Honors Summer Adventures: Mike is all Honors, all the time

I am saying hello to the Iowa State Honors community from my summer home on the International Space Station! Just kidding; I am in Ames. However, I am still enjoying my summer and quite frankly am getting tired of all the blog posts written from Spain, Italy, MIT, Ithaca, and the like. I am having a complete blast here on campus doing exactly what I wanted to this summer: welcoming next year’s class of First Year Honors Program (FHP) students.

Do the current Honors students out there remember your Honors orientation session when you attended June orientation? Was it with Jamie and Jared? Well this summer Emily Wilcox, Meghan Blancas, and I had the marathon task of telling the 450 incoming freshmen what to expect out of their first year in Honors. After doing exactly that I can honestly say that I am extremely excited for what next year has to offer. Sure there are the few students who forgot to turn in their acceptance form, or showed up late to orientation, but overwhelmingly next year’s Honors students promise to be fun, exciting, talented, and have a strong desire to live in Honors housing!

Flannery karaokeMe with the brand new Honors karaoke machine…which didn’t work

What will the class of 2017 have to offer? Aerospace Engineers. Forty three of them. Get used to hearing about airplanes, rockets, SpaceX, and how to best fend off rogue asteroids in the halls of Jischke. Next up are Business majors. Being such an in demand field has increased this demographic. If HSB doesn’t watch out they may soon be turned into a money making enterprise… An increase in the number of pillow forts might plague the building when all of the Pre-Architecture majors arrive on campus. And as always the Pre-Med and Pre-Vet students should keep us all healthy.

Aside from the actual orientation presentation, I would many times assist students in scheduling classes or answering specific questions they had about FHP. Every student and family was extremely kind and patient. Now that orientation is over my job is that of a student worker (you have surely seen these friendly faces when you’ve walked up the stairs in Jischke to turn something in to the office). My duties now include basically whatever needs to be done. This includes delivering mail, making all of the FHP buttons for the new students (yes I mean ALL of them), going down to the SUPER EXCLUSIVE basement of Jischke to dig through old files, answering the phone, and more. As a student worker I have worked closely with the other Honors staff; every member of the administrative team really does want to help you get the most out of Honors. If at times we seem impatient, frustrated, or a little surly it is because Honors students aren’t always the easiest to work with (I can say this because I am one). So having spent time on both floors of Jischke I would like to leave you with some tips on how to make your Honors experience a positive one. These are simple pointers that are easy to implement and will keep the Honors staff happy, thus improving the experience of Honors for everyone.

So here it is, Mike’s Keep-the-Staff-Happy List of Simple Tips (still working on the title): Turn things in before they are due and NEVER late; this avoids awkward phone calls and ensures that the staff can do their job on time as well. Students are always annoyed when the staff doesn’t do something in a timely manner when this is many times the fault of the students themselves. Next, be nice; the staff is much more likely to be friendly if you are friendly. Even if a mistake has been made, a friendly face is always the way to go. Next, write neatly. If it’s impossible to read what you write then it’s basically like you turned nothing in. Lastly, come upstairs to visit the staff. They are friendly and love to hear about all of the fun things you are doing on and off campus. The reward the staff gets from all of their hours spent on your education is seeing you grow and thrive at Iowa State. Tell them about your accomplishments, and ask them for help if you need it. Whether you are a prospective high school student, an incoming freshman, a current student, or even an alumnus the staff is here to help.

I’m not the only student who decided to stay in Ames. Even though we don’t have any pictures of us in the French countryside, all of us are glad to have stayed in this wonderful place.


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