I am sad to be leaving, but my time in Fayette has come to an end again. It is time to keep moving. This will be my final blog. I hope you enjoyed reading my posts, as I enjoyed writing them!
The next two years of my life will be spent at University of Central Missouri studying for my Masters degree in College Student Personnel Administration. After that, only God knows where life will take me. I have always said "Once a Peacock, Always a Peacock." UIU will always be my Alma Mater, and I will always support the development and growth of the students, the University, and of Fayette.
To current students and recent graduates...
When you leave UIU, do great things with you life, for you have been trained well.
I saw a man at the post office a few days ago and he said "Thought we were done with this cold weather." I walked away thinking, 'No, it's Graduation weekend... it's always cold.' Hundreds of families came out on this freezing May day to watch their loved ones graduate from college. Congrats to all of the grads, including my roommates and many of my friends.
Congrats on Graduating!
Congratulations to my roommate, and many of my friends who will be graduating from college this coming weekend. Welcome to the world of bills, responsibility, and unemployment. :) It's a time for thousands of students across the country to put on that square hat and proudly tell the world that they are more educated now than they were four years ago. I would like to add that nobody looks good wearing that square hat. Nobody.
My words of advice:
The last four years of your life have been filled with good friends, good times, lazy afternoon naps, nights out, and lots of laughter. The friends you have made in college will be the ones you keep close, and the ones you will lean on over the next few months as you make your transition from college student to PostGrad.
Be diligent when applying for jobs. Persistence is key. Do not let rejection letters or not-returned phone calls get you down. Always make sure your resume and cover letter are up-to-date. Remember that every job may require a differently worded cover letter. Do NOT just make one general one. Always be prepared for an interview. You don't want to finally receive the phone call that a business would like to interview you, and then only have a few days to prepare. Have your 'general question' answers ready at all times. Spend the few days before the interview doing research on the business. I bought a book '101 interview questions'. One of the best investments I made as a postgrad. Remember that there are thousands and thousands of college students graduating at the same time as you.... ALL looking for and competing for the same jobs. If it takes you a few months, if it takes you until fall, or winter, do not give up. Everyone gets a job... some just have to wait a little longer to find the right one.
Your first job will most likely not be your dream job. My mom used to tell me that everyday. I'm sure she'll probably tell me that again when I graduate from gradschool.
Unless you will be working a TON of overtime, I would recommend jobs with a salary pay opposed to an hourly wage. When taxes get taken out of your paycheck... well, let's just say its a sad day when you realize the amount you're supposed to make a year, is really NOT the amount you make a year. In fact, if the job you take is on the lower end of the pay scale and you calculate it out to just be enough to get by... calculate out what you'd be making after taxes. The job may not be enough to cover your living expenses. And that is a VERY important thing.
Moving back home with mom and dad after you graduate is hard on you AND on them. Remember that.
Ok, enough with the 'serious' stuff. Have fun. This is a new chapter of your life. You will meet new people and take on new challenges. Sometimes you will fail, sometimes you will succeed. It's all part of the game. And it's a game that always ends better than when you first start out. So go forth into this world and do your thing!
"What you do with your life is only one half of the equation. More important, is who you're with when you're doing it."
~the movie Post Grad~
I don't think I've talked about this yet, but a few weeks ago I was taken to this pizza place hidden in the woods in Decorah, literally. I honestly thought the person taking me was going to leave me out in the woods... one of those scenes in a scary movie. The restaurant is called McCaffrey's Dolce Vita. They have wood-fired specialty pizzas that are amazing. The website: http://www.mcdolcevita.com
Another 'hidden gem' is this new store in Fayette called the Casual Corner. Find them on facebook "The Casual Corner on Main". They have a great variety of women's and men's clothing, lots of cute purses, jewelry, scarves, shoes (for men and women), sun glasses, and other great items. The items are all consignment, so prices are low! Definitely a place to check out if you're in Fayette.
"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves."
~Henry David Thoreau~
For the last month I have been sneezing, sometimes my eyes hurt, and I have a runny nose But it's not in the 'cold' kind of way. I've never had allergies before and was talking to my mom about it. She said sometimes you get them with age. REALLY! LAME! So, I now think that I have allergies.
This week has been pretty eventful. It's Greek Week! I am not a Greek, but do still enjoy being a spectator. Tuesday night they Greeks battled each other in a game of Family Feud. It was pretty fun, especially since Family Feud is one of my all time favorite shows to watch. Tonight is the 'Variety Show'. Most of the groups will do steps, or dances, or skits, etc. This is always fun to watch. Another thing I really love about Greek Week, is that a lot of alumni come back to Fayette for the weekend! It's really excited to see old friends again.
It really feels like this week has flown by. Next week is the last week of this term for the Grad Students, and the following week is the last week for the Undergraduate term. Then Graduation! Yay! My roommate is graduating. I'm really excited for him. I remember my family coming out to see me walk last year. It's kind of an overwhelming experience. You have to make sure you're in the right place, and gowns, etc. have to be taken back by a certain time, and pictures have to be taken, and then if you want to see a friend who's graduating in a different ceremony you have to work that in, meanwhile you're trying to enjoy the last few hours you have with your family and friends all together. ....A little hectic.
I will be leaving Fayette in a little less than a month. I am sad, but at the same time anxious to go. I have to move back home for a few months before making the move to Missouri. While at home, I have a job lined up helping my cousin clean houses. Doesn't sound very fun, right? Well, its one of the most fun jobs I have ever had. We do some pretty gross, dirty work, but we are a great team and have a lot of fun while we work. Just goes to show that no matter what task you may be doing, the people you work with and the attitude you have makes all the difference.
"Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships."
"We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box."
I'm posting today with my quote first. Changing it up.
Robert Fulghum is the author of All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten. It is one of my favorite books. In fact, I'm kind of upset because it is at home at my parents house, and not here in Fayette with me. Over the next few months I plan on reading some of his other books, as I'm finally at a point where I HAVE time to read something besides a textbook.
Fulghum, who is now in his early 70's, has published 8 best selling books, been the author of plays and newspaper columns, is a speaker at many national conventions, and is even an artist. I'm more a fan of his written work than I am of his art. Although, I understand that good art is different in everyone's eyes, so you should make your own opinion of it before taking my word for it. What I love about his work is that you can relate to it, but also find it inspiring at the same time. He writes about LIFE. Not a fairytale, not just an imaginary life of what he wishes life was really like, but LIFE. The day to day workings of our lives. The things we often overlook and take for granted. The simple things.
"Robert Fulghum is a philosopher, minister, and what he calls "a refrigerator door" writer. "I may never win any prizes," he says about his writings, "but I get stuck on the doors of a lot of refrigerators." Teddy Wintersteen
I highly recommend the All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten to everyone. The book consists of many short stories (many are no more than 2-3 pages). This is nice for people who don't have time to read, but have 5 minutes before bed, or waiting for your favorite tv show to start, etc... And it's the kind of book children, teens, adults, and grandparents can all read and all take something from it.
I REALLY wish I had the book so I could give u some excerpts from the "crayon" story. But let's go with the quote for now. The first thing I thought of when I read that quote was the student population at Upper Iowa. UIU has such a DIVERSE mix of students. Students from the west coast, east coast, down south, the far north, the midwest, big cities, small towns, rich families, poor families, foreign countries, interracial families, black families, white families, asian families, hispanic families, high quality high schools, poor quality high schools, and so on. We are all so different.
I was talking to another student the other day who had been to a few other schools... schools in Iowa similar to the size of UIU. These schools also had that diverse mix of students. The difference he noticed, was that at Upper Iowa, everyone gets along. We don't have the 'Southern California' clique vs. the 'Chicago' clique vs. the 'St. Louis' clique and so on. At Upper Iowa, everyone gets along. We don't have a big theft or vandalism problem like at other schools. Now obviously that doesn't mean everybody loves everybody else on the individual basis, but over all, we all live well together here in Fayette. I think that's really cool. I think it's even cooler that someone can come from another school and notice something different about us that isn't the norm elsewhere.
Just like a box of crayons too, when you buy the BIG set. The crayons always start out organized by color. Ever notice that? But as you use them, you tend to not put them back in their original spot... I don't know about you, but I could never seem to make the crayons all fit in the box again :-/ It's like a group of people - or students. We tend to hang out with people who are like us, who we can find something to relate too. But over time, we start to mingle and make friends with new people who aren't necessarily just like us. Just like a box of crayons. :)
So Again, check out this book! The crayons story is just one of it's many great stories. If you have read it, leave a comment about your opinion, or about your favorite story in the book.
On a different note: I bought a new fish a few days ago. I've decided it's going to be a girl. Her name is Fancy, and she's an orange goldfish with black fins. Pretty cool. She's the size of one of Oliver's fins (Oliver is my other fish). He could probably eat her for an after dinner snack, but hasn't yet, so I still have hope. The man at Wal-Mart (where I bought her) told me that if she dies in the next 90 days, to freeze her and put her in a bag and bring it back and they'll replace her. I think that's a lot of work for a 2 dollar fish... I called my brother the other night. He said he got a new fish too.... I didn't catch the whole story, but he got it while at a track meet, and it didn't really sound like he was supposed to take it. haha. I figure this is one of those situations where it's just best not to ask questions.
This term has FLOWN by! There are only a few weeks left of school. Undergrad students have the option of taking a May Term class, grad students get started in their next 8 week term right away.
This week was Res Life week. It was fun. There was a street party, a glow-stick dance, a game show, a camp-for-hunger, and some other events. A great way for students on campus to enjoy the nice weather. Next week is GREEK WEEK. I was never a Greek, but at a small school like UIU, the Greek population is high. There are events all week. My favorite (as a viewer) is the Variety Show at the end of the week. All of the Greeks do steps and skits, and the winner of Greek Week is announced. It's always fun to see what everyone's been working hard to get ready for the last few months.
Will definitely be a busy next few weeks! ...oh, and my canoe trip was awesome. Slightly hazardous to my well-being, as the canoe I was in toppled a few times and I think we hit EVERY rock in the Volga river, but still super fun!
"The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it."
The sun has been shining and it's been getting warmer here in Fayette. Students are getting out!
It was a fun weekend and start of the week. I enjoyed a few games of tennis with some other students, and travelled down to Oelwein with some new found friends to catch a movie and McDonalds. Tomorrow Outdoor Pursuits is having a canoe/kayak trip, and I'm really excited about getting out on the river. Outdoor Pursuits is part of Student Development... They put on a number of 'outdoors' related trips during the school year: canoeing, trap shooting, bike ride, paintball, pheasant hunts, white water rafting, etc. You can also rent outdoor gear from Outdoor Pursuits: tents, sleeping bags, and other camping items, fishing poles, bikes, fire-pits, etc. It's a really nice thing to have on campus.
Driving around Fayette, you can find students who live off-campus grilling and having fires and really enjoying the weather. I'm pretty jealous, we don't have a grill at our house... might have to work on finding one of those this week. There are also tons of students who will go for walks and jogs around town when it's nice out.
I am relieved to not have to do much more in the grad school search & interview process. Life is so less stressful right now. After the interviews, the final step was to get the actual grad school application done. Not a huge burden... a little background info, resume, reference letters, and a writing sample. I think I was going to talk about resumes once. It is unbelievable how many terrible resumes I have seen. Going to conferences for various school organizations, often times, when someone was running for an office, they'd have to submit resumes. Seeing theirs always made me feel better about competing in the job market. That's probably a terrible thing to say, but really.....
Every career field has different standards and guidelines when it comes to applications (applications including resumes, coverletters, portfolios, and whatever you might need to get that job). As a design major, having a unique, creative resume was REALLY important. After all, I had to sell myself as a creative.... having a generic resume would have gotten me thrown into the definite 'No' pile. To put together the perfect resume, I searched the net for already working-successful designers resumes. And, just like the interview process, I found pieces of ones that I liked and put together my own. I think this is important because like I said, different career areas have different standards. For example, I never put an 'objective' on my resume... I feel its unnecessary, that's what my cover letter is for. A friend of mine in the education field ALWAYS puts an objective on hers. She says its usually recommended in her field. Also, in my resume, I have a special 'section' that lists what computer & design softwares I'm proficient in. That's usually not necessary in most other fields.
So, when making your resume, DO YOUR RESEARCH! You don't want to leave out something that would be important. Also, here's the designer in me, consistency is really important. Non consistency is really annoying. If you are going to bold something, you probably don't need to change the font size and underline it too. Stick with ONE element. Make sure everything is aligned. And a general rule of thumb is to keep it to one page, unless you're older and have a lot of job experience that pertains to the job. I was helping a friend with theirs recently... one of their questions was 'Do I put all of my jobs on the resume?' That's a good question. The jobs you put on your resume are ones that have some kind of relevance to the job your applying for, or show that you can handle responsibility, or show that you can stick with a job for a long period of time.
Always make sure you have your resume looked over by someone else. Students at UIU can get theirs looked at by the Career Services office. It's a great resource, and not enough students utilize it. And as always, start early! Don't wait till the last minute.
"Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great."
Am feeling like I have a terrible case of writers block... I have been very busy this week.
While I was home last week, one of my fish died. I have two black Moors. They're the black goldfish with giant bubble eyes. The one that died was named Jack. The other one's named Oliver. I'm more attached to Oliver than I was to Jack, so it was ok. Except now the fish that's left swims around looking sad. I have had my fish for over a year, and they have travelled across the state of Iowa 2 times now. If Oliver has some life left in him, he'll get to go to Missouri with me. Pretty big feat considering I never expected him to survive more than a month when I first bought him.
The week before I went home I was looking for Thank You cards. I had run out and needed to find some generic ones. Doing so, I went into a lot of little stores around the area that I had never been in before. And WOW, there are some great gift - artsy type shops around here. Touch of Elegance in Fayette is a really cute store, as is 'The Art Gallery' in Clermont. There are items for all price ranges, and gifts that would work great for all occasions.
While I was discovering all these great little shops that I had always passed by but never actually checked out, I started to think of all the neat places there are in the Fayette area period. Restaurants for example... go up to West Union to find a lot of great places to eat. The best Chinese restaurant I've EVER eaten at is in West Union (it's a lot of food for a good price!). There's also a local Diner -Gus & Tony's Townhouse Cafe- MMMMMM! Whenever I have family or friends that come to Fayette to visit me, that's where I take them. West Union is also home to the Barrel. A fun little drive-in...great place to go on a date If you go a little farther North, Postville is home to Sabor Latinos - an amazing Mexican restaurant. Decorah is home to the famous Mabe's pizza, and in between there's Gunder, home of the Gunder Burger... a nice 1lb burger that always draws in groups of UIU students.
Around the area there are also a few movie theaters that show movies for a very low price (student's love that!), and bowling alleys, and rollerskating rinks, and all sorts of fun things. On top of all the local entertainment... UIU has a lot going on too. Intramural Softball is starting up soon. A high number of students participate in this, and if you're not a part of a team, odds are you're there watching the games. Greek Week is coming up here in a few weeks too. Lots of fun things going on.
"How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you - you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences - like rags and shreds of your very life."
As of today, I have officially accepted a position at University of Central Missouri! :) I will be the Graduate Assistant for Res & Greek Life Marketing for the next 2 years. I'm pretty excited!
I don't have much else to talk about right now.. am kind of on 'vacation'. This week I've been home helping my mom work on scrapbooks and some other things for my brother's High School graduation in May. And its Easter. A friend is coming over later to dye Easter eggs. Should be a blast.
Will have more next week. Enjoy some Basketball tomorrow night, and have a GREAT Easter!
"A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours."
~J. B. Priestley~