Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students


“Should I dump my High School Sweetheart before college?”

Hello all, welcome back to my blog!

To begin this post, I must warn you that I am writing as an advocate for love who has been through the freshman year of college transition with my high school sweetheart in tow. I learned a lot from my experience that I would like to pass on. Hopefully it will help you out with a decision or two that you might be making here in the near(ish) future.

First things first: This is not a decision that I can make for you at the end of this article. Every situation is a little different, and you'll have to exercise some independent thought to make the choice that is best for you.

road sign reading "change is just ahead"

Change is Just Ahead


You know that comfort zone that you have achieved with your sweetheart in just about any situation high school could offer? Prepare for all of that to change when you go to college. You will both enter situations that are foreign to you with new people, new rooms, perhaps an unknown roomie, new schedules, and new lives. This will eventually change you. You may not notice it, but the person you are dating most certainly will notice the shift in your personality. You will both grow at different rates and adapt to the culture that is surrounding you. Be prepared.

"I'm jealous of people who get to see you every day."

The truth about long distance relationships.


I have always heard that distance (or absence) makes the heart grow fonder. In some cases this may be true. I have seen it go both ways. One week you'll be Facetiming daily, feeling a close bond, then the next week homework sets in and neither of you really have the time or energy to sit down and dedicate a few minutes to one another. It's sad but true. It may come to a point where going out with your new friends on the weekends will overcome that urge you once had to drive a couple hours to spend an evening with your loved one.

Family Guy character Peter Griffin about to push a button labeled "Do not push button" because he is tempted to do so.

Peter Griffin is tempted too.


I hate to say this because it's quite a terrible creature, but there is going to be some temptation. This temptation may come in the form of the opposite or same sex, it may come from the dining hall, it may come from the activities you choose to indulge in. Whatever the situation may be, you will be tempted to steer your life in one or two different directions in some areas of your life.

Final thoughts...

College has a strange way of rearranging your priorities. If you really want to know, people sort of come and go. Life has a way of bringing people in to travel the path of life with you, but your never know how long they'll walk along side of you. One minute you might know they are the one for you, then the next you're not so sure. There are some paths that may be better traveled in singularity. Often I've seen the high school sweetheart as more of a safety blanket for the incoming college student. Having confidence and being comfortable must come from within yourself.

Love, peace, and chicken grease.



William Woods was the right choice for me!


This is Lisa, with the second part of my "origin story."  So, I began to research schools that would work best for me.

Small Size - I was looking for a small university.  I wanted a small student-teacher ratio.  With smaller classes, it would be easy to build relationships with my professors.  I already knew what it was like to be just a face among a sea of other faces, since I had already graduated from a large public state university.

William Woods University welcomes me with my name Lisa Laughlin in lights!

My name in lights!

At William Woods, each student has every opportunity to acquaint themselves with the faculty.  Every professor makes him- or herself available to students.  Every student has the option of reaching out and establishing a personal rapport with every instructor. This enhances the learning experience tremendously.  It is really valuable not competing with dozens of other students who also want individual time with an instructor.


The Right Offerings for Me - I was pursuing my dream of attending art school, but I also needed to temper that dream with the reality of competing in a Web 3.o world.  William Woods offers a BFA in both Graphic Design and in Studio Art, AND has quality Business and Management Information Systems (MIS) offerings. I could immerse myself in creative processes in the Kemper Art Center's studio art spaces. I could learn new skills in Kemper's Mac Lab with its state-of-the-art iMacs running Adobe Creative Suite software, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  And, I could learn the latest in web development, marketing, public relations, and entrepreneurship.

NASCAR auto racingCommute - The quality of my commuting time was also important to me.  I wasn't terribly interested in competing in the Daytona 500 every morning and afternoon. The commute on US63 between Jefferson City and Columbia reminds me of NASCAR restrictor plate racing.

Adding Central Missouri weather and transportation projects adds a unique "road course" flavor to the race. In contrast, the Fulton-Jeff City commute is a relaxing transition between my "day job" of being a student, and my other life in JC.

When the time came to select the school for me, the choice was obvious!





3 Elements of the Coolest Dorm Room

If you're like me, your room is a place of peace and sanctity. It's the place in which you can retreat and relax. Rejuvenate and create the space that really represents who you are. You've probably spent the last 17 to 20 years of your life creating a space in your home that is an extension of who you are--a pure representation of your personality. Odds are, there are still some childhood effects in existence that some may find embarrassing to take to school with them. Moving to college is your chance to create a new space (along with your roommate) that is authentically who you are right now! Here are some tips to making the best of your new pad!

Lighting: The lights in residence hall rooms can be industrial.

  • Bring your own lamp - having a lamp can create a warm, homey feel within your room. Having a little lower key light will allow you to relax and keep the stress level low in your new room.
  • Hang Christmas lights (LED only) - You can choose from an wide variety of colors and styles. These colors will cast a certain feel over the room. Find the color you love and give it a try!
  • Allow sunlight to flood in during the day - having thick curtains will allow you to sleep in on those weekend mornings. However, waking up in the morning and keeping your energy up throughout the day is much easier when you let the natural energy of the sun flow into your space!
LED Light strand

A strand of compliant LED Lights.

Wall Decor:

  • Posters - I would suggest getting a couple new posters of things/people/places that you love. There are many online resources to get new posters and local stores will carry them for a low price. Hang your posters with sticky tack, NOT push pins or tape (those things will damage the wall and lead to a fine).
  • Hang a sheet - hanging a colored sheet on the wall is the college equivalent to a paint job. Like your lighting decision, the color of the walls will represent the feel you want to give the room.
  • Use your own art - perhaps you have an art class your freshman year, hang the projects from classes on your walls. It will encourage you to create art that you are proud of.
Picture of John Belushi

Poster Example - Animal House, John Belushi

Entertainment: How do you prefer to entertain - Movies? Music? Games?

  • Television - coordinate with your future roomie (your Residential Life office should let your know). Who will bring the television? Will you need a DVD or Blu Ray player? Surround sound? All things to think about.
  • Speakers - this one is near and dear to my heart. I love music. Having good sound quality is key to entertaining. People love to listen to music when they hang out. Be careful with the power of the bass and volume though, you don't want you neighbors to get upset when you are pounding their wall with your subwoofers.
  • A place to sit - having plenty of comfortable places to sit is crucial to finding comfort in your room. A futon or moon chair is very modern and provides a comfortable place for you and your guests to sit down and relax.
Dorm room with bed, tv, and entertainment system.

A sample dorm room entertainment system.

dorm room specifications

                   The typical size of a dorm room at William Woods University

I hope you enjoyed this insightful post. Check out the rest of my bio!

Love, peace, and chicken grease,



Guide to Prosperity: Life Transition Edition

Hello again from William Woods! If you're new to my blog, please check out my bio.

It's been a while since I was last able to shout out to all of the past, present and future Owls of William Woods. I hope all is well in your neck of The Woods!

Much has happened since I last communicated with you all.

I am now into my senior most year of college.--the last step before I go into the welcoming arms of the "real world".  It's kind of scary, to be honest. The real world is not nearly as fearsome and intimidating as most would have you believe.

Photo of my friends and I in graduation caps and gowns.

My crew from high school and I on the night of graduation!

It seems like only yesterday that I was (like some of you) a senior in high school about to take my first big leap of faith out of my family's home and my hometown, and on to my new home at William Woods. That was kind of scary, too. But humans are one of the most adaptable organisms on planet Earth. You are no exception to that rule.

At the end of the day, surviving a transition to another chapter in your life is simple, if you keep some tips in mind.

  1. Keep an Open Mind: Open your mind to new experiences, influences, and cultures. However, don't lose who you are in the mean time.
  2. Remember that you are valuable: You are doing yourself and the community around you a disservice by not allowing your true colors to shine through. Express your thoughts, rock your style, and do you. Remember, be you, everyone else is taken.
  3. Listen and Respond: To truly listen is to hear the words and understand the body language that others are communicating to you, interpreting that communication, and formulating a response once the speaker is finished. Take time to listen, not just hear.
  4. Prepare: Research the direction you choose to steer your life. Get an idea of what is coming. Ask questions, hunt down answers, and chose the path that You believe is right for you.
  5. Be Confident: Believing in your choices 100% is not always easy to do, especially when you are partaking in a new experience. Regardless of the situation, you can always appear confident and ready. The "fake it 'til yo make it" method works for me. Pick your head up, put a smile on your face, and reinforce yourself with positive thought.

You can do this. Fear no transition, follow your dreams, accomplish your goals.

Footie PJs with the crew

My teammates and I at our costume baseball scrimmage this fall.


William Woods Logo