Monday, September 2, 2013

The First Few Weeks of College

I've been attending college classes for two weeks now, and I've been living on campus for about three weeks. The time has flown! I feel like I've been living in Columbia for a year.

The past three weeks have been amazing! So much has occurred in this short time span, and many of the experiences I've had have reinforced that Mizzou truly is the right place for me.

1. My Honors Learning Community
I am so glad that I chose to live in Schurz Hall. Schurz is a traditional style hall, and a majority of the floors are reserved for students in the Honors College. As a member of the Honors College, students are required to maintain a minimum of a 3.3 GPA and take at least one honors course each semester. This makes for a dynamic community within the hall, and most of the individuals are very focused and driven. This isn't to say that we don't like to have fun though! I've met some really great people from all over the country, who are majoring in a variety of subjects. The community style of the hall ensures that there's always people coming and going, and the lounge on the floor is always buzzing with activity. I love Schurz because the people are fun-loving, well-rounded, yet serious. Most people have a major picked out and are on a path to achieve their goals. It's so great to be surrounded by individuals who share your interests and values, as this is a motivator. Our hall is a little bit further from the center of the campus than some of the other halls, but I find this to be great. We can escape the craziness of some of the other parts of campus, and don't have to deal with crazy partying and excess noise.
I'm also a member of a journalism FIG (Freshman Interest Group) within the Honors Learning community. This has been a great way to "shrink" the size of campus and connect with people. We have a one credit hour class per week where we explore all the J-School has to offer. Most of my friends are from my FIG, and so far it's working out great!

My new friends and I at Tiger Walk, a Mizzou tradition where all the incoming freshman run through the historic columns on the quad.

2. The Missouri School of Journalism
It's no secret that one of the driving factors behind my decision to come to Mizzou was because of the excellent journalism program. The program was the first of its kind when Walter Williams founded it 1908. There are 6 emphasis areas, and over 30 interest areas within those emphases. After sophomore year, I will need to declare an interest area. At this point, I am not exactly sure what emphasis area I want to declare, but I am exploring all that the J-School has to offer. I am currently enrolled in J1010, which is an introduction to careers in journalism. We have had some very interesting faculty members speak about their fields of expertise, and several more are scheduled to lecture throughout the course of the semester. The J-School has so many connections both domestically as well as internationally, and this aids in getting jobs and internships. The program offers its students real life experience (called "The Missouri Method") and depending upon your interest area, you will have the opportunity to work at The Columbia Missourian (newspaper), Vox (magazine), KOMU (television) KBIA (radio), and AdZou and MOJOAd (strategic communication). This gives students valuable real life experience to make them more appealing to employers after graduation. The faculty at the J-School are some of the best in the country, having been published countless times, and the majority of them have worked at major publications, media outlets, or television stations. In addition to taking courses in journalism, I am also going to try to write for The Maneater, the student newspaper at Mizzou, and I've also joined the Mizzou Chapter of the American Copy Editors Society.

Beautiful, Wonderful, J-School.

3. The Campus is AMAZING!
When I took college tours in high school, the physical campus was often what stood out to me the most.  I'm not advocating making your college decision based off of the campus alone, but it sure is a bonus if the campus is nice. MU's campus has a tons to offer, is gorgeous, and is in walking distance of downtown Columbia. We have everything we need right at our fingertips, but Columbia is never far away if we feel the need to escape the everyday.

Some of my favorite spots (so far):

Ellis Library

I have done all my studying at Ellis. I am one of those people who requires near silence to study, read, and digest material. Ellis has been my second home these first few weeks of classes. The first floor is great for when I have work that I need a computer for, as there is a big study space with plenty of computers (that way I don't have to lug around my heavy laptop.) The upstairs is perfect for when I need a little but more peace and quiet to study or do a reading assignment. I haven't ventured to the third floor yet, but plan on doing so soon. 

From my Instagram: The second floor of Ellis. So tranquil! 

 Memorial Union/Lowry Mall

At MU, we are lucky enough to have two student unions. Memorial Union is the older of the two, and from what I've observed tends to be more calm. There is a small cafe inside run by Campus Dining Services, as well as a Starbucks. There's plenty of tables and couches to eat or study at. I've gone on a Sunday morning when the library wasn't open, and it's the perfect place to get some studying done. During the week, it's a great place for me to grab a quick lunch of snack between classes that are on Northeast campus. Right in front of Memorial Union, across Hitt Street, is Lowry Mall. Lots of fairs and markets are set up here, and its always bustling with activity during the day. The benches and low concrete walls on the side of the mall make it the perfect place to take a break and eat a snack between classes. 

Jesse Hall and Tiger Plaza

Jesse is one of the most photographed buildings on campus. It's shining dome can be seen from around Columbia, and it's often featured on literature and websites promoting Mizzou. It houses the admission office for the University, among other uses. Directly in front of Jesse, to the South, is Tiger Plaza. Tiger  Plaza consists of a bronze statue of a tiger, as well as a fountain. It's such a pretty sight at night, when Jesse is lit up as well as the fountain. My goal is to "ride the tiger" and swim in the fountain at least once before I graduate.

Mizzou has been so good to me during these first few weeks, and I can't wait for the adventures ahead. Stay tuned!

A few more shots from the first couple of weeks:

So lucky to have a Newman Center on campus

Lucky to have my friend Hanna here with me!

Blessed to have such a great roommate! We get along so well!

Yes, I successfully did my first load of laundry

New Mizzou swag for game day

Football is a culture here. Faurot Field on opening day.

First Mizzou football game with the gals!

Are you a college freshman? How have the first few weeks treated you?

Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative.


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