Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students

10Mar/160

How to be “Cool” in College

Greetings, friends!

It's been a while since I last came to you. The year 2016 has been a fast paced, productive, and thus far rewarding year. The Owls' baseball season is in full swing as well as the other spring sports and the seniors (including me) count down the days until we enter the workforce and pursue the dreams that we've worked all these years to attain.

I was doing some thinking today on what makes people "cool" in college, and I had a few thoughts that I believe to be of interest to those entering college, beginning their journey, or really any life transition.

In college, you'll find yourself in a lot of social environments. Among those environments exist the leaders and supposed "cool kids" who are admired within that realm. All of these people will attempt to set the standard for "coolness."

Snoopy and Woodstock hanging out by the wall

You are as cool is Snoopy and Woodstock, believe me.

You are as cool as it gets.

At times, you may feel insignificant because you might not know much about the topic of conversation. My message is simple: You are as cool as it gets. There are things that you know a lot about and interests that you share with a lot of people. I beg of you, please never let yourself feel insignificant or as if you have to conform to someone else's standard of "cool."

Being authentic is the coolest thing you can do. 

Already feeling better? Me too. Being confident in who you are is a dying art among our generation. I challenge you to lead the charge. Be authentic, express yourself, and share your interests. You never know who you might inspire.

As always,

Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease.

-Dakota

26Feb/161

6 Semesters In, I Still Love “The Woods”

Hello again 🙂

My human friend and my equine friends enjoying an outdoor ride.

Spending time with my human and equine friends.

This spring is my sixth semester at William Woods, and my first semester as a University Ambassador (UA).

What's a University Ambassador? As a UA, I get the opportunity to interact with prospective students by eating lunch with current students, giving barn and campus tours, and working in the admissions office. I have really enjoyed this new opportunity, and it has reminded me of my days exploring colleges and ultimately deciding on William Woods--the stage in the process many of you are in.

My interaction with prospective students has also reminded me of how special my time at William Woods University really is. Sometimes as a student, I take my life at school for granted. It's easy to get bogged down by school work and responsibilities. I am less enamored with my college life in the moments of stress and anxiety that accompany tests, resumes, jobs, friendships, riding, and more.

Barn Tours Jogged My Memory. But last week, I was giving barn tours. And I was meeting many prospective equestrian science students, and I was again reminded of why I chose William Woods. As they asked about riding classes and the horses and life as a student, I was so happy to brag about all that WWU has to offer. Their excitement and curiosity was so refreshing. I remembered what it was like to be exploring and beginning college: the excitement, the awe, the novelty. I loved every minute of it.

I hug a black bear.

Like seriously- I got to hug a bear. College let me hug a bear and it was great.

And I still love it. When I start to feel stressed or the novelty of school begins to wear off, I think of the excitement of those students. And I remember all that is so special about William Woods and my life as a student. I have so many professors ready to support me. I have friends that encourage me. I get to live on a beautiful campus with a friendly and safe atmosphere. And perhaps my favorite part is that at any moment I can wander over to the barn and chill with 150 of my favorite equines. Yes, this is college and it is the best.

Whether you're a past, present, or future college student--take a moment and think about life as a student. It is the best, and I am so glad I chose to spend my time at William Woods.

~Alexis

25Jan/161

How Being a Catcher Sets You up for Success

Hello again, friends!

I'm coming to you on this fine, snow-covered morning to share a recent discovery of some keys to success in life. Specifically, how being a catcher on your baseball/softball team, while tough, is setting you up to be wildly successful.

Me catching a pitch behind the plate.

Receiving a pitch behind the plate.

1. Dedication

Being a college student in general requires a fair bit of effort. Now, pair that up with an in-season sport schedule and perhaps an internship or part time job, and you end up spending every waking hour of your day hustling in some venue or another. When you are a college athlete in season, your sport exists as if nothing else in the world really does. For those of us who really love the sport that we play, that's perfectly fine. Personally, I'm quite content spending my free time working out or practicing with my teammates. Being a catcher, you have to be prepared to be the first player to practice, and the last one to leave. This dedication teaches you not to take anything for granted, and that hard work is rewarded with success.

2. Relationships

Me jumping over the fence at the front of the dugout

Hurdling my way into the dugout to have some fun

The relationships we build may last a lifetime, teach us lessons, and make us happy. I'm sure that by now have heard the common phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." To clarify, both matter equally in most instances. By being a catcher on your team, you learn to build relationships with the pitching staff and your teammates. You learn to trust them and be trusted by them. The catcher must be a player that the team can rely on, both on and off the field. Your ability to effectively build relationships and trust with others will serve you in other elements of your life.

 

3. Focus

When it comes time to accomplish a task, you must be focused to achieve your goal. Some goals are short-term (catching a pitch), others are medium range (winning a game), and the rest are long-term (winning a World Series title). Focusing on the small details in the game, as well as in life, will help you build a foundation for success in the future. Attention to detail is what separates brilliance from the mediocre in all of us. As a catcher, you will be involved in every play, you have to give every second of the practice or game your undivided attention.

Me getting a base hit in a fall scrimmage

Base hit swing in a fall scrimmage

4. Pressure

There will be times in life, as well as in the game, where a clutch moment approaches and your performance will be vital to the success or failure of the group as a whole. Learning to cope with the stress and pressure of will make you an effective leader and a reliable teammate. The more you are placed in the spotlight, in the biggest moments of the game, the more relaxed and capable of handling the moment you will be.

Remember, life is a game. Sit fastball and adjust.

Peace and blessings, friends.

-Dakota

4Jan/160

4 Tips for 2016

Hello!  I am taking time out of a busy holiday schedule to share ambitions for my last semester as an undergrad. There are a few goals to which I wish to dedicate my time.

I'm concerned about a huge life transition coming my way, as you may be. The time will fly as quickly as a hot fastball from the hand of an Owls baseball pitcher. Take time out to establish goals. Here are some of mine:

Man reading newspaper

Reading the news can be fun!

1. Read More & Stay up on Current Events

Reading is a great way to increase your vocabulary and knowledge base. When you read, you activate your imagination. It's like watching a movie filmed and produced in your own cranium! I love it, but I don't do enough of it. Read everything. Read the news, a book, song lyrics, a magazine. LEARN. That's goal #1.

2. Be Healthy

I play on the baseball team. Physical health is important to me. Recently, I have tuned in to the importance to mental and emotional well being as well. To kick off my new year, I will limit the number of unhealthy things I put into my body (yes, that means fewer chocolate chip cookies and I'm not too thrilled). This will be a great first step to athletic longevity. I want to be able to play catch with my children. As far as mental health goes, I will motivate myself to harness good thoughts and block negative ones. Emotionally, I will ensure that the people I surround myself with are a positive influence and that I talk about my feelings.

3. Go to Bed Early

That's right folks, you cannot get 6 hours of sleep a night and expect to feel great. I'll shoot for 9 hours of sleep a night, but 8 will be my minimum. This is going to require turning off the Netflix series I've been bingeing on, but also more motivation to get homework finished earlier!

Depiction of two circles that are not touching. One of them in labeled "Your Comfort Zone" the other is "Where the magic happens"

Get into the Magic Zone!

4. Graduate with a Job

This is the golden goose egg of the college graduate. People are always worried about what they will do after college. My advice on that front: get a job. It doesn't have to be the one that you'll hold for the rest of your life, but it might be! Find a door, open it, and see where you end up! That's my plan. We shall see what happens!

 

What are some of your resolutions for 2016?

Peace and blessings, friends!

-Dakota