*Last* First Days As A Cyclone (2015 edition, part 2)

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


My “last first day” of class was drastically different this year as I am currently about 5,050 miles away from Ames right now! I’m studying abroad for the fall semester in Rome, which is something I never thought I would be able to do when I first started at ISU. I remember my first day (three years ago) I was terrified of finding the right buildings and classrooms, and now Iowa State’s campus seems so small and familiar to me, especially paired up against this massive and always busy city.  Below is a photo of the ISU Rome campus piazza, taken from the window of our studio!

Renae Meines, Graphic Design



I recall coming to college as a freshman, and the feeling of being a little fish in a big sea that it instilled. Luckily, it didn’t take long at all for my honors contemporaries and I to connect. Many of these people are some of my best friends today. I didn’t find the transition to college life to be incredibly difficult. I managed to get more sleep than I did in high school, although this trend didn’t last much longer than the first semester.

If I can give our new initiates one piece of advice, it would be this: Don’t be afraid to fail. I can’t even count how many times I put myself in an adverse circumstances, and had difficulty just keeping my head above water. These have all been extremely developmental experiences. If one door ever closed on me, another would usually open, or I would make a new one for myself. Your future is whatever you want it to be, and now is the best time you’ll ever have to experiment with the possibilities.

Neil Vezeau, Animal Science, Microbiology


First “first day”: Show up extra early in Hoover for Chem 177, wearing my coolest new shoes, nervously AVOID TALKING TO ANYONE.
Last “first day”: Get lost in Hoover because I thought I knew my way around by now… still rocking the same awesome (slightly ratty) shoes, but at least I have friends now.

First “meal plan”: Walking over to UDCC at random hours for the salad bar & cookies and ending up with way too many meals left at the end of the semester.
Last “meal plan”: Food cooked by me in a kitchen > dorm food (except the cookies). Also going out to eat where all the cool kids go. Why? Because I have a car and I can.

First “housing”: “Ugghhh its so HOT why cant I have AIR CONDITIONING”
Last “housing”: “Ugghhh its so HOT why is AIR CONDITIONING so EXPENSIVE”

First “week of homework”: AAhh! Assignments, Labs, and Reports (oh my!)
Last “week of homework”: What, just a couple of assignments and reports? No problemo.

First “week on my own”: Doing my own laundry, woo! Like a real #adult
Basically every day since: Lugging all my dirty laundry home so that my mom will do it for me.

Melissa Mika, Civil Engineering


My first week as a senior:

I started my first week as a concurrent STEM MBA program. Suddenly being both undergraduate and graduate student is quite interesting and challenging! Professionalism is expected in every activities. However, I really do enjoy it. Studying with people from various backgrounds excites me. This is my new MBA team, I know we will have fun in the program! 🙂

Zenia Adiwijaya, Food Science



This year marked the last first week at Iowa State for me! First weeks have always been kind of a hectic time, and this semester has been no exception. It’s always been an adventure on the first week: finally finding out what classes will be like, who will be in class, what the professor is like, etc. Honestly, I don’t feel like first days have changed too much over the years (other than I know my way around campus now). Each first week, has been a wonderful introduction leading into an eventful and successful semester!

It’s crazy to think that in less than a year, I will be off starting a career. It’s not only a great feeling to know that all of my hard work is paying off, but it’s also kind of sad to know that my time here will be over before I know it. In the famous words of David Tennant, “I don’t want to go.” It’ll be sad leaving behind all the Carver study sessions and walking across our fantastic campus, but I’m excited to be quickly approaching a new beginning.

Alex Halverson, Math


My experiences after receiving the awesome acceptance video, addressing me by name, were overwhelming. The school was so large, the students were so diverse in style and culture, and there was no end to events, types of classes, and possibilities. Logically speaking, that sensation should have abated some, however, it has not. Now in my senior year, there is a sense of sadness because I did not get to do more of all the things I wanted like, Cyclone sports events, Cyclone clubs, and local events too. To the freshmen: be a part of everything and ask, ask, ask, as much as good grades will allow! Or this cyclone super fan will come for you!!

Ronnie Lee Shelly, Jr., Community and Regional Planning



When I was a freshman (in 2011), I didn’t know how to find anything on campus and everything seemed intimidating.  I can’t believe the time went so fast and I’m almost done with my undergrad career!  I have made many dear friends, found lots of mentors on campus, and know how to get around 🙂  Fortunately, I’m not quite done being a student – I’ll be starting grad school next fall and am very excited about it.

Krista Klocke, Speech Communication and Communication Studies


I can’t believe that I’m already a senior! Cliché or not, it truly really went so fast! It felt like yesterday that I was nervous, excited, and very hot, waiting to get my picture taken during the FHP kick off! My first week as a freshman was completely different than my first week as a senior.  As a freshman, I came in as a food science major, and I remember getting lost (on my way to Carver ha) to go to a calculus class. Now, as a senior, I am studying abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador for the semester. I spent my first week traveling Ecuador and visiting the jungle. I changed my major (3 times) as a freshman and am now getting ready to graduate with a double major in Supply Chain Management and International Business with a minor in Spanish.  I am so grateful for Iowa State, the Honors Program, and all the opportunities that I have been given. I would change my experience for anything! Besides, making it go a little slower. Best of luck to all the incoming freshmen, I hope you all have your own wonderful adventures and stick with the honors program. I have had so many great experiences and opportunities and have made so many friends because of it!

Haley Birch, Supply Chain Management



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