Category: Campus Living

ec mall

Beautiful Day!

The sun was shining! The breeze was blowing! I even wore a dress today!

 

I just wanted to have a quick update on today.

 

It was sooo fun. I have friends now! Amazzzinnggg!

 

Today I went to Juggling Club while hanging out with a few of my close friends on the Mall. The Mall is such a great place to be when it’s really nice outside. I can’t wait for summer! So we juggled outside while doing dance lifts on the mall. We did cartwheels and choreographed to dances too! We also had a great time just talking and hanging out. We even got ice cream after!

 

Just wanted to say hang in there and enjoy the nice weather!

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Merry New Year and Happy Christmas!

Wow, quite the busy last couple of weeks. With finals, moving out, and holidays, there are a lot of things to catch up on!

 

So finals week was rough. I only had three finals, since our FYS (First Year Seminar, kind of a college 101/philosophy class) final was a party. I had my art final, which was where we had to present all of the different projects we have done over the year. It was very cool seeing everyone else’s work and their different styles. Then was my bio final, which was definitely my hardest. It was 150 points with seven essays. 100 points was the new material we learned since our last exam, the other 50 was cumulative material of everything we had learned over the year. My friend Carolyn and I ended up staying up until 1am studying, then woke up at 5am to continue studying until it was time to take our 8am exam. Brutal and carpal tunnel, but two hours later, we emerged victorious. Then on Friday, the last day of finals, I had my chemistry test, which was a lot less intimidating than my bio one. It was only 100 points, so it was really just like a regular test. Then my roommate and I cleared out of the room, bring a total of nine bags (six of which were mine) and we were on our way home!

Picture evidence of our sea of bags:

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Back tracking a bit, during finals week, there is this thing called 23-hour quiet hours, which is amazing because people can be really loud during the school year. There is a one hour relief period at night, and the Wednesday of finals week after my bio test, we had a little Christmas party. It was really fun, despite it being about an hour long. We decorated our room with streamers, made hot chocolate, gave presents, and had a really nice time I thought.

 

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Here is our room all decorated, and none of it breaks the rules in our dorm so go us!

 

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So after going back home, I got to go back to my high school and see all my former teachers which was really awesome. It’s an interesting dynamic being able to go back and talk about the school system and being allowed in the teacher’s lounge and stuff. Anyway, it was really fun seeing everyone. Going along with seeing everyone, I went back to my old dance studio, The Dance Workshop in Orland Park to try my hand (foot?) at pointe and ballet to see if I could do it. Since it was the week before Christmas, we learned the Spanish variation in the Nutcracker, and here is our recording of it.

 

Christmas Eve/Christmas was fun as well. Lots of food and gift giving. I learned how to arm knit thanks to my friend Deanna in my FYS, and I ended up making around 50 scarves for all my aunts and girl friends. Yeah, 50. But it was fun and they are easy to make! Here is the video I used to learn, and a picture of one night of scarf making.

 

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I also got to go to the Brookfield Zoo with some of my best friends since grammar school and see the Christmas lights! I got to see the otters which are my favorite animal and it was awesome and they were so cute. We also saw a bunch of other animals and the baby gorilla they have there. It was really fun and really pretty. Here is a little taste of the pretty lights.

 

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Also, I got another response! This time from my lovely neighbor Taylor.

 

1.)I think that the decisions I make today will ultimately determine my destiny. I don’t like leaving things to chance so I definitely would not want to see my future early if  I had the opportunity. 
 
2.) I think that that is a tough one! I often say, “Oh I wish I could do this or that!” But I wouldn’t want to give up a major skill to gain a new. I would like to acquire the skill of graphic design, photography or drawing, and I would give up the skill of tying my shoes! 
And in time for the upcoming new year where everyone is making resolutions, my hypothetical question:  If you knew for a fact that whatever New Years Resolution came true, within the general laws of physics and life (aka, no flying or living forever), but you were only allowed one resolution, what would it be?
I think mine would be to honestly stop procrastinating and leaving things to the last minute. I always get done what I need to, but often it’s at the last minute. That or being better at being organized. Every school year I start out really organized but whenever I get busy or even just lazy I throw everything into one folder, which is something I should work on.
Here is my list of New Years Resolutions:
  1. Stop procrastinating
  2. Get more organized
  3. Eat better (eating cookies for lunch in my dorm room is not good)
  4. Stop stressing out about stuff so much
  5. Overall be a better person
What are you New Year’s Resolutions? How would you answer the question? Send your responses to Samantha.Korsak@net.elmhurst.edu and they will be in the next blog! I hope you all had a great holiday and have an awesome New Year’s Eve!
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Things to Look Forward To

Hello again all! (Wow, two blog posts in one week?) Yeah, I felt the need to make up for last week.

 

So, this is a short one about just having things to look forward to. With finals coming up, which I am assuming everyone is dreading, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the after-finals, i.e. winter break, which makes the time in between feel extremely long. Or just in general, the week seems to go by really, really slow.

 

My roommate and I have a tradition: every Wednesday morning, we have Waffle Wednesday. We make chocolate chip waffles in the cafe (which are amazing and I totally recommend it) every Wednesday morning. It is just something to look forward to that gets you through the week. And after that, the rest of the week just seems to fly by.

 

We also have a little Christmas tree in our room, along with lights strung around to just make the room that much brighter and cheerful. We decorate our door with door decorations and made little snowmen to put on it. (Their names are Frosty and Frostina.) I recommend, whether you are/will be living in a dorm or at home, whether you celebrate Christmas or Kwanza or Hanukkah, having something to look forward to just brightens your mood and makes going through monotonous note-taking or endless studying just a little more bearable. Especially with finals that can make or break your grade (150 point biology final anyone?), giving yourself some light at the end of the tunnel is preferable.

 

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Here is our tree! With my messy desk haha.

 

If you’re still in high school, another great thing to look forward to is college! Seriously, it is so much better than high school. You get to nap in between classes, which is amazing. Trust me. You’ll love it.

 

 

To be honest, I get pretty down during the winter. The lack of sun, the cold, and so much school at this point, it can get pretty depressing. I stay inside a lot more, eat a lot more, and basically do everything in preparation of hibernating for the winter without the hibernation. Sometimes you just feel alone and sad and stuff, but, for me, it gets really bad during the winter. That’s when you have to do extra to try and make yourself happy, you know? Listen to music, exercise, make fun little weekly traditions with your roommate, watch episodes of The Office, make a point to talk to people. Emily literally had to coax me out of our room the other day to go to lunch at the cafe instead of eating cookies for lunch, which is what I have been doing for the last two days. I guess it’s just one of those things, for me and maybe for some of you, to remind myself I should be happy and do things that make me happy. Sometimes you just have to ask for help, and it becomes a lot clearer.

 

Anyways, especially after 16 weeks of school, you can get pretty depressed and in a slump.  Sometimes you just feel really bleh, if you know what I mean. It’s hard to get out of that, especially during winter when everything is dark at 5 pm and finals are coming up and it’s freezing cold. Advice from an old friend: because it does get so dark out, go to a light box or a tanning bed for 10-15 minutes to “get some sun,” and it makes you feel a lot better! Another friend suggests Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles. I agree; it’s a good song to remind you the sun (and warmth!) is coming back.  I guess the advice I can give is just do things you enjoy, be with people who make you happy, and remember the people who love you. It helps when you can reach out to people who you know will make you feel better. Just remember you’re not alone.

 

So look forward to things! Be happy! Even if it is just little things like having a piece of chocolate cake waiting for you in the fridge, which is what I do have, it gets you through the day. This is as much advice to you as it is for me, or anyone who just finds it a bit harder to be get happy now.

 

Do you have any weekly/monthly/yearly traditions? Ways you get over the winter blues? Or just in general things you do that make you happy? If so, tell me about them! samantha.korsak@net.elmhurst.edu

 

No weekly question, go answer the other one in my previous post!  I’ve already gotten one response, not from my roommate or through any other sort of friend-coercing which is exciting!

 

I would probably choose something similar to yours, like the ability to make small talk. It would be great to not feel so awkward just trying to make light conversation with someone whether you know them or not. So I’m boosting my social skills, but now the hard part is, what skill that I already have do I lessen… very tough. I think it should be something Im good at so that it’s a fair trade off. I would probably have to chose my amazing gaming skills. What a horrible skill to lose right? This switch would probably actually benefit me. Unless my life depended on gaming…then I’m doomed D:

P.S.
For your last week’s question, I would definitely look into the future. It’s a once in a life time experience. It’d be like getting dejavu, but you knew it was coming. Would be a pretty interesting moment when it came. Obviously we like to enjoy surprises in life, but why not for once know what was coming and be prepared for it ahead of time.

 

And with that, I shall go eat my chocolate cake!

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Why hello there.

I suppose some introductions are in order. I know how boring these can be so I shall keep it to a short bullet-ed list. People like lists right?

  • Name: Samantha Korsak. Call me Sam
  • Major: Art/Pre-Pharmacy. Yeah, a bit odd.
  • Year: First year
  • Activities on Campus? Well, I’m on the Elmhurst College Dance Team. No, not poms, not Jaylights, the dance team. I’m in PLA, the President’s Leadership Academy, a new program here at Elmhurst, PAWS, and a few other things here and there.
  • More in the About Me if you would like to know!

 

So Sam, what is this blog about?

Well boldface question I just typed representing a hypothetical reader, let me tell you. Everyone writing these blogs are under the umbrella of “My Elmhurst Experience.” That being said, each experience will be different, and this is just my point of view. So if you’re interested in art, dance, science classes, or the like, come talk to me. I promise I don’t bite, just make really lame jokes. Another thing I like to do is ask really odd, out-of-the-box questions that (hopefully) make people think. So in summary, this blog is (more lists!):

  1. A place where I can share my experience at Elmhurst for anyone who wants to know
  2. A thought-provoking questionnaire that I myself will answer and then ask for your feedback/answers to the question. Ideally these questions will make you think. Any good answers I will post in the next blog!
  3. A resource where either current students, prospective students, former students, or your dog can come to if they have any questions they would like answered. On a serious note, I promise I will do my best to help any way I can.

 

So, let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns.

For my Elmhurst Experience so far, it has been pretty great. Before the actual school year started, us PLAers had to come to school three weeks earlier than everyone else. That was kind of a bummer cause it cut the summer short, but I digress. It was with 31 other new first years also in the program, none of whom I knew.

I’ll let you in on  a secret. I was scared. Not just about the three week program, but college in general. I had panic attacks and anxiety and major stress from the thought of moving out of my house and going to a new school and living there for three weeks with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and a roommate I didn’t know, and then when actual school started having hard classes and making new friends and meeting so many new people. It was terrifying. So if any of you seniors in high school are thinking that, I feel yah.

But here’s the thing: there was nothing to be afraid of. Why? Because everyone is in the same boat as you. After the PLA summer session, it was the start of Big Questions, the first years’ orientation to the college. Sure, some people knew others from high school and they ended up both going to Elmhurst, but no one knew everyone. Big Questions was really great for just meeting new people, because there’s always someone new to meet. They had a bunch of social activities just to get new people to meet new people. Some of them may become friends and some may just be the guy who makes you say, “Hmm, I think I may have danced with him at Western night…?” Either way, it is a place to just try and relax and be comfortable, because everyone is a little bit nervous.

So to you new comers, whether you are just looking at Elmhurst College or you have already been accepted, don’t get as freaked out as I was. I got here and realized that I was worrying for nothing. High school was a time where everyone was watching and judging everyone else. College, especially here, you can just be yourself, “Let your freak flag fly” as the Dean of Students, Eileen Sullivan said. You’ll find people who like the stuff that you like. There are sports teams for sports fans, a Quidditch team for Harry Potter fans, Habitat for Humanity, Dance Teams, sororities, fraternities, and a ton more different things you can join or create.

Speaking of teams, I am on the Elmhurst College Dance Team. We preform at the football games at halftime. Just for a little sneak peek, here’s our homecoming performance. If you have any questions about it, feel free to email me!

One thing to note about the college: the quad at Elmhurst is called “The Mall.” Here is a picture of me sitting on it on a bright, warm day, the complete opposite of right now.

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Pretty, huh?

And now for the boring stuff.

Currently I am taking General Biology 200 (with lab), Chemistry Principles 211 (with lab), Intro to Art Software 113, and FYS (the First Year Seminar everyone has to take) called Truth, Lies, and Everything In Between. Any questions about science/FYS/art classes feel free to ask!

 

Question of the week: If you had the ability to see into the future any time you want, but whatever you saw would come true no matter what you did, would you still do it?

So basically, you could see the future, but whatever you saw was locked in. However, if you did not see into the future, you had the ability to change the outcome. It is definitely a gamble. For example in case the question is still confusing:

You have a huge bio exam coming up. You could study all weekend and hope you get a good grade or you could see into the future. If you looked into the future and saw you got an A, even if you did not study at all anymore, you would get that A no matter what. But if you saw you got a D, no matter how hard you studied, you would still only get a D.
So, would you do it?

I, personally, believe in changing one’s destiny. Of course, it would be amazing and such a relief to know exactly what my future holds, but if I don’t like it, I couldn’t do anything to change it, and that’s no fun. So while the future and what is going to happen in life is a extremely terrifying (take going to college for example), I would rather want to have influence over what happens instead of knowing my fate and not being able to do a thing about it.

So to anyone who is still reading this, first of all, thank you for sticking with me. I hope I was at least a little funny and you were interested. Send me how you would answer and why, and I’ll put the good ones in my next blog. You can contact me at samantha.korsak@net.elmhurst.edu

Until next time, I’ll be seeing you,

Sam