One Year Later

by Megan Leill (Honors/Food Science alumna, class of 2013)

IMG_3411Two Meg(h)ans, one year ago: Honors Graduate Assistant Meghan Blancas and Honors graduate Megan Leill (the author of this post) at Honors convocation in 2013

This post was meant to be written one month after graduating (in 2013) as a way to reflect on my time in Honors and how I felt prepared to enter the “real” world. However, I am 11 months late in writing this and as I watch my friends and former classmates graduate and go on in their journeys, I not only realize that I failed to submit this post in time, but that time goes crazy fast. It has already been 365 days since I walked across the stage to receive my degree in Food Science. That is a full year since I said goodbye to the amazing ISU campus. And that means it has been 12 months since I was a part of the University Honors Program!

When I went off to college, I was so afraid to meet new people and to find things to do and on top of all that, get school work done. The Honors Program at Iowa State single-handedly squashed all of my fears. Living in an Honors dorm gave me an instant network of people who I now consider my lifelong friends. The Freshman Honors Program helped to ease my transition and give me really unique outside of the classroom opportunities. Becoming a leader in FHP as well as a member of the Honors Student Board taught me leadership and organizational skill. Then, acting as an Honors Ambassador allowed for me to share my passions for the University and the Honors Program. I was so fortunate to have been a part of the Iowa State University Honors Program and I strongly believe that it was the most influential part of my college career. I miss the program and all of the wonderful people who were a part of my Honors journey. In honor of it being twelve months since I graduated with honors, I have listed below, twelve of my top Honors memories.

  1. “Family Dinners” with dormmates from Barton Anders
  2. Attending awkward prom in my mother’s bridesmaids dress (from 1984)
  3. Spending hours in Jischke where you can find the most comfortable couches and the second best water fountain on campus
  4. Attending the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in both Phoenix and Boston
  5. Blogging about my emotions three times a week for an Honors seminar
  6. Free ice skating every fall
  7. Winning an intramural t-shirt for broomball with my Barton Anders team
  8. Wearing my red Honors Ambassador polo and nametag around campus with pride
  9. Attending and volunteering at the Honors retreat all four years
  10. Presenting my Honors Capstone Project and receiving my Honors medal
  11. Receiving the Robert Parks Student Award (which sits proudly in my new apartment)
  12. Becoming lifelong friends with fellow students and the staff of the Honors Program

My time in Honors meant the world to me. Every day I can see how it impacted and influenced me. I cannot believe how fast the past year has gone. I wish all of my newly graduated Honors friends the best in whatever lies ahead. Time really does fly so enjoy it! To everyone who was a part of my time in Honors I say thank you. To all of the new graduates, I say congratulations!!


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