Hidden Gems

I’ve always found that ISU and Honors seems to be full of hidden activities and services that aren’t a secret but no one seems to know about them. Lately these things just keep making themselves known to me and I felt that I should blow the cover on some of them.

The first would be First Lego League. This is big nationwide competition that gives students in grades 4-8th an opportunity to get involved with science. ISU holds the state level competition each year and it always seems like so many people don’t know about. I’ve been involved as a volunteer for it for the last two years and I’ve had a blast. This last year I was the team helper for a team from northern Iowa. It was my responsibility to guide the team around, make sure they reached all of their judging appointments, be their cheerleader, reassure them, and make sure they got to do as many outreach activities as possible. These kids are just fantastic to work with. A huge emphasis is placed on teamwork and professionalism so as you walk past other teams, they’ll be wishing you good luck, handing you stickers, and generally trying to brighten your day. As a team helper, I get to see my team present and compete. I also get to participate in outreach activities with them. This can be anything and everything from holding insects, dairy science trivia, tornado simulations, virtual reality tours, neat science demos, seeing the solar cars and robots, and making goop with the Chemical Engineers. As a student at a university that has so much to offer, it can get easy to forget just how many opportunities there are. Thanks to the Lego League outreach activities I’ve decided to make a bucket list of sorts for this semester. Some highlights are to go on a planetarium tour, a virtual reality tour, eat lunch at the Joan Bice Tearoom, visit the Farmhouse Museum for tea, and go to at least one of the Ballroom Dance Club’s dances.


Some other things that I think people forget about are the slightly random classes that get overlooked. This semester I’m taking Ballroom Dancing. Which may sound horribly awkward to some of you, and trust me, I would have agreed with you, but it’s actually pretty fantastic. I’m actually learning to dance and it’s a great break in my day. It’s also a great way to learn how to talk to just about anyone about anything which is a skill I think most people could use.

Another thing that I never really realized ISU had available to me was career services. I recently learned that it’s completely free and fully encouraged to go to career services. They’ll help you make a rock solid resume, write your cover letters, even figure out what internships you should be looking at if you don’t know what will fit your interests best.

As far as Honors goes, this semester we’re holding a dinner with President Leath. This will be an opportunity for honors students to meet the new president and discuss different topics with him. With thousands of students on campus, the fact that I have an opportunity to have a face to face discussion with the newest president of ISU is pretty fantastic.

Finally, later this semester the Honors Student Board is going to be hosting a workshop on how to write about yourself. At first glance that might sound a bit silly, but as a student applying to grad programs this spring, a workshop like this is just the thing I need to rock my admissions essays. Those essays count for large chunks of your application and can mean the difference between getting an interview and being passed over.

Posted by Emily


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