A Day in the Life of an ISU Student

Hey there future Cyclones! If you were anything like me before I started college, you have no idea what to expect. I was a first generation college student with none of my cousins or family friends entering a major that was even remotely similar to mine. I wanted to know what my life would be like in college. What would classes be like? What would my days look like? Will I have any free time?

Now that I am a graduated senior, I feel I have a pretty good grasp on the typical life of a college student.

Here is a snapshot of a typical weekly schedule for me:

Everything gives and takes day-to-day and week-to-week but you get the gist of it. But to give you even more of an insight, here is a play-by-play of a typical Monday for me.

6:00 AM: Alarm goes off

Yes, I try to wake up that early. I’m naturally conditioned for early mornings thanks to growing up on a farm, but it is a good habit I like to maintain. I usually spend the first 15 to 20 minutes of my day checking emails, scrolling through social media, and catching up on the news. The beautiful thing about this task is that it can be done from bed. After that, I usually make myself breakfast, work on some chores, and get ready for the day.

8:30 AM: Head to Campus

I currently live in west Ames so there is more of a commute to campus than living in the dorms. I usually drive to campus and park in a private lot that I have a pass for. If it is raining or super cold, I park in the commuter lot and take one of the buses to campus. On days when the weather is particularly brutal, I take a bus to campus from west Ames.

9:00 AM: Class #1

A glorious 50 minutes of genetic improvement in domesticated animals. Fortunately, my class is in one of the lecture halls that has a café so I can grab a coffee if I had a particularly late night before.

10:00 AM: Class #2

After a mad dash across campus, I have another 50 minutes of sales and presentation strategies. A pretty relaxed class with an interesting group of agriculturalists.

11:00 AM: Work Study

After my morning classes, I get to trek across campus once again for my work study. There I get to spend an hour with my awesome boss, her office mate, and fellow co-worker writing blogs such as this one for all of you to read!

12:00 PM: LUNCH!

Yet another trek across campus. I literally make a full circle of campus on Mondays. A majority of the time, I pack my own lunch. But quite a few times I get my lunch from the food trucks outside of Kildee Hall. I cannot tell you how much I love Finley’s Curbside Bistro. Nothing is better than their Nugs and Fries (chicken nuggets and French fries).

1:10 PM: Class #3

And off I go to Dairy Farm Evaluation. I absolutely love this class and how well it brings together everything I have learned in classes and applies it to real life scenarios.

2:00 PM: Head back to West Ames

Woohoo! I’m done for the day! With classes that is. Sometimes I use this time to stop and get some groceries or run other errands I need to get done. If I don’t have anything I need to do (aside from coursework) I take this time to kinda just relax after a day spent on campus

4:00 PM: Exercise

As busy as I get, I try to exercise every single day. Whether it be going to a rec center, outside for a run, or doing something in my apartment, I try to fit it in. On busy days and during the warmer months, I usually squeeze a run in before classes.

5:00 PM: Supper time

I am a huge believer in meal prepping so preparing supper can be one of two things. It is either a) preparing enough to last me a couple days or b) making something that I had already prepped.

5:30 PM (or later depending on supper): Study time

Now is the time I designate for getting any course work I may have done. I tend to work on it periodically throughout the day with down time but I always set aside one to two hours a day to dedicate to course work or getting organized.

8:00 PM: Designated down time

I don’t know how I got this in my head but I believe I read somewhere that your brain isn’t as effective in knowledge retention after 8 PM. Who am I to argue? If I still have lots of work to get done or an exam the next day I ignore this rule. But regularly, I check out at 8 PM and dedicate the rest of my evening to non-course work related tasks and free time

10:00 PM: Lights out

Oh, do I try to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I can tell you with 100 percent honesty that I rarely go to bed at 10 PM. Forty-five percent of the time I go to bed earlier, 50 perfect later, and five percent right on time.

Well that’s it folks! That is a day in the life of my crazy life. So many of my days don’t even get close to this schedule when you throw in club meetings and events, meetings with professors and groups for classes, and what ever else might get thrown at me that day. If I’m assisting in research out at one of the teaching farms, I could be getting up at 5 AM instead of 6 or not going to bed till midnight.

The best piece of advice I can give to you as you try and get a grasp on college life is just be flexible. Understand the importance of a schedule and sticking to it but allow yourself to deviate from it as needed.  (Trust me, this is something I really needed to learn starting freshman year)

Good luck future Cyclones! And if you have any more questions on what to expect in college, don’t be afraid to reach out!

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