Hey there friends!
Here I am thinking about the many things we achieve while growing up. There’s the great moment when you walk for the first time, the moment you learn to ride a bicycle, the moment you get your first car, the moment you go off to college, etc. By all means, milestone moments just seem like a huge list of firsts, and in a way…they are. They are moments you’ve achieve a goal. Moments where you have fought for something or struggled through a roadblock until you have finally reached a kind of absolution.
It’s been almost three years since “the moment I first stepped onto Iowa State’s campus.” Definitely a milestone! Ever since then I have added more to that list which I hope will keep growing in the future as I approach the end of my college years (honestly, I don’t even want to think about that just yet!) But here is a list of things I’ve done at ISU that I am the most proud of. Not necessarily have they been “firsts” or “rites of passage” but they certainly have contributed to the amazing experience I’ve had being a student at Iowa State, and they have somewhat become a part of who I am today. I know that sounds extremely cliché, but who am I kidding? I am a walking definition of cliché. 😉
(All pictures are from the actual years 🙂 ).
I snatched my first job. One of my dear friends used to work as a student assistant in the Department of Political Science and her boss was looking to hire someone else, so she asked me if I was interested since she knew I was looking for a job on campus. It was a clear success! That’s how I first got started working in clerical jobs. 🙂
I starred in a play. During my first semester of freshman year, I became a part of the Puerto Rican Student Association on campus, naturally because I am Puerto Rican. 🙂 But also, because of all the fun activities that the club planned out. They hosted a Puerto Rican Cultural Night where one of my friends wrote a play to perform that night, and since I don’t love the stage ( 😉 ) I totally joined in. One of the most fun experiences of my freshman year!
I made the Dean’s List. Surprisingly enough, my first semester ever I did really well in all of my classes, so I achieved a GPA of 3.7 and made the Dean’s List that semester! Honestly, I barely even knew what it was, but I just knew it was something I could put down on my then-bare resume!
I went to my first-ever college football game. I had never been one to follow sports very much, but going to a football game is a must for every incoming freshman. At least once. The life of the stadium, and that moment when a whole bunch of strangers instantly become friends…is definitely one to experience.
I made one of my very best friends in the entire world. And her name is Giselle. This lady has been, and I trust will forever be, one of the people I can say I met during the whole college experience and will remain to be a part of my life until we’re old and grey. Yes, life after college will probably take us different directions, but all we’ve been through and all we’ve grown together throughout these three years is something that I know will remain.
I joined a sorority. And didn’t last very long in it! I’m not meaning to discourage anyone from joining one at all, but sororities are not for everyone; we all know that. 😉 And I was definitely the kind that fell into the latter. However, I always saw sororities in movies, so the whole thing…when it happened seemed surreal, but so much fun! The whole rushing experience was something definitely worth going through.
I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home. And I thought it would be more sucky than it truly was. I was thinking that was going to be the moment when my homesickness would hit full force. Nope. It actually came before, sometime during October that first semester. It lasted about a week. There was too much awesomeness to look forward to in the upcoming months. During that Thanksgiving break my friends and I headed to St. Louis for an Usher concert!
I witnessed fall for the very first time. One of the reasons why I chose to come to ISU in the first place was because I wanted to go to college somewhere I could witness the four seasons. And oh boy…I definitely got some of that.
Played in snow for the first time. I had seen snow before when I was younger, but I had never actually played in it by any means! I still remember that very first time. It was dead week in December and a blizzard was going full force outside while me and my friends were crammed inside the library studying for finals. One of us had the brilliant idea to go outside and play. We counted it as our study break!
I became a Destination Iowa State Team Leader. I came back to Ames a week earlier than usual because I was going to be a DIS Team Leader! It was one of the most fun experiences of my life, even though I didn’t really have a group because I was one of the last people to get one and by that time there were no students left. Haha! Oh well, I still participated with other groups.
I leased my first apartment with three other girls. Definitely an important one. This moment became a defining one during my sophomore year because so much stemmed from it. Looking back at the whole experience, it was challenging. amazing, and at times stressful. I can confidently say that if I could turn back time, I’d definitely do it again. It was one of my biggest learning experiences.
I became a Cyclone Life blogger!! Hey hey! The whole reason I’m bothering to type this out is because during my sophomore year I received an email that said that they were casting students to become Cyclone Life bloggers! I, of course, thought this was my dream job, since I like to write, take pictures, and make videos. Basically everything that says I’m documenting this college adventure! It truly is the best job.
We formed the PRSA Dance team! The new students who came from Puerto Rico that year all proved to be amazing dancers, or at least people who were interested in dancing! I clicked with them all very well and for that year’s Puerto Rican Cultural Night we choreographed a dance that was so successful we officially called ourselves a team. And ever since then, we’ve done two cultural nights, Global Gala, International Night, VEISHEA Parade…you name it!
Was a part of the VEISHEA Parade! I can proudly say that being in the VEISHEA Parade dancing and singing my lungs out was the most fun “party” I’ve been to in college. We loved that first year so much we came back for a second year. And yup, ended with legs hurting and throats sore.
I faced one of the biggest challenges of my life. Living with three girls in that apartment was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. The first semester was all peaches and cream, but the second semester we faced some differences that led us all to move out of our apartment and look for a place to call our own. Now that I look back on that second semester it seems ages away, but I remember that while I was living in it , it seemed to last for ages. Regardless, I made it through and I felt ready for anything else that life was throwing my way.
I officially became a rock-climber. That summer between my sophomore year and my junior year I came back to Ames early to work on campus and to do something I had never done. I picked up a lot of new things that summer, rock-climbing being one of them. I would go almost everyday to the gym to work-out when the climbing wall was closed, and when it wasn’t I would spend hours there just climbing, making friends and encouraging others. I bought myself climbing shoes and gear and officially called it my hobby. Once the semester started I joined the Outdoor Recreation Program on a trip to Blue Mounds, MN, for the outdoor experience. I met a whole bunch of new friends in the process!
I was a part of NCORE 2012. NCORE stands for National Conference on Race & Ethnicity. We headed to NYC that summer between my sophomore year and junior year for conference and during fall semester we all had a class to attend. We presented our research project during ISCORE which stands for Iowa State Conference on Race & Ethnicity.
The first time living on my own. I found myself a cozy studio apartment on the west side of campus. I think it’s one the best decisions I’ve made. I mean…I am a little bit of an introvert after all. But at first the whole experience felt really surreal. I had to learn how to cope differently being on my own, having nobody to come complaining to when I got home at night, doing most of the things on my own, etc. I’m not gonna lie, it’s still hard. Some night I feel restless, but it definitely has taught me to cope differently with my emotions and to be more at peace with myself. 🙂
Becoming part of Cornerstone Church. I met a whole bunch of good friends through the Salt Company, a Christian group on campus. I started going to Cornerstone Church, joined the Spanish Family Group (which you guys know I speak a lot about!), and made some of the best friends of my life. I feel like I’ve grown so much with them.
My best friend from Puerto Rico came to visit me. My best friend Rebecca, whom I went to high school with, studies in Davenport, IA. This year she finally got a car! So for the first time, she could come visit me in Ames. I include this as one of my milestone moments because in this small visit, she met her current boyfriend and her life has changed so much! It’s amazing how things are meant to happen. 🙂
We danced in the Global Gala 2013. Here we go! Our dance team again! Every time we’re on stage somewhere on campus it feels like the first time. We’re all nervous and trying to pump each other up. But I think this dance was totally one of our best shows. The guys went all the way and got flowers to make the whole performance a little more interesting and we girls totally dug it!
I became a TelStar. I officially finished my two year job at the Writing and Media Center in Carver Hall and moved on to a job that totally screams “Mellanie!”. Yes, I’m one those people who calls you to talk about orientation, the application process, campus visits, and my experience at Iowa State. My job is to call prospective students and talk about all amazing things our university offers. During the summer I’m not doing it, but will resume once I’m back in Ames. 😉
I resumed many of the best relationships in my life. College years can be a tough thing to go through. Every semester and year is always different; you meet new people, you fall into new schedules, you find new passions, you exploit them, etc. From time-to-time you miss those friendships you made, but for one reason or another you had a falling out or just lost contact. This year I decided to make time for those people who had been a part of my life once, but weren’t anymore. And trust me, it’s one of the most rewarding things.
Trust that…every year, for the next four to five years, will show you something different, teach you an amazing lesson, and take you one step closer to the person you ought to be.
Get ready for this adventure.