*Last* First Days as a Cyclone, 2016

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?


As a senior, I find it more uplifting to focus on the “firsts” that will follow my “lasts.” My last days as an undergrad will be followed by my first days as a grad student, and my last days at ISU will be followed by my first days at a yet to be determined university. Being a senior means that I already knew half of my professors on the first day of class, but it also means that I need significantly more caffeine to make it through my day. Whether the increased caffeine consumption on the first day is due to the change in difficulty of my first class of freshman year (HON 121) and my first class of senior year (MATH 510) has yet to be determined. As the “first weeks” continue, they seem to go faster and be filled with more deadlines (speaking of which, I should probably, ya know, get started on that honors project). It’ll be sad saying goodbye to some of my favorite people, but, luckily, that’s all a year out. So, to all the freshman out there *creepy whisper* enjoy your adventure at Iowa State.

Seth Selken, Mathematics


The best way to summarize the difference between my freshman first day of class and my senior first day of class is to examine the contents of my backpack. Freshman year, I carried around all of my textbooks on the first day. If I remember correctly, that day I started at 8 am and had class until 5. Needless to say, I did not do that again. This year, all I had were two notebooks. One of them is just loose leaf paper that I zip-tied together. All of those engineering classes really paid off.

Angela Wagner, Mechanical Engineering


Starting senior is bittersweet and shocking (where did the three years go?).  Campus has welcomed me back and I am now catching up with friends and spotting the changes around campus. Seeing new students on campus reminds me of my freshmen year and and the differences between freshmen and senior year become more noticeable. I will soon be starting my ISU buck-list to complete in one year before graduation. At the same time, what’s next (the real-real world, aka work) lingers in the back of my head which is exciting and daunting. Returning to campus reminds me how much I have changed since starting at ISU.

Thanks for reading my jumble of thoughts and here’s to the Cyclone class of 2017 and 2020!!

Parker Neid, Supply Chain Management


Parker just returned from a semester in London, where he may or may not have been held in the Tower.


My last “first day” of classes at Iowa State University was surprisingly similar to my very first day. I still rush from class to class, hope I recognize someone in my classes, and try to find some time to eat lunch. The things that haven’t changed over the years are the amazing professors I get to learn from, the friends I’ve made in Honors, and the beautiful Iowa State campus. I can’t believe my time at Iowa State is almost over because it feels like it just started yesterday. Go Cyclones!

Alysun Bulver, Sociology/Interdisciplinary Studies


I love my classes! This is very different when reflecting on freshmen year when courses were focused on boring introductory material, inapplicable to life. The great thing I’ve learning about being a senior is having a sense of confidence to approach professors, speak up in class, and know everything Iowa State related…most of the time. I have noticed that I don’t know as many people around campus, which is hard to come to terms with, but being a friendly resource for the underclassmen is always a role I will cherish.

Megan Elliott, Finance


While my first first day had me prepared with books and notebooks for each class, I started my last first day by reminding myself which courses I was taking and crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t have to purchase the textbook at all. Honestly, school has been filled with lots of ups and downs. Each semester starts hopeful and ends hoping for a quick break.

I distinctly remember when I was a Freshman, looking at the seniors who were leading clubs and starting amazing careers, hoping for just half of the opportunities they’d had. Now, I think I can tap myself from four years ago on the shoulder and be more than impressed with the experiences and opportunities I’ve been able to learn from.

I thought longer hair would help my picture-taking skills, but it looks like I was wrong…

Garret Meier, Software Engineering


Garret then


Garret now


Hmm, now I do not have to check my phone every class to find out where my next class is located, and I feel much better in general to talk with the professors after class to clarify things or ask questions. I love getting to know them because they can be some really cool people! It is so surreal to be almost finished, and time flies quicker than any other part of my life thus far. I just want to make it stop! I love Iowa and Iowa State, and I will miss so much. I love learning and meeting people with so many different passions who want to do so many different great things in the world. It truly is a wonderful place!

Rachel Jones, Kinesiology and Health/World Languages and Cultures


Week one is over, and what a crazy (awesome) week it was! My friend, Ana, who I met while studying abroad in London, came to visit and it was amazing to get to show her around our beautiful campus. Seeing her reaction to her first time on an “American campus” reminded me a lot of my first time at ISU, and also reminded me that soon I will be missing the long (beautiful) walks across campus, hearing the campanile, and constantly running into friends this spring when I graduate.

David Cordaro, Architecture


(This photo is with my friend Ana from San Sebastian, Spain who I met while studying abroad in London)


Wow it is hard to believe that I have officially started my last year of school! My “last first day” hasn’t really been too different than my first days as a freshman, except for one major difference which is now I’m in Rome. Studying Abroad for my last first day of school brought back many memories of my first first day, like the fact that I didn’t really know where any of my classes were and leaving insanely early to make sure I was on time. One major difference are my actual classes, I now know people when I walk into class (even all the way in Rome) and am confident that this is what I want to do. Iowa State has given me opportunities I would never have gotten anywhere else to grow as a person and see the world.

Lauren Carter, Graphic Design


One thing that changed from freshman year to (super) senior year is my level of organization – my roommate and I have been making do with basically no silverware for the last week, which has made cooking / eating a bit of a challenge! No worries – we finally resolved that yesterday. It’s just hitting me how little time I have left here – it’s my last semester, so I’m enjoying the time I have with the wonderful people in my department and ISU and looking forward to what’s next!

Catie Meis, Materials Engineering


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