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About Me:

My name is Steph, and I am a senior Marketing major with a Communication Studies minor. Since this is my last year at Butler, my main goal is to enjoy every moment that I have left, while doing as much as humanly possible. I am a marketing analyst at the Butler Business Accelerator, a Speakers Lab tutor, and a Butler blogger (obviously). I also am an Alpha Phi, the President of the Butler University Student Foundation, a member of Alpha Kappa Psi (a professional business fraternity), and a member of the Butler American Marketing Association. In the small amount of free time that I do have, I love crafting, watching large amounts of television, and enjoying my favorite comfort foods, like sweet tea.

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Posts Tagged “freshman year”

Dear Freshman Year Steph,

During Welcome Week each year, the freshmen each write a letter to themselves that they get during Senior Week.  Most people forget about this, but I remembered, since I’ve been an Orientation Guide for the last two years.  I got it at our Champagne Toast the other day, and I realized that I was a pro at writing letters to myself back in the day.  I wrote one to myself both junior and senior year in high school, at the beginning of my freshman year, and after I joined Alpha Phi, and they have all been really great letters in different ways.  I had a lot of concerns in my letter to myself from Welcome Week, which is totally understandable for that point in time for a student.  So…I thought I would share a bit about what I was scared of, and how it turned out.  (Freshman Steph will be in bold….just to clarify.)

From the Welcome Week Convocation I learned that I need to get more sleep already… I’m so glad that I was this honest with myself so early, but the sad thing is that I never really took that to heart.  I slept very little over the last four years, and the only thing that it did for me is provided me with a coffee addiction.

My concerns are that I won’t make new friends that will last forever, and that I will fail. Again, I was really straightforward during that week I guess.  In the end, I did make friends that I think will last forever.  Of course, it took some to find them, and it wasn’t always easy.  But, during my college years I found some absolutely amazing people who I love, and I’m positive that Twitter and Facebook will allow us to all stay together even after we leave each other.  As far as the failing thing goes, I didn’t.  I don’t know exactly how to define what “failing” would have been for me….but I guess that since I am graduating tomorrow, and since I truly embraced my years at Butler….I didn’t fail.  Success!

Right now it’s so awkward and I feel so little… Feeling awkward and little is the essence of Welcome Week.  It’s awesome time, but it really kind of sucks as a freshman.  It isn’t until later years when it’s really amazing and just the best week that ever existed. Embrace college…and it’ll be fine.

I am so afraid that this will turn out to not be the right place for me… Well, it was the right place!  I couldn’t imagine spending my college years anywhere else, which is why it is hard to be ready to leave right now.  Butler helped me grow into the person that I am now, and I’m so grateful.

We graduate today….which still feels completely unreal.  Class of 2012….you’re great and it’s been an amazing four years.

The Butler Class of 2012

The Evolution of my Blog

As a senior, I have spent a lot of time this semester looking back to what I was like as a freshman.  A great way for me to see this is to look back at my blogs from my freshman year…which are interesting to say the very least.  I’m happy to say that my writing style has changed a bit since then, and that I’ve most definitely grown up in the last four years.  So, I think that it is only fitting to take a walk down memory lane to my freshman blog… roast style.  I was a decent blogger then, but I might as well make fun of myself for something, right?

  • I loved smiley faces. This one I totally get – because I still love smiley faces.  But all of mine ended up as emoticons in the blogs – which is really rather random…and childish.  They all look so excited, and they are the only type of photo/excitement in my old blogs.  At least I had something fun in there?  Which leads me to my next point…
  • I never posted photos. Now, I love posting photos.  I do blogs that are mostly photos sometimes.  But back in the day, apparently I did not know how to use a photo upload feature.  C’mon freshman year Steph, step it up a bit….be a real blogger.
  • My blog topics were totally unfocused. Basically, my freshman year, I wrote about what I did everyday.  I’m sure it was helpful for some, but who really needed to know that I went to The Old Spaghetti Factory and that they gave me a Chinese food box for my leftovers?  Yeah…no one.  Good try, freshman year Steph.
  • I was really excited.  All the time.  Really. I gather this from all of the “Whoohooo!’s” that I see in my old blogs, and from all of the exclamation points.  Apparently, my freshman year, I walked around and yelled at everyone all the time, or at least that is what it looks like from my blog.
  • I was extremely long winded. This hasn’t completely changed, but it has a little bit.  Back in my freshman year – I wrote a few marathon blogs that just trail on forever and ever…like this one.  I’d like to think that now I’m a bit more concise…maybe??

I give myself a hard time, but at least I tried…right?  We were all freshmen at some point, and I guess I was kind of cool back then.  Need proof?  Check this photo…by far my favorite from freshman year.

My favorite photo from freshman year... still.

From Freshman Year to Senior Year – Part II

Last week I blogged about the things that have changed about me over the last few years, and I had too much to fit into one blog.  Imagine that.  So here is Part II.

Handling stress/being busy

It’s not that I didn’t know how to handle being busy all the time when I first came to school, but I just didn’t know what being busy really meant quite yet.  Each semester I have become more and more busy, and I have slept less and less.  But somehow, it got easier with each semester, probably because I learned how to actually apply myself and how to use my time wisely.  Each semester I had to work harder in my classes, and I had more things to do for clubs and stuff on campus.  Because of this, I was able to slowly get used to the entire process…which was really pretty nice.  The best part of all is that this semester, my final semester, I think that I am the least busy of my entire college career.  It’s a beautiful thing….but now I don’t know how to handle having free time.  It’s strange how things work like that…isn’t it? 

Friendships

Just like everything else, friendships change over the years.  I’m still friends with my best friends from freshman year, but during the last few years I have met different people and formed new friendships that I absolutely love.  Most of these have been through living with new people in Alpha Phi, people that I either didn’t know before or just didn’t know well.  Second semester sophomore year, I lived with Meghan, Liz, and Lauren…and over the course of the semester we became best friends.  In the next few months, Meghan and Liz are getting married, and we are all in each of their weddings (so precious..I know).  So, we are basically the stereotype sorority girls…since we met in Alpha Phi and now we are going to be in each of their weddings.  Last semester, I moved in with Katie, Lauren, and Brooke…and we just fit together.  We weren’t sure how it was going to work out, because we are all such different people, but now I couldn’t imagine living with anyone else and I think we only get along so well because we are outrageously different.  I’m so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone to live with people I didn’t know well…because then I wouldn’t be close with any of these 5 beautiful ladies.  Love you all!

Meghan, Liz, Lauren, and I.

Brooke, Lauren, Katie, and I.

 

From Freshman Year to Senior Year – Part I

One great thing about being a senior is that a lot of our professors love to use class as an excuse to give us advice about life.  In order to make this somewhat academic, they assign lots of papers or reflections about whatever topics we are going over in class at the time.  So, I’ve spent the last 5 weeks or so thinking about my college years…and how I have changed since I came to Butler.  Some aspects of my life are completely different now than I thought they would be, but most of these changes are all positive, and just a natural part of growing up.  Here we go…

My hair color…

If you didn’t know, I used to be blonde.  Really blonde.  But a few years ago I decided to go back to my roots…literally…to be a brunette again.  Do blondes really have more fun?  Nope.  They don’t.

Freshman Year….
Senior Year…

Leaving Butler…

When I first came to Butler, I thought that I would go home every 2 or 3 weeks.  For awhile, I kind of did because I visited friends at other schools and went home often.  Eventually, my life got so busy that I just couldn’t make this traveling all the time thing happen anymore, and now I barely have time to go home at all.  I wish I could visit my family and friends more, but it is also kind of nice that I love being here at Butler so much that I am fine with staying.

Instead of leaving, I try to get everyone to come visit me here, or I try to split my time between visiting others and them coming to see me.  This way, I can even share a little bit of my love for Butler and Indy with everyone who comes to visit.  I’ve even noticed a difference in how quickly I leave for breaks.  Freshman year, I couldn’t get of my last class on Fridays fast enough to get me on the road to go home.  Now, sometimes I will stay at Butler for an extra night just to hang out with my sorority sisters at Alpha Phi or to just relax on campus.

Check back soon for Part II!

So you’ve moved in…now what?

Once you arrive on campus and you move everything in, there is a point in time where you just aren’t sure what to do.  Either you haven’t unpacked much yet, and you aren’t sure how/what to unpack, or you don’t know where to go or what to do around campus, no matter what, it is an awkward and difficult time for knowing how to handle your first few days at Butler.  So, here are a few handy dandy tips for getting used to campus and getting settled in.

  • Bond with your roommate. Even though you have probably already spoken to your roommate, use your time of getting settled in as a time to really break the ice, and work together for the first time to find solutions that work for both of you.  For instance, you can brainstorm together about how to best set up your room, depending on your preferences, habits, and anything else important to you!
  • Get out of your room. Getting to know your roommate is important, but even more important is making the most of your experience.  So, get out of your room, and participate!  Go meet some new people at Starbucks, go to the Mall to hangout, or find something else to do.  I am definitely a homebody, but I love being social, so I have to sometimes remind myself that the best way to be social is just to be out and about on campus.
  • Go to every possible Welcome Week event. There are so many, and they are going to be so much fun.  So do EVERY one (but be sure to not drive yourself crazy…of course).
  • Explore Indy. This city is pretty great, so go check it out!  I did a series of blogs on what to do out and about in Indy….so give it a shot!  See what this place is all about, and what kind of awesome shopping, museums, and attractions there are all over the city.
  • Explore Holcomb Gardens. The gardens are one of the hidden gems of Butler University, so go check them out.  I didn’t really know that they existed until a few weeks into my Freshman year, so go down there right away, and marvel at the beauty and at the awesomeness, that is right here on campus.

Mostly, just make sure that you keep in mind that this week is for you, the new students.  The SOGs are all here to help with your transitions, so use us as resources as much as possible.  We just want you to have a safe and healthy transition, and mostly, to LOVE Butler University!

My #1 Tip for New College Students

During SOG training yesterday, we had a discussion about things that we each thought were important to pass along to new students when they first arrive on campus.  There was one thought that came up in our group that I thought was so important and pivotal that I wanted to share it even before all of the new students arrive on campus.  Do you want to know what it is??  Well, you should.  Here it is:

Be Socially Tolerant.

This is such an important aspect of going to college, because as I’m sure you are aware, college is completely different from high school.  Of course it is different because you are moving away from home, taking harder classes, and potentially leaving friends, but all at once you are entering an entirely new social realm.  For instance, in high school people tend to be catty, and they might stereotype people or exclude others because of their “type”, but in college, it is a completely different world.  Now, I’m not saying that things are absolutely perfect in college, and that it is completely free of any high school drama, but it’s kind of as if people here are held to a higher standard of maturity.  At college, people seem to understand that they will not be just like other people, and they appreciate those differences.

So, if you are one of Butler’s incoming freshmen this fall (or a freshman at any other school), take advantage of this unique opportunity you have.  Let others surprise you, because you never know who could end up being a great friend, or even someone that you could learn amazing things from.  When I met my best friend Meghan freshman year, I never thought that we would be inseparable 2 years later, simply because we are such different people.  (i.e. I’m basically a carnivore, and she is an earth-loving vegetarian, among other things.)  Be tolerant, and embrace your differences!

Meghan and I...even though we dress alike, we are still very different!

What you need to know about back to school shopping…

Since Olivia wrote a blog about shopping for college freshmen (and had some awesome suggestions, I might add) I thought I would do one as well.  My personal favorite place to shop for back to school essentials is Target, but that is mostly because I never really went to Target until I got to college (it’s the difference of driving 45 minutes to the closest one, or just 15 minutes).  Their things are relatively cheap, and usually coordinate together, which I really appreciate.

Here are some things that I would suggest to get before you get to school, or make, or whatever works for you:

  • A shelf to sit on your fridge.  This is something I have always wanted, but never had.  If you keep your food around your fridge, it just overtakes the fridge and goes everywhere.  So, with a shelf, it can stay organized, and you can find everything easily without digging for hours and hours through random snack foods.
  • 3M wall mounting strips.  These will be your saving grace, since you don’t want to ruin the walls each time you move in and move out.  They don’t fix everything, but it does definitely help!
  • Set of plastic drawers.  I started my freshman year with one, and now I have two.  One holds all of my paper, pens, and random school supplies under my desk, and the other holds jeans, tank tops, and t-shirts.  The best thing is that no matter where you live and when, you can use these drawers for anything that your heart desires.
  • A mattress pad.  You can go with whatever you might like, since there  are memory foam ones and feather ones (and probably others too).  I started with a feather one, but now my memory foam mattress pad is basically my best friend.  I could lay in bed all day long…but I probably shouldn’t.

I could keep going with random things you should bring to school, but I won’t.  Instead, I will leave you with a few videos about move-in and of my freshman dorm room, and this blog that I wrote for Vera Bradley about back to school necessities….from Vera Bradley of course!

An empty Schwitzer room…just so you know what you’re working with.

 

How would I describe my time at Butler so far?? Epic.

When I meet prospective or new students who are planning on coming to Butler, we talk about many things … from majors, to residence halls, to campus life … but we rarely talk about something that is really important:  What to expect as a student.  So, since I will be a senior in college in exactly 3 weeks, I am going to tell you just that, broken down into each year.

  • Freshman year – If you ask me, freshmen have it made in the shade at school.  Professors have lower expectations since you are new to college, classes are easier, about probably half of the events on campus are just for you, and basically, life is good.  Whether you choose to go through recruitment for Greek Life or not, check it out and seriously consider if it is for you or not.  That was one of the best parts of my freshman year, going through recruitment and meeting some of my best friends in the entire world through my sorority.

42 of my favorite ladies ever - my pledge class Freshman year....

  • Sophomore year – Sophomore year is like freshman year … but harder.  All of the sudden it’s like you are old news, and not so special.  But, you know more people on campus, so going to events is basically 10x more fun.  Also, classes get exponentially harder, which is not so fun.  But, since you have that already established group of friends from the start, it is like you’re coming home from a long vacation at the beginning of the year, which I absolutely loved.

My build group from Yell Like Hell sophomore year...

  • Junior year - Personally, junior year was my favorite year yet.  Academically, it was wonderful because I was taking a ton of classes in my major for the first time, and I was basically done with all my prerequisites.  Socially, it was amazing because I knew even more people than I did when I was a sophomore, which made for an absolutely amazing Welcome Week.  It was also the year when I started really getting involved in my clubs on campus, and I felt like I as actually making a difference.  All in all…it was fabulous.

All of the Butler 500 Festival Princesses...love these ladies!!

  • Senior year - I have no idea yet!!!  My time at Butler has been more than I could have ever imagined, and I can’t wait to see what this last year is going to be like!  So stay tuned to see what happens!

Recruitment… here we come!!!!

So next week is what we have all been waiting for (or at least some of the freshman and most people on Butler’s campus who are Greek)…..RECRUITMENT!  I am personally super excited for it for numerous reasons….

  1. I love recruitment.  It is as simple as that.
  2. I have been disaffiliated from my chapter all semester, because I am going to be a recruitment counselor.  We disaffiliate so that the girls going through recruitment don’t know what house we are in, so we help them throughout the week while staying completely unbiased.  So I absolutely cannot wait to wear my letters again!
  3. Did I say that I love recruitment??

I think that recruitment is all around amazing because it provides an opportunity the girls who go through it to learn more about themselves and others in a way that you can only get through sorority recruitment.  It also provides the perfect opportunity for girls in the houses to spend as much time as possible in the house with all of their sisters.  Recruitment week is the perfect time for sisterhood to grow and develop, because you spend all day every day with the girls in your house, while you focus on everything that your chapter was founded on.

I absolutely cannot wait for next week, because I know that amazing things will come from it.  My freshman year, during recruitment I obviously joined my chapter, I had the time of my life, and I met one of my absolute best friends.  :)   Last year, my sophomore year, my love for my chapter grew exponentially, I had the time of my life, and I moved into a room with my 3 best friends (who I get to live with again this semester…I can’t wait…I have missed us being together more than I could have ever imagined).  So, this year obviously has a lot to live up to….because the last two years have been so amazing.  But I am sure that I am going to become great friends with girls in the other houses who are also recruitment counselors.  I can’t wait!  :)   Keep checking back for recruitment updates next week!

Thank goodness college is nothing like weaning calves…

Last weekend, I went home for a super quick visit because it was my High School’s Homecoming.  It was so much fun to go back home and see everyone all at once, to get to experience our first annual Homecoming Parade, and to reminisce about my high school cheerleading days.  Just being at the football game brought back so many memories….which I will blog about later.  But what this blog is about…is something we do a couple times a year at my house.

If you haven’t read my blogs before, my Dad is a farmer, and we basically have a herd of cattle in my backyard.  I love looking out the window in our kitchen, and being able to see the calves out in the pasture…but there are a few times every year when it isn’t so pleasant to have cattle…and that is when you have to wean calves.  Weaning calves is basically when you separate the baby calves from their moms, and it is a rather unpleasant process….for several reasons.

#1 – A couple of years ago, we built a new barn….and the one thing that my Dad did not consider with the whole building a barn process was weaning calves.  As you can see in the photo, there is an opening on the barn, and that opening faces our house.  Thus, the noise from the barn travels very easily to our house.  Not good.

Our barn...

Our barn...

#2 – There are a TON of calves in our barn when we wean them…like a TON.  I think my Dad said we had about 25 calves in there, and when they get to bawling, everyone chimes in….and it gets REALLY loud.

All of the calves....

All of the calves being weaned....

They all got really excited when I came up to visit.....and they all crammed into one small area.

#3 – I guess this isn’t an unpleasant part of weaning calves….but they are so sweet and cute!  Usually, calves won’t come up to you unless they are fearless (most cows aren’t), or if they are like your pets (like my old show cattle).  But for some reason, so many of the calves came up and licked my hand….so sweet.

This one was my favorite....I love its white face!!!!

And then some of them posed for me... :)

Being at home, with all of the bawling calves made me so glad that humans don’t handle separation with their parents the way that cattle do.  Just imagine…for the first two weeks or so of the school year…if all you ever heard was wailing coming from Ross and Schwitzer….it would get old pretty fast.  So thank you, freshman class, for being so grown up and handling being away from your families better than our cattle at home do.  I appreciate it more than you know.  :)