New Year, New Semester. Are You Ready For It?

Classes start today! Whoop whoop! Are you ready for it?

(Sorry for the TSwift giphy, I couldn't help it. 😂😂 I'm laughing at this face she's making too.)

No? You're not ready?! School's a drag, you say?

While some make think starting a new semester can be a downer, here are a few reasons why you should consider thinking otherwise.

  1. You are one semester closer to graduating!
  2. You get to see your friends again.
  3. You get back in a routine and can do all your activities and events again and get to see people (but mostly, you can get back into your normal binge-watching Netflix routine).
  4. You get to learn!
    • (Come on, learning is not that bad. Why are you even going to school if you truly hate learning?)
    • Take a random class that has nothing to do with your major and expand your horizons.

Are you still stuck trying to find motivation for this semester? Don’t worry, I gotchu. Here are some ideas to get you ready!

1. Check out extracurriculars.

  • Join an intramural team
  • Join a student organization or club
  • Is there nothing that interests you? Start your own group!

2. Go to the gym.

  • Ew.. I know, right? Wrong. Go to the freaking gym! You don’t have to run a thousand miles or lift 500 pounds. Just get your heart rate up a little bit and get your blood pumping. Your body and mind will LOVE you!
  • Working out sends endorphins to your brain which results in a mood boost. You will also feel less anxious, stressed and it will improve your sleep, which let’s be real… we’re college students and we love our sleep.
  • On top of all of that awesome stuff, you will look and feel fit and healthy if you make exercising a part of your daily routine.
  • You can download FREE aps that will help you create effective workouts as short as seven minutes! Check out this one and this one.

3. Catch up!

  • Go get drinks or ice cream or HyChi or Taco Bell with a friend(s) you haven’t seen since break. Catch up on everything and everyone and pump each other up about your awesome semester together!

4. Be honest with yourself.

  • If you are honestly dreading going back to classes, ask yourself why and be real with yourself. What’s the problem?
  • Are you studying something that actually interests you and is going to help you reach your dreams?
  • Are you happy with your school? It’s okay if that answer is no. Look into transferring.
  • How is your living situation?
  • Look at the things that are actually bothering you about starting the new semester and take action to solve them! You only have one life, so live it happily! 

Check these things off your to-do list to get your semester started smoothly!

  1. Evaluate your class schedule with your life schedule and make sure you have a realistic course load for your ability.
  2. Drop any classes you don’t need and aren’t interested in. (Although I highly recommend taking a random class so you can try something new and expand your understanding of the world.)
  3. Create a study schedule. Don’t make it minute by minute because I guarantee that won’t happen, but schedule in general times to shut off your technological devices and study for each class.
  4. Buy your books. Come on people. This is Freshman 101. You should already have your books.
  5. It wouldn’t hurt to touch base with your advisor. Whoever he or she is, they have a lot of power in the school and they have a lot of potential to help you out down the road, so make sure you get to know them and that they know you are more than just a name and a class schedule.

Have an awesome semester and check back for new posts here on my blog throughout the year! 

more than national champions: Simpson College's shooting sports team


The Simpson College Shooting Sports Team may not be the most known team on campus, but it might be the most welcoming.

I sat down with Coach Scott Moniot to get a better understanding of what this team is really all about… and it’s not what you think.

In early 2016, Scott Moniot was hired as head coach for the Shooting Sports Team.

While there was some hesitancy from some alumni, Coach Moniot says the overall support has been phenomenal.

Me: What kind of culture are you trying to create within the team?

Coach Moniot: “The shotgun sports can be a very unique fit for a lot of individuals and within that fit we’re finding out the culture is totally different within the competitive side of shotgun sports than what is typically perceived in the media.

Me: What were some of the challenges getting to Nationals?

Coach: Well… Taylor Jergeson, a junior chem/physics major had an overwhelming course load that got too crazy and he made the call to stay and focus on his school work, which I am so proud of him for. He made the difficult life choice and made the right call to stay, miss nationals and do focus on his schooling. That’s the side of the story that doesn’t get told, but that’s the side of the story that tells you what kind of kids are on the team. He made the tough, mature choice and I support it 100%.

Me: The college’s article said the team was complimented at Nationals on how they conducted themselves and their demeanor. Can you expand on that a little bit more and what it was that really made them stand out from other teams?

Coach Monoit: The most exciting part of the journey was being complimented at Nationals. During the shooting sporting clays event(which is about a half mile course) the pullers(who hit the button to release the target) were sitting in the heat. After the team had shot, they would shake the hand of the puller and thank them, all the way through the course. A woman called us back and said to me our kids just have the best attitudes, helping each other and encouraging each other. Those are some of the things we’re trying to instill in the team from the get go, is just being thoughtful and realize that other people are making this happen for you. To be courteous ad mindful that there are a lot of thankless jobs out there, but it someone wasn’t doing it, it wouldn’t be possible for us to reap the benefits of it. Those are some of the things we talk about in practice and we don’t just talk about it… we do it.

Another great story of the incredible character of the team began on the Friday of Nationals: the team was awarded third place. After the excitement and celebration Friday night, Saturday morning Coach looked through the scores online.

It showed that the team was actually in fourth place.

He went to talk to the head of the ACUI and they said they knew there was a mistake and told him not to worry about it.

Coach wanted the kids to bring the awards back but the ACUI insisted they keep them and that they would order new awards for the other team.


Coach said, “Okay, let me go talk to the kids and see what they want to do.” So he went back to the van and told the team what had happened. “Before I even had to say another word, they decided the awards had to go back right away for the deserving team. As a whole team, they walked in and returned it all without a second thought.”

Later that day the ACUI flagged down Coach and the team and thanked them. She was amazed how graciously the team had returned the medals and trophy. 

That was also the day the team won the International Trap Championship. Maybe what goes around, comes around? 

I got the chance to record a podcast episode with Maddy Bernau and Patrick Long-Quian in the studio about there experiences on the Simpson’s Shooting Sports Team.

Listen to the podcast below!

*This was a story for my Journalism 2.0 class at Simpson College. Originally posted April 27, 2017.

Simpson College community marches to "End the Isms" and spread awareness of the injustices of the world

For the fourth year in a row, Simpson College has peacefully protested the end to prejudice and hate.

Despite wind, rain and coldness, students gathered at the Kent Campus Center to celebrate the diversity on our campus, in our country and in the world.

Unfortunately, less than 100 people participated the march. Some joined as they heard the speakers later in the day. One man even joined in the march while the group was walking the town square.

Eight speakers concluded the march in front of Kent. The Black Student Union, S.A.R.A., PRIDE, Simpson Feminists, and the Latino Unidos all spoke for the equality of all humankind. Information for each organization are posted below.

Carina Gonzalez, March to End the Isms President, concluded the day with her personal story and fight to spread love over hate.

Watch the video below for audio and photos of the day.

"Safe space" organizations on campus for all students:

Click directly on the organizations to go to their webpages.

Multicultural Student Alliance

Multi-Cultural Women's Association



Latino Unidos

Women's Resource Center

*This was a story for my Journalism 2.0 class at Simpson College. Originally posted April 5, 2017.