Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Transitioning from Ireland to America

The heat!! That was the first thing I remember about arriving in America. Stepping off the plane at Tulsa airport was the moment I realized that it was going to be awhile before I would adapt to the climate. I had come from a comfortably cool, wet climate and after a nine-hour flight I felt like I had stepped into an oven.
            After some time living here I was happy to learn that adapting to the climate would be my biggest struggle. Everything seemed to be much easier than I expected. Still there are plenty of cultural differences that took some getting use too. I was taken back by the size of everything over here. The roads are much wider, the majority of vehicles are much larger, and of course the food portions are double what you would usually get in Ireland (not complaining). The country as a whole is huge; one of my first college soccer games was a six-hour drive. To get from one side of Ireland to the other would usually take about four-hours so travelling for that long was not something I was accustomed to.

            Thinking back I feel sorry for the people who tried to speak to me the first few months I was here. I am sure they had a tough time understanding me. Back then I spoke much quicker and spoke words that only people from Ireland would understand. Since then I have adapted to some southern lingo and have slowed down when I speak so people don’t look at me with a blank stare when I say something.
            Not seeing my family and friends on a daily basis obviously took some getting use to. It is a strange feeling when the people that know you most are not around. Fortunately I met a lot of great people in my first few weeks here, everybody was so friendly and helpful. Skype and Facebook help things as well, I am always kept up to date with everything that is going on at home.

            So the transition from Ireland to America really wasn't too bad. Both being English speaking countries made everything a whole lot easier. The welcoming Oklahoma's have made me feel right at home. I miss Ireland a lot but I am loving my time in the US. I look forward to seeing what the future holds and where I will end up, but until then I will enjoy my time here and carry on my pursuit of getting used to the heat. 

Challenge of the Week

My challenge for you is to learn a new recipe from a different country and attempt to make the dish. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Meet My Roommates

Hey everyone! As you may have heard, living on campus is one of the best ways to make friends and be involved at RSU. For me, it has certainly proved to be true! My roommates have become my closest friends, and I love having them around. Being away from home can be challenging, and it's wonderful to always have someone to lean on. We study together, have fun together, and sometimes even cry together (over both good and bad). So this week, the spotlight is on them!

Carly Peterson

Major: Accounting
Interesting Fact:Peanut butter makes her hyper, and she is allergic to grape juice.
Worst Fear: Frogs.

Carly is a model student. She is sometimes known to have her homework done before it's even assigned. Her strong subjects are math and science. She enjoys puns, dumb jokes, and watching Youtube videos of people falling.

Ashlyn Karst

Major: Accounting
Interesting Fact: Her favorite food is bread and her favorite musical is Chicago.
Worst Fear: Seeing, hearing, or reading about vomiting.

Ashlyn is a terrific dancer, and even performed in RSU's Got Talent last year. She loves The Wizard of Oz and played Dorothy in the ballet performance at her dance studio her senior year in high school. She is known to climb on furniture when she is hyper.

Hayley Gipson

Major: Corporate Communications
Interesting Fact: She enjoys creating dance moves and rarely goes to bed before 2 am.
Worst Fear: People accidentally falling out of windows.

Hayley is an energetic and sarcastic person. One of her favorite hobbies is writing and performing skits in our dorm room. She is the only person in our dorm that hasn't become addicted to coffee (yet). She loves Dr. Who and and Sherlock Holmes.

Together, the four of us make a pretty crazy group!

Peak of the Week: Figuring out what I want to do for my art project!
Challenge of the Week: College algebra.

Gabby G.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet My Roommates

Living on campus at RSU, is full of surprises and excitement thanks to the students and especially my roommates. From left to right, meet Bryce Hall, and Kyler and Kasey Ng (let's not forget Allan photo-bombing in the background).

These three fine gentlest of men and myself are recipients of the same scholarship program called The President's Leadership Class (PLC). Bryce, Kasey, and I are seniors this year, while little baby Kyler is just a sophomore. As you can tell from the names Kasey and Kyler are brothers. These two hooligans are best friends who rarely, if ever, bicker or fight. Bryce is the man with the golden southern voice and if you travel to Salina, you will hear him announcing at the Salina Highbanks Speedway. Kyler is a goofy little squirt, too smart for his own good. This year he became part of RSU Men's Basketball team earning him the nickname "Asian Persuasion". Kasey is a passionate outdoorsman who competes in triathlons. If he isn't working on homework he is either out riding his bike or tinkering on it in his room. 
Having roommates this awesome is a blessing and a curse. The late night living room conversations are wonderful until the eight o'clock class rolls around, but I wouldn't change it for anything. The opportunity I have to live with such a diverse and motivated group of men is only possible because of RSU. 

Peak of the Week: PLC's Fairest on the Hill (a fake beauty pageant) is this week and I get to emcee for it.
Challenge of the Week: PLC's Fairest on the Hill (a fake beauty pageant) is this week and I get to emcee for it. Hopefully I don't screw the pooch on this.
Quote of the Week: "It's not about making others laugh. It's about making yourself laugh"
-Austin Jobes

Friday, September 19, 2014

An Introduction from Niall

     Hi everyone, my name is Niall Masterson. I will begin by giving you all some insight to my past and how life has taken me to Rogers State. So anyone that has met me will know that I sound a little bit strange, this is because I hail from the green fields of Ireland. I was born into a loving family being the youngest of three siblings. I grew up in Ballyboughal which is a small rural village in north Dublin. As you can imagine there is not a whole lot to do in a small village in Ireland but my friends and I always done a good job of keeping ourselves occupied. Spending all our time outside it was usually playing soccer that filled our days. At that time I played for fun, little did I know later in life it would take me to where I am now.

     After high school I had made the decision that I wanted to travel to the US and continue my education as well as play soccer for a university. So I began my pursuit in a small college in Dublin. I took part in a one year soccer course which was designed to get young student athletes across the pond to America. After a successful year I was lucky enough to get in touch with a coach from Coffeyville Community College, Kansas. Within three weeks of talking to the coach I was on a plane heading towards Kansas.
One of my last moments in Ireland before I left.
This was at the Cliffs of Moher, along the west coast of Ireland.

     You could say it was a little bit of a culture shock. The first thing I remember was getting off the plane and getting struck by ninety degree heat. This was a lot different than a comfortably low fifty degree climate. It wasn’t long before I started to adapt and was able to enjoy a new culture. I met a lot of great people in Coffeyville, they helped me enjoy my freshman year. At the end of my freshman year I heard about Rogers State University. Once I done some research on RSU I was highly impressed and wanted to visit the campus. I soon got in touch with Derek Larkin the head soccer coach. I finally got to see the campus and fell in love, it was perfect for me. Needless to say I acted quickly and got my transfer for the following fall semester, I was going to be a proud Hillcat.

     I began my RSU career as a sophomore in the fall of 2012. It has been extremely easy for me to settle in and I have met a lot of great people. I am now a Corporate Communications major and still represent the university on the men’s soccer team. I have made a lot of great memories here and will continue to do so in the remainder of my time here. 
My parents came to visit and watched me play for the Hillcats

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Choosing a Major

Choosing a major is a daunting task for most college students. If you've had trouble making a decision, I'll reassure you that the majority of people I know have changed their major at least once, and usually a few times, before finding the one they wanted to stick with. I've officially been an Elementary Education, Psychology, and Graphic Design major. Unofficially, I've claimed to be changing my major to Communications (corporate option, then arts) Community Counseling, and also briefly considered English. While you may think this makes me the LAST person you should come to for advice on making a decision, I promise, I've found a few tips along the way that just may help!

1. Take general education courses if you're unsure!
There are some classes that everyone has to take, regardless of their major. Taking these classes can give you time to consider your options and make a decision while you're still working towards your degree.

2. Try to make a decision... even if you're not confident in it.
Most majors have a few basic classes you are required to take before you can take the more specific ones. This can be a great opportunity to see if you find the subject interesting and worth pursuing. I think it's better to take the class and find out you don't like it, than wait too long to make a decision.

3. Keep careers in mind... but find something you love.
Most of my life I've wanted to be a teacher or an artist, and unfortunately, neither of these career paths are known for making much money. I've tried my best to find something I was both interested in, and would help me get a good job down the road, however... I always came back to what I loved. Graphic Design seems to be my happy medium. I can do what I enjoy, and it's more likely I will be able to find a stable job. So, be practical... but don't settle. :)

Just remember that changing your mind is not the end of the world. Many people go back to school and change careers in their 40's, 50's, and even later. I find that all the more reason to change my mind as many times as I need to find exactly what I want. Right now, that's studying art, but who knows what the future will hold.

Good luck and don't be afraid to try new things!

Gabby G.

Challenge of the Week: Having three tests and an art critique while I was sick.

Pic of the Week: 
I had to take pictures of clouds for my Physical Science class, and this was one of my favorites!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Semester Goals

We hear all the time how goal setting is important for success, well I am here to echo those words. As a college student it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with life’s decisions and lost within all those choices. Goal setting helps to ease that overwhelming sense by gradually achieving goals and simultaneously building a better person.

This year is a little different for me because it’s the infamous college senior year. My place here at the university is comfortable and fixed, changing only by means of my own with little variation.  So this semester my goals have changed concepts slightly. This year my ultimate goal is to be the change I want to see.

Academic- This semester I will strap on my big boy clothes complete with lab coat, goggles, and closed toed shoes, so I can brave the laboratory while performing my own research project.
  1.  Goal- Don’t cause any major laboratory explosions.
  2.  Goal- If explosions happen……….. get them on video.
  3.   Goal - Contribute something back to the scientific community through my research.
  4.   Goal- Don’t procrastinate class work.

Interpersonal- Make a positive impact on someone’s life.  The opportunities RSU has provided, built my skills in such a way that I feel obligated to give back to others. Without the past three years here at RSU I wouldn’t be as confident or prepared for life. In a way RSU gave me the opportunity to be thankful.
  1. Goal- Make a stranger laugh. (Note: I’m not inventing a new weird laugh. I want to make a person I haven’t met laugh.)
  2. Goal- Organize a fundraiser here on campus.
  3. Goal- Use my leadership skills to create a positive difference in the organizations I am a part of.
Peak of the Week- Floating the Illinois with my friends.
Challenge of the Week- Focusing on Calculus Homework
Quote of the Week
               "Working hard is important. But there is something that matters even more, believing in yourself. Think of it this way; every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more than what we are now, students. If they can do it, why not us?"  -Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone is having an excellent week back! Tomorrow, Welcome Week will come to a close. I don't know about you, but I've been super happy to be back. Summer was fantastic, but I'm glad to get back into routine again.

At first, I was skeptical of all the changes this year. I have different professors, a different dorm room, and a brand new dining hall with a new system. However, I have been pleasantly surprised! So far, I love my new professors, my dorm, and the dining hall is a big improvement! I love being able to get fruit and a salad with lunch and dinner everyday. While I'm still tempted to get a brownie and ice cream, I feel like overall the options are much healthier. Plus, there's always enough seating for everyone.

Whether you're a freshmen or a returning student, I'm sure you're facing many changes. At least for me, it can be a bit overwhelming. If this week is making you feel a bit anxious, I'll offer a few tips to help with the transition!

First of all, try to stay in a routine. Even though my class times differ, I try to get up at the same time every morning. This can be challenging. Especially when I'm exhausted and I know I could sleep in another hour, but it will help in the long run. I don't have to change my alarm every night, and even after a few days of waking up at the same time, I wake up a few minutes before my alarm.

Second, try to stay healthy. It can be difficult, but getting enough rest, water, and healthy food can really help you feel less stressed. I always carry a bottle of water in my backpack, and when I eat at the dining hall, I try to get a glass of water instead of soda. The only exception I allow myself is coffee in the morning. Speaking of coffee, it's super important to eat breakfast! Even if I just eat a bagel, I can focus in class much better than on an empty stomach.

Lastly, find comforting things. Personally, it makes me feel much better if I remember to text or call my parents at least once a day. I let them know what's going on at school and hear about home, and it makes me feel a lot less homesick. Also, talking to my roommates or texting my best friend really cheers me up. We exchange stories about our day (happy, sad, and stressful ones!) and everyone can let off a little steam.

Have an excellent first semester!

Gabby G.

Peak of the Week:
Moving back into my dorm and seeing all my friends... on a regular basis!

Challenge of the Week:
When there was a confusion about where our science class and lab were, and a few friends and I ended up awkwardly walking in late. Also, twice this week I found myself walking into the wrong dorm room, thinking it was my friend's.

Quote of the Week:
"I draw because words are too unpredictable.
I draw because words are too limited."
--Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)

Pic of the Week:

My desk after I decorated! However, I never decorated the rest of my dorm... or finished unpacking. This is the only part of my dorm worth seeing.