It is our first week back at The Woods and I am really looking forward to all of my classes this semester! Over the break I did a lot of different things.
I worked a little bit at my old summer job as a dog kennel staff member. We play outside with the dogs for four hours total in a day, and I was lucky and had a puppy in my group! Her name is Nutella and all she wanted to do was run around and play, keeping the entire group active. She didn't quite have the coordination down, and she fell into a dip in the yard with a confused look on her face, but then decided it was a great place for a nap!
Every year my family goes skiing in Winter Park for the four days before Christmas. This year I hit the slopes with my dad. Since we aren't Colorado natives, we haven't skied for very long and mostly stick to greens (the easiest slopes). We stay at a condo and bring some friends. We also go tubing at night, which is really fun. I enjoyed getting out on the mountain, even though we did have a lot of freezing wind.
We have two major traditions on the ski trip. One is to watch What Women Want, which is hilarious and the other is to go to a pizza place in town. They have dollar bills all over the walls, ceilings, and tables that people decorate. It's fun to search the walls, and it's even better when you find things you recognize. Last year I added a William Woods dollar, and this year I found several with my sorority letters on them!
When I first got home I decided to donate my hair. I had 8 inches to donate (but it took another 1.5 to get it even). Everyone was surprised when I came back to school, but it's already starting to grow back out.
I hope your holiday season was relaxing and full of family and friends!
If you've visited campus yet, you probably heard a lot about the LEAD (Leading, Educating, Achieving, Developing) program. If not, it's about time you find out about this really cool scholarship! Every student is awarded a scholarship upon acceptance to William Woods, in addition to their athletic or scholastic awards. Now when I first heard about this, I thought 'for what!?'. Well, it's not for a high school achievement, it's for college involvement!
In order to continue to earn your LEAD scholarship, all you have to do is get involved and go to events on campus. Sounds easy right? Well it is, and it is actually really fun!
There are always events going on around campus. Whether you want to listen to a speaker at lunch, visit the art gallery, go to a sports game, or watch an international movie, there is always something fun that suits your interest. The clubs you are involved in on campus also go towards your LEAD scholarship.
There are a few events this year that have been highlights for me. Last week I mentioned that our Served Up Crispy Improv Team performed on the previous Friday night. That event was part of our LEAD program and it was really entertaining. I saw the theater department's production of The Glorious Ones just a few weeks ago, and it was great! It can be surprising to see the quiet person in your class come a live in an onstage musical production. All of the plays and musicals put on at William Woods are also part of the LEAD program!
Last week was a busy week of LEAD for me. On Monday I saw Dr. Seth Shostak from SETI speak about the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence as part of the President's Concert and Lecture Series. It was really very fascinating and Dr. Shostak had a lot of funny points about why some of the current alien myths just aren't true. Over the course of the year there are many big presenters brought to the LEAD program through the President's Concert and Lecture Series.
On Tuesday I saw the Missouri Raptor Center present a few birds. I learned a lot about what it means to rescue a bird of prey and how you handle wild birds safely. They even brought an owl, our school mascot!
Then on Wednesday I learned all about graduate school in the sciences from one of the Biology faculty, Dr. Nicholas Pullen. It is amazing how many different kinds of graduate degrees there are across all disciplines. There will be a follow up event that focuses on life as a graduate student in the sciences which I will be interested to see, especially since I am a Biology major.
The LEAD calendar for this week is very full too. I will probably go learn about Study Abroad opportunities, visit the art gallery, listen to the Psychology Club talk about phobias in honor of Halloween, and watch the volleyball team play. I always enjoy having things to do with my friends after class and on the weekends. With the LEAD program, there is never a night without something fun to go see!
For more information about the LEAD program, click on the following link:
When I was applying for college, I never even considered Greek Life. I didn't see myself as your typical "sorority girl", the ones who show up in television shows and movies. Then I went to Freshman Advantage and I met many mentors who participated in Greek Life here at The Woods, and my opinion about Greek Life changed a little bit. Upon moving in, I still didn't expect to join a house, but at the end of recruitment I had fallen in love with Greek Life and Alpha Phi.
Greek Life on campus is a great way to get involved! As a Sophomore, I am an officer in my house and I've made great friends. We have a lot of fun events across the Greek Community and in Alpha Phi.
Every year we have a Father's Weekend in the fall where we invite our dads to come visit. We just had ours two weeks ago, and my dad came and we had a great time!
The highlights of the weekend were a skeet/trap shooting trip, and a BBQ at our sorority house! The first time my dad and I shot skeet was last year during Father's Weekend. We both hit 3 targets out of about 35. This year neither of us hit a single target (we like to blame it on the rain, though that probably had nothing to do with it), but we had a blast anyway! Some of the other dads had lots of shooting experience, and they tried to help us but we didn't get all that far. I'll be able to give my dad a hard time about his aim for a very long time!
When I first decided to join a house, my parents did not really understand what it meant. They, like me, only knew the stereotypes portrayed by the media. After coming to Father's Weekend two years in a row, my dad understands exactly why I went Greek. I have made so many great relationships, memories, and I have learned leadership skills and made connections that will help me later in life.
This coming weekend is Fall Family Weekend for William Woods. My mom is coming to visit and I am so excited to see her! It is nice that my parents can come to Fulton to spend time with me during the school year. They like to "adopt" other girls in my sorority who live too far away for their parents to come. We all go shopping in Columbia, out to dinner, or even just hang out and watch movies. It's really fun! Having so many sorority sisters has given me a home here at William Woods and my "family" has gotten so much bigger!
I hope you are enjoying fall! Remember to spend some time with your family
How did you spend your summer? Were you stationed by a pool, beach, or swim dock? Did you travel and go on all new adventures? Did you slave countless hours for minimum wage or did you earn credit at an internship? Whatever you did, I’m not sure it could compare to how I spent my summer at William Woods University’s Freshman Advantage!
When classes let out and the residence halls closed in May, I packed up my belongings and said tough goodbyes to my friends and my home-away-from-home, WWU. All of my friends and classmates would linger after their finals just to take in as much of the Woods that they could until next fall. Although I was sad to go back home, I knew Freshman Advantage was in less than a month and I would have the opportunity to return to campus for a month of fun, friends, and soon to be family!
What is Freshman Advantage? Freshman Advantage, often shortened to FA, is a kick start program for graduated high school seniors that plan on attending William Woods University. The program gives students real insight into what college is really like! For starters, students at FA take seven hours of class in three weeks and live in the residence halls. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of your future classmates as well!
My job at FA was to be a mentor and leader for the freshman students. I was there to tutor students in their classes, coordinate events and activities for the night, and be a friend and a guide. There was a fun activity planned for every week night. These ranged from a wiffleball tournament, to tie-dying t-shirts, to sand volleyball. The events were especially important because we got to learn more about the students and also bond as a group. On the weekends, we went off campus for activities like the St. Louis Zoo, the City Museum and Six Flags. I’ve lived in Missouri my whole life, but I had never visited these places before, so it was a lot of fun to experience St. Louis!
One of my favorite memories as a mentor was on the day of Costume Dodgeball, and all of the mentors got decked out in American flag gear. We had about an hour of down time and decided we didn't want our costumes to go to waste! What better way to show off your patriotic pride than standing outside and cheering for the USA? We made signs that said "Honk if you love America" and stood on the sidewalks for passing cars. It was so fun to see the looks on the drivers' faces when they saw us! There was so much honking and waving! I bet the mentees were embarrassed for us, but we really enjoyed singing and dancing and cheering. By the time we went for dodgeball, I was so worn out from jumping around that I could hardly even play!
I loved the activities we participated in, but my favorite part of Freshman Advantage, by far, was watching the students grow. As mentors, we got the chance to observe study habits, social interactions and each student’s interests throughout the month. Some students came in very shy and left as confident leaders! Some students came to WWU very uninterested but left as the most involved ones of the group! Students walked away from FA with the study skills, and true advantage of living as an independent college student. It was so rewarding to see what FA could actually do. When I see my mentees across campus now, I cannot help but smile because I am so proud of all their accomplishments!
Overall, the only thing I regret about Freshman Advantage is NOT going as a freshman! So for my closing comments, I would like to invite and encourage incoming freshmen to go out of your comfort zone and sign up for FA. It was so much fun being a mentor, so I cannot imagine how life changing it could be as a freshman. If you’d like more information about the program, check out it out at http://www.williamwoods.edu/admissions/freshman_advantage/index.asp.
Have a great day, and I hope to see you June 2014!