my life, and got the opportunity to go on some really fun and relaxing trips. Although I’ve had a great time, now I’m looking forward to the school year starting and all of my friends coming back to Ames!

How To Make Marie Kondo Proud on a College Student’s Budget

Tips on Packing Smarter, not Harder

by Megan Ziemann

It’s finally August, so that means it’s time for summer internships to end, vacation to wrap up, and for those of us who don’t live in Ames, time to start packing for our return to campus. I’m ears deep in the packing process too, and this year, packing smart is really important because my apartment is pretty tiny. To get a broader scope of what is really essential for college, I’ve interviewed a couple of my friends about their first year on campus- what they left at home, what they brought, and what they actually ended up using. Below are my findings, with products you can actually buy!

Things to Bring

NEUTRAL DECORATIONS. It’s difficult to make your space feel like yours when there’s nothing on the walls. I went kind of overboard my first year and bought decorations for every season and every holiday, and while I had fun, I could have saved a lot of money. Instead of buying for a specific season, buy neutral decorations that can be used for anything. One of my favorites are white string lights. They’re festive around the holidays, but normal enough to have up year round.

via Amazon

SMART STORAGE. If you’re living in a residence hall this year, smart storage is a must. You’ll accumulate a lot of small things (hello, Welcomefest!) and it’s nice to be able to put all of that stuff away. If you’re bringing a TV, consider making your TV stand double as storage. I’m a fan of those cube cubby things, because an eight-cube unit + your 32” TV fits under a lofted bed perfectly. Plus, the cube colors are up to you.

via Target

ZIP TIES. These are kind of boring, but come in super handy for cord organization. I have two surge protectors, a really long laptop charger, and a couple of ethernet cables. All of these can fit in one drawer and be easily accessible when they’re wrapped around themselves instead of laying there loose. I also used zip ties to attach a container to the side of my loft when I lived in a residence hall, and that came in really handy for late night snacking.

via Walmart

Things to Leave

A PRINTER. Having your own printer may seem like a necessity, and it may be if you’re living off campus, but for the majority of the student population, it’s not. Parks library has both black and white and color printing options, the design building can print glossy photos and large posters, and Copyworks can do pretty much anything. If you’re on the fence about bringing your printer, I would urge you to leave that at home because you’ll be saving money and room by not having it here. I don’t think you’ll miss it.

WINTER CLOTHING. I committed this no-no my first year on campus. Trust me, the weather in Iowa may change quickly, but you do not need your heavy winter coat on move-in day. A perfect time to exchange your summer and fall clothing for your winter clothing is Thanksgiving break, since a lot of students return home that week. Also, consider moving the clothing you are bringing by using garbage bags as garment bags! It’s a lot cheaper, and chances are you’re going to be buying garbage bags anyway.

via Pinterest

YOUR CAR. This one is going to be more of a case-by-case choice, but for myself, bringing a car was not a requirement. Cyride takes you anywhere in Ames you need, including apartment complexes that are further away from campus, but if you are working off campus, you may still need your car. I would definitely start without one, though, and only bring it if you feel like you need it.

via Cyride