Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students

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

21Dec/150

Making the Holiday Break Productive

It's break time! At the university level, this break is usually four weeks. In high school, it may only be 2-3 weeks long. And while it's a great time to spend with family and rest/relax in preparation for the spring semester, it's also a great time to be productive. Below are some things that I'm doing to stay productive over break. Hopefully some might be applicable to you, too.

  • Taking an Online Class
    • Over break, I'm taking an intersession class so that I can finish my general studies credits at William Woods. It's a computer class, so the work isn't too demanding and it allows me to knock out three credits really quickly.
  • Studying for Upcoming Standardized Tests
    • This summer, I plan to start applying to medical school, which means I will be taking the MCAT soon. This involves a lot of studying in addition to school, so the holiday break offers a great opportunity to study. Other college students may be preparing for a variety of entrance exams, like the GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc. If you're still in high school, you might be in the midst of studying for the SAT or ACT. Whatever the test, now's the time to get studying.
  • VolunteeringHands On Greater Phoenix Logo
    • While I'm at William Woods, I am involved in lots of clubs and other volunteer opportunities. While I'm at home, I continue this work with an organization called HandsOn Greater Phoenix. The holidays are filled with volunteer opportunities, and it's the perfect time to give back and gain potential work/resume/school application experience.
  • Wrapping up Summer Research

    • I spent my summer doing research, and believe it or not I am still working on the manuscript! This holiday break is an excellent time to keep working on my summer work and is now winter work.
  • Preparing for Summer
    • It seems like a lot to already look ahead to summer, but it's really important. I am spending winter break researching schools I want to apply to, looking into potential jobs, and finalizing the rest of my plans. Spring semester quickly gets busy, so the more of summer that can be situated now, the less work there is for the semester.

I hope your winter break is filled with lots of relaxing mixed with lots of productivity. What are your plans for the break?

Happy Holidays!

-Alexis

19Nov/151

15 Things To Do while Taking a Break from Studying

Here my roommate Catie demonstrates napping while studying.

Here my roommate Catie demonstrates napping while studying.

A successful student studies a lot (or should study a lot). But, when it's time to take a break from studying, here are my suggestions for how to spend the time.

  1. Visit the Owl’s Nest (or your pantry/local coffee store) and grab a snack or, even better, a Starbucks coffee.
  2. Take a nap (a quick twenty minutes might rejuvenate you and make your studying more effective).
  3. Cartwheel. Get some blood flowing to your brain.
  4. Yoga/deep breathing. If you’re super-stressed, take a deep breath. And then keep studying (this is especially effective for finals week).
  5. Clean. Be productive on your break and tidy up your [dorm] room, and give your mind a break.
  6. Do some laundry. Start a load and then when you break again, you can switch loads. Then when you’re done studying, you can fold.
  7. Go for a walk/visit the horses. William Woods has a beautiful campus with lots of horses to visit.
  8. Go to a LEAD event. If you coordinate right, you can go to a LEAD event and take a break from studying--and still be productive!
  9. Shower. A hot shower can be re-energizing.
  10. Call/talk to your parents. They probably miss you.
  11. Talk to your roommate/siblings. Discuss what you’re studying, and it will help solidify the concepts in your brain.
  12. Schedule the rest of your day. Keep on track by working out what you want to accomplish for the rest of your morning, afternoon, or evening.
  13. Write a thank you note. People love hand-written cards, so think of the last person that did something generous and write a little note. It will surely make his or her day.
  14. Make your bed. It’s probably not made…
  15. Read the William Woods blog!
The lovely William Woods campus in autumn.

Go for a walk and experience the lovely William Woods campus.

I hope that these suggestions liven up your next study break. Thanks for reading!

~Alexis

12Nov/150

“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

Change

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.

Distance

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.

Temptation

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.

-Dakota