I wanted to share with you the things I learned that are helpful for most dorm rooms– things that may not be obvious to buy or pack.
And now, here comes… the list:
Of course there were many other things that we brought with us, but many of them are obvious and boring. What would you add to the list from what you've learned? Share in the comments!
Involvement as an Executive Officer
As Terry Scholars, we all committed to giving back to the Terry Foundation when we were interviewed. A terrific way to start giving back is to become an executive officer of the Tech Terry Scholars student organization. I have held the treasurer position for the last two years and I really enjoyed it. This blog will list out some awesome benefits of being an executive officer that will hopefully get you interested in applying for a position.
One obvious perk is that officers help shape the Tech Terry organization. The officers need to make changes if they decide that they want the organization to pursue new goals or if an old way of doing things is no longer efficient. For example, in the 2016-2017 term, Tech Terry Scholars President Marcus Gonzalez decided that the focus of the year should be service. We other officers got behind it and we ended up receiving an award from Texas Tech University for our major service event. Additionally, the executive officers often need to make small changes to keep the organization technologically current. One small change that I made was creating a Venmo account for the student organization because they are much more convenient for all parties. If you have ideas of new goals to pursue or changes to make, seriously consider applying to be an executive officer. You will be able to integrate these changes and improve the student organization.
Another benefit of being an executive officer is that you get to go to the Terry officer retreat in January. Going to the retreat in Austin in 2017 was one of my college highlights. I got to meet Terry officers from all of the Terry schools and talk to them about their schools and Terry organizations. The keynote speaker told his incredible life story, and it might be the most inspirational story that I have ever heard. The host university, UT Austin, also arranged three leadership talks that were very interactive and enlightening. My favorite part, however, was hanging out with the other Tech Terry officers and exploring the city with them. Terry officer retreat offers interaction between every Terry School, teaches the officers about leadership, and bonds the Tech Terry officers together.
Finally, being an executive officer is great experience for future employment. It teaches you how to work alongside others to do what is best for an organization; plus, you learn your strengths and weaknesses in that type of setting. Officers are also in charge of dividing up funds and allocating them effectively, which is undoubtedly a real-world task. Being an officer of an organization also looks great on a resumé.
If any of these perks interest you, apply to be a Tech Terry Scholars executive officer. The descriptions of each position are available at https://www.techterryscholars.com/ under Current Scholars → Student Org → Meet the Officers → Elections. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions for me.
As most of you know, Mr. Howard Terry was quite the athlete! Not only was he a superior high school football player, he established himself as a force to be reckoned with on the UT football team. I personally believe that Mr. Terry would have fit in well with any of the Terry committees, but I bet he would have appreciated the intramurals committee the most. I say this not because he was an athlete, but because Mr. Terry was all about leadership, teamwork, and participation. Each of these qualities can be found on the court, field, or whatever medium the event calls for. Most of the attributes that are associated with playing an intramural sport are the very ones The Foundation asked of us when we interviewed, such as giving back our time to represent the organization. Not only that, participating in a team sport is an excellent outlet for academic frustrations or simply to get some exercise. A healthy body is a healthy mind!
As far as my own experience playing intramurals, I found it to be both rewarding and challenging! There is nothing like the feeling of winning a well fought game of football, basketball, soccer, etc. but there are lessons to be learned from a loss as well. Most importantly, the goal is to have fun with people whom we care about and want to see succeed. Although I injured my knee during a flag football game, I still stood on the sidelines to cheer my fellow Terrys on! Even after the injury, I plan on returning to some game-play because of the environment, atmosphere, and of course, the Terrys. I encourage y’all to participate and I hope to see you out there!
What I have gained from Meat Judging
To my option, I am already attending the best school in the country with the most recognizable Agriculture program known to the world. Not to brag about our Animal Science program but we are surrounded by the best of the best in their respective subject. Our Animal Science program has a great culture, a magnificent environment, and we are all family. Those are the exact reason why I choose to pursuit Meat Judging; I knew I was going to be around the best of the best.
First and foremost, Meat Judging has been around since the 1920s. The concept of Meat Judging is to train individuals to distinguish differences in the relative value of various meat cuts. However, the beneficial value of involvement goes much further than determining the compositional and quality differences of carcasses.
When I decided to try Meat Judging, I had no idea as to what I was getting myself into and how it will help me with my overall goal of helping third world countries with their food supply. I am majoring in Animal Science Meat Science Business Option because I have a goal to achieve and learning about Agriculture will help me achieve that goal. The remarkable thing about Meat Judging is you do not need prior experience to be part of the Meat Judging Team, but the experience is always good. When I started judging meat I did not have any experience therefore everything was new to me.
Even though my knowledge for Meat Judging was extremely limited, I was in the best Agriculture department in the country with the best coaches, teachers and most of all I had the smartest and greatest teammates anyone could ever ask. Over the past year and a half, my teammates and coaches have spent a lot of time together. Therefore, we became a family. We are the 2017 Texas Tech Meat Judging family. It was a blessing and a pleasure to spend all those endless hours of practice and road trips. I had some of the best moment of my life around my teammates, and my coaches.
We won the Internation Meat Judging contest due to the greatest coaches that we could ever ask for, but Texas Tech also had some of the best Meat Judgers that ever step foot in the cooler. It was beyond words as to how impress I was to see the best of the best maintaining their level of excellence. I was truly blessed to be part of this great and unbelieve team.
Additionally, the purpose of Meat Judging is to win ultimately. Overall, winning is just a small part of the Meat Judging. Judging has prepared me for the future, waking up at 4 AM in the morning will get me ready for the workforce or graduating school, evaluating the carcasses and various beef cuts have improved my attention to details as it pertains to my homework, my exams, or how I prepare myself on a daily basis. I am a part of the agriculture world, and the focus that I have in small detail can either save a life or someone may lose their life because of my error.
Throughout my time at Texas Tech I have enjoyed being involved in many things, but one of the most rewarding things I have done is participate in research. As a microbiology major this helped me determine what path I wanted to pursue - either research, medicine, or something else. I started off my journey into research in Dr. San Francisco’s seminars as a freshman (check out the honors weekly email for more information on these!) where we heard from a variety of Texas Tech faculty about their research projects and how we could get involved. Professors from the fields of chemistry, history, engineering, social studies and more discussed their fields, research possibilities, and invited students to participate in research. I began observing in Dr. San Francisco’s lab under Dr. Kruczek, and saw how the current undergraduate students conducted research, and I participated in weekly lab meetings with faculty members, graduate students and other undergraduate students. The summer following my freshman year I began officially working in Dr. San Francsico’s lab as an undergraduate research assistant through the URS program in the honors college. There are many similar programs such as CALUE and CISER that help students get plugged in with research. The new Pi-Squared program for incoming freshman is also an excellent way to introduce students to research.
Through research I have learned new skills in the lab and shaped the research project to fit what interests me as the project as grown with me and I have become one of the leaders on the project. My project is on the air microbiome of Lubbock, and specifically how the fungal species in the air effect our health, and how the weather effects the microbiome of Lubbock. Because the project has many aspects to it, I have learned skills that relate to atmospheric sciences, statistics, and data analysis. Every year in the spring the undergraduate researchers at Texas Tech present their project at the CALUE research conference. Students from other universities are also invited, and students have the opportunity to present their research at other conferences across the nation as well. Through this, we learn how to create a visual aid, typically a poster, that concisely portrays the data, graphs and text necessary to understand the project. We also practice speaking skills by having to present to the judges and answer their questions.
Research has been a very fun and fulfilling experience for me. I am currently writing my paper and will be able to publish it, hopefully by the end of this academic year. Participating in research has had a positive impact on my time at Tech as an undergrad, and has impacted the path I want to pursue in my career. I encourage everyone, regardless of major, to find something you are curious about or interested in and participate in research. Not only does it stand out on a resume, but you will also develop great skills and enjoy the experience.
Goals are the expectations that we set for ourselves and what we use to measure our success. I have always believed that it is important to “be real” with yourself when setting goals—you know yourself better than anyone else, so it is expected that you should understand your limitations, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have an idea of what you’re capable of achieving. This doesn’t mean that you should ever sell yourself short, but be realistic and set goals that are both measurable and attainable. For example, I understand that my schedule is very busy with academic, social, and other obligations, so it would be unreasonable for me to set a goal of shadowing 100 hours during a semester—I’d either be setting myself up for failure or would sacrifice doing well in other areas of my life to accommodate this goal. While a large number of shadowing hours would look nice on a medical school application, it’d be more reasonable for me to commit to shadowing once a week for a couple of hours at a time.
Setting both short and long-term goals is also important to your success. Long-term goals serve as a sort of finish line, while short-term goals represent the hurdles you must overcome to make it there. For example, I have the personal goal of practicing emergency medicine one day. I have to do well in my undergraduate classes every semester, volunteer, and shadow just to get into medical school. Then, I have to succeed in medical school and do well on STEP and board exams to get a desirable residency program. Next, I have to survive my residency program and, finally, seek employment at a hospital with an emergency department. The long-term goal (becoming a doctor) requires that I first accomplish my short-term goals (everything in between now and then).
Remind yourself of your goals often. Revisit and revise them. Write them down. It’s nice to think that you’ll do something simply because you say you will, but if you write them down, you’ll be able to remind yourself of the commitment you made. You can use a journal, a Word document, or whatever else works for you! Personally, I use a white board. Here, I write down all of my assignments for the week—I see these as short-term goals. At the bottom, I wrote “Do all of this, to earn this: Marcus Gonzalez, M.D.” It’s VERY corny, I know, but it really helps when I don’t feel like I’m capable. I glance over at my board to remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and that my efforts will pay off in about 6-8 years.
Those who know me well will probably laugh when they read this, but DO NOT give up when the “going gets tough”. There have been several times during my three-ish years at Texas Tech that I have thought I can’t do something and that giving up or taking a different direction was the solution. Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing people in my life that have discouraged me from doing so. They know what I love and what I’m passionate about, and know that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. Success doesn’t come easy. College isn’t supposed to be easy—if it were, everyone would be here. We’re all here because we have dreams and are more than capable of achieving them. Sometimes, we need to be reminded of that. I cannot stress the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people enough. Find friends who are not afraid to set you straight, tell you what you don’t want to hear, and support you in all your endeavors. Don’t be afraid to vent and ask for advice (Heather and Christy are great for this!). Understand that you’re not alone and don’t your let pride get in the way. We’re Tech Terry Scholars—we’re family and we’re in this together!
College is a time where you and all your friends really go separate ways and have different experiences and different encounters. No matter who we are or where we come from, we will all experience one thing, and that thing is STRESS.
For many of us, high school was a walk in the park with the occasional high school drama, which we now realize was ridiculous and we laugh about it. I don’t think I ever experienced legitimate stress over something school related until I got to college.
My very first semester in college was still not a huge challenge. My biggest challenges have come my second year. I failed my first test. That was the beginning of the stress for me. I failed my first test and didn’t know what to do. After something like that, you begin to feel like the universe is on a mission to make everything as complicated as it can be for you. Every little thing begins to feel like it is piling up on you and it won’t stop. It can take an emotional, mental and physical toll on you.
Knowing how to deal with your stress is a very important thing. Everyone deals with their stress a different way. I, personally like to do a few things when I am having a stressful time. For example, at the end of one of my most stressful weeks, I had a long phone call with my mother and was completely honest with her. I told her I had a frustrating week and things weren’t going too well and all she did was say it was going to be okay and I felt instantly better. My mom can’t come here from Dallas and help me do my homework and take my tests, but she can tell me that everything will be okay and that was good enough for me.
Another thing I like to do is go to the driving range and hit some golf balls. That is a huge stress reliever for me. Exerting a lot of force into something like hitting golf balls helps me get out a lot of stress that I had built up. Indulging in physical activity is a great way to relieve stress.
Finding the best way to relieve stress for you, personally, is key to surviving in college. Some good ways for people to manage stress levels are getting more sleep, trying to relax, just talking to someone, or even managing your time. These are all good ways to ease the load of pressure you feel like you have on you. Everyone will have this issue throughout college, it’s just a matter of finding the best way for you to deal with it.
I am a 2015 Traditional Terry scholar, and my major is mechanical engineering. Today, I am going to talk a little about balancing school with the rest of what college life has to offer. I will start off with a disclaimer: I have not worked during the school year, so I will most likely have more free time than those who do have jobs.
Balancing school with other activities is vital to survival in a university setting. If a person studies all of the time and has no hobbies, they will crash and burn from stress or become a robot. On the other hand, a person who regularly blows off school will not be able to maintain a hirable GPA. As in all things, balance is critical.
For the person who spends all of their time studying: This is the camp I was in freshman year. I spent a lot of time on code for intro to engineering and working problems for statics. I even listened to classical music while I worked out to study for my Intro to Symphony class. Working hard definitely gave me the GPA I wanted, but in hindsight I wish I spent more time getting to know people in Murray Hall. As my graduation date grows nearer, I realize that friends are the most important resource college has to offer. Which is a fonder memory: trying to crack every single thermodynamics problems on a Friday night, or staying up with friends playing cards in the study lounge? Life in the dorms places freshmen in a unique environment. Make friends and get to know your neighbors in Murray, because when you move off of campus, your opportunity to meet more people (especially people your class) significantly decreases.
As Terry Scholars, we are often reminded on the importance of goals. Sometimes all of those goals are academic goals; I implore that we should make other goals and make them important too. For example, one of my personal goals is to dunk a basketball. Therefore, I spend a lot of time playing basketball and working on my vertical. It has absolutely nothing to do with academics, but it is important to me so I make it a priority. You do not want to only have academic goals and fail to develop other aspects of your life during your four years at Tech.
For the person who is on the other side of the fence: Although I started out studying like a robot, I probably reside in this camp now. This is something that we should keep in mind: school without education is a colossal waste. Our job as students is to learn the material put before us so that we can apply it at our jobs later in life; our employers and customers will depend on our professional abilities. If we students ensure that we learned what the professor wants us to know, then our grades will reflect that and we will be succeeding academically. Otherwise, we need to take responsibility for our slacking off and set aside more time for studying.
So here is the balance in a nutshell: spend enough time on school to learn everything that the course demands. Aside from that, set aside time to meet people, and acquire some hobbies that can shape you into the person you want to become.
Texas Tech University is full opportunity, fun, and growth! I hope the Freshman here can relate. I’d love to share with you how I sorted through a few of those things my freshman year at Texas Tech.
1. Get Involved
You’ll hear it over and over again, because it proves true over and over again. When you join a club, organization, service group, you make friends and create accountability for yourself. A good rule of thumb is the rule of three. One organization focused in your major or college, one service based, and one for fun! Try something new, meet different people, and always introduce yourself first. Remember, everyone is in the same boat you are!
College involves studying, shocking I know! High school may have been a breeze, so take the time to learn how to study while you are in your basic courses. Try out the library, coffee, shops, or your room desk for studying. Buy 100 different color pens and use them! Try stick notes and notecards and group studying and studying alone. Read out loud, teach your roommate that tough problem, and ask your professor questions. What works for you? What makes the material sticks best?
Tech is a blast, make sure you are taking advantage of it! School is obviously a top priority, but college is learning how to meet and befriend different people, gain confidence, and balance school, work, relationships, and personal health. You’ll be bored, and then overwhelmed, but through trial and error, you will find your personal limit, trust yourself and stick with it.
4. Reach out
Mentorship is now a buzz word, but as a freshman I learned to reach out to people around me and a few of them did become mentors. If I wanted to get involved in an organization, I’d message an older student (mostly Terry’s) who I heard was already involved. Every single one was kind and responded, the worst they can do is ignore you! Gain a little courage and ask peers, older students, and the adults around you for help.
Getting involved is one of the most important parts of being a college student, but with over 550 organizations it can be tough deciding what to join. Selecting 3-4 organizations to get involved with can help you network, socialize, build your resume, and also impact your life in ways you never expected. I joined Global Brigades as a junior and had no idea what to expect, but after fundraising all semester I was able to go to Honduras and serve the underprivileged members of their community. We spent 3 days in clinic treating patients and built eco-stoves in the community of San Julian on the last day. It was the most humbling and eye-opening experience I have had in college and I cannot wait to go back!
Here are some tips on how to start finding organizations to join on campus! First pick at least one organization that has to do with your future career. These organizations are some of the most important because they will help you with job applications and allow you to network with people in your field. Next you should find an organization you want to join for fun. It can be a book club, sorority/fraternity, ag club, fashion club, or anything else that interests you. These will allow you to make new friends who share similar interests! Finally apply for honor societies because they are great for networking and building your resume. Once you have joined organizations be sure to take advantage of all the benefits they provide!
Just remember a few things:
· Quality > Quantity
o Invest your time into a few rather than spreading yourself thin by joining 20
· Try it out and "return" it if it's not right for you
o It is okay to join an organization and leave if you are not receiving the best benefits possible
· Say No
o It is okay to miss a meeting or social event because you have to study. You are a student first, so if you can't make it say no and delegate
If you need to find an org to get involved in check out orgsync.com or go to the Tech Terry Website and find organization lists compiled by college and major!