*Last* First Days As A Cyclone (2014 edition, part 2)

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?  Part 1 of these reflections is here.


I can’t believe senior year came so fast! My last first day was drastically different from my FIRST first day of class, to say the very least. Although I still have a Monday morning 8:00 AM lecture, in contrast to arriving 30 minutes early for a philosophy lecture, I was frantically checking the room number for my animal feeds class at 7:55 AM–I still managed to make it on time!

My schedule is certainly bit more hectic than when I first started college, and my “first weeks” have been filled with work, research, and teaching instead of meet-and-greets and first club meetings I attended freshman year. In spite of all the running around, however, I am undoubtedly going to miss this place. Iowa State and the Animal Science department have offered me so many opportunities to find myself and grow as a person while learning about everything from gluconeogenesis to the anatomy of the eye. I am both sad and excited to be entering my final year at Iowa State, and it’s difficult for me to imagine being in another school next fall without the friends, students, and mentors that have been such a major part of the past three years of my life. Overall, however, I am grateful for my time spent at Iowa State and look forward to making the most of these last few months.

Allison L., Animal Science


I have a lot of differences and even a few similarities between my first freshman day and first senior day. As a freshman I was being transplanted from Minnesota high school to Iowa university life, and that was a big step for me as I began living and studying on my own in a different state. Now I had an even bigger adjustment, switching continents as I study abroad in Italy. I’m nowhere near the Midwest I grew up in, and instead I’m exploring a new country and city filled with art, food, and a way of life that’s so new to me.

I’m going to miss all of the great people I’ve met through Iowa State, and all of the opportunities I was able to take advantage of, including research and my study abroad experience.

Katey O., Graphic Design

OswaldKatey’s “first day of school” in Italy


Walking around campus during my last first week was bittersweet, but not actually. By this I mean, I looked around and realized I knew about no one on campus anymore, and this was my sign that it’s time to graduate. I have put in my time and know that Iowa State has given me the skills I need to go into the real world. I have spent three years growing my Cardinal wings, and I now have four months to spread them and start to fly come December. I will miss the my friends and the staff I worked with the most, but I know that only the most important to me will continue with me on to my real adult life. I’m not sad about this because I’ve just accepted it. I have learned a lot and grew a lot as a person, and I have now come to terms that my adventure here at ISU is ending. I worked tirelessly on my education, which included classes, multiple jobs, many exec positions, and clubs, the whole time I was here, and now it’s time for a new adventure. I’m off to the Navy, and who knows where I’ll be next year or in five, but I know that I will always be checking up on my football boys come game days in the fall and basketball boys come March Madness. It’s a bit of a shock that I won’t be walking around campus next January, but I and each graduating senior understands that it’s a necessary shock. We worked hard, and we played hard, and now starts another great unknown.

Julia H., Finance


I think my first class was Chem 167, and I just remember there being more students in the lecture than in my entire high school! The thing I’ll miss most about Iowa State is just how much there is to do, from classes, to clubs, to research, to intramurals, and everything else, there’s always something to occupy my time! Perhaps the best advice I heard regarding my final year at Iowa State is to take advantage of the unique opportunities I have before me this final year and to say yes to more things than I say no to. Saying yes to everything may not be the best of advice for an incoming freshmen, but for me, I’m looking to make my senior year the most memorable yet! The highlight of my last Fall semester at Iowa State is definitely HON 321W – the Comedy College honors seminar I’m taking!

Austin D., Computer Engineering


It is definitely bittersweet to be going through my final year here at Iowa State. I’m not sure what is more frightening – the fact that I still don’t know what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be in a year, or the idea that I’m going to some of my last ISU Football games as a student (omg what, like I actually want to cry thinking about it). In all honesty, I wasn’t too thrilled to be attending Iowa State almost 4 years ago as a freshman, but my perception has completely changed now that I’ve stepped into my final “first” day of classes. The friendships I’ve made, the memories I’ve had, and all the amazing things I’ve learned at ISU have literally been some of THE BEST times of my life and have changed who I am and how I think. I am forever grateful for that. I may not know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing next year, but that isn’t going to hold me back from making this the absolute best year yet! Let the good times roll!

Alexis P., Animal Science



Freshmen year, first day of classes, I woke up at the crack of dawn for my 8 am chemistry class excited about starting my major, meeting people, and not having to raise your hand every time you needed to use the bathroom. Of course, with these emotions came nervousness: what if I don’t like my major? What if I hate my classes? What if I oversleep? I was getting used to a roommate, my crazy, loud floor that was already starting to feel like a family, and having more activities than I could count.

Senior year, first day. I don’t have class until 11. I woke up in my apartment to my roommates, my best friends, getting ready for their classes. I am going to my last general education class. Some things haven’t changed. I love my major. I am excited to take classes in it (even if they are much harder than freshman year!), and I have more activities than free time. But the nervousness is gone. I have a family here thanks to my freshman year floor. I got involved, did well in class, and I am happy about the time spent at Iowa State.

I am going to miss living with my friends, having free time during the day, and getting involved in clubs and intramurals. I will miss the beautiful campus and even my classes. These four years have gone by so quickly, but I appreciated every single moment.

Katie V., Meteorology


The night before the first day of classes my freshman year, I set out my outfit, organized my backpack, mapped out and highlighted a route to my classes, and got a good night of sleep. During the second day of classes, I decided to take the bus because I was feeling lazy. I was living in Lyon on Harwood floor and I was going to take the bus to Jischke. I know, it’s like a 3 minute walk there, but hey, I didn’t know, I was a freshman. So I hopped on orange 23, blind to the fact that it’s route is not even remotely near Jischke. The bus took me all the way out pass the stadium, where the bus driver informed me that this was the end of the line and he was heading back to the garage. So i ashamedly got off the bus and walked the 20 minutes to Jischke.

The first day of classes my senior year was quite different. The only exception was that I was still in the dorms, this time as a CA. The night before, I went over to a friend’s house, where those present were all my friends from freshmen year that lived on my floor. There was no organizing my backpack, picking out an outfit, or mapping out a route to class that occurred that evening. I hadn’t even printed out a schedule of my classes or visited those classrooms beforehand. And my professor for my last first class didn’t even show up to class. I’d say it made for a great start to the school year! 🙂

Lizzy D., Math


My last first day of school was surprisingly similar to my first day as a cyclone. I’ve always loved the first day of school, and that was no different this year. I still picked out my outfit the night before, woke up 2 hours before I needed to leave for class, and sat on the end of the second row in every class.

Although some of my habits haven’t changed much, it was evident to me how much I have changed as a student and as a person throughout my time at Iowa State. The classes I’ve taken, research I’ve finished, and internship programs I’ve completed have prepared me for graduate school and my professional career. In addition, the people I’ve met have opened my mind, built up my confidence, and (most importantly) made my adventure at ISU fun and exciting!

I am so incredibly thankful for all of the people who have mentored and supported me throughout my first three years at ISU, and I am so excited to make the most of my final year!

Rachel P., Materials Engineering

PhiliphA picture of me on orientation day. Note the super cool red drawstring backpack.


Freshman, sophomore and even during junior year, I always thought I was going to get so much homework done all the time. I have no idea how many hours I wasted, procrastinating my homework, not doing anything at all. A common example would be not doing dishes because I thought I had too much homework to do to waste precious time on something so trivial. Then I’d waste a couple hours on reddit. The biggest change I’ve noticed in my study habits is that I’ve stopped pretending that I am going to be productive all the time. I’ve accepted that some days, no matter how long I sit in front of a computer at the library or looking at a textbook, nothing is going to happen. So instead of wasting countless hours pretending that I’m going to get something done, I’ll do something that I actually want to do, like clean my apartment (sub in dorm room for younger students) or go for a long bike ride. In the end, I still end up getting everything done that I need to get done (usually), but this way I’ve learned to enjoy my collegiate experience a lot more.

Stephen T., Global Resource Systems



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