Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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Last night a real-life celebrity came to Millikin for a fantastic performance! Thanks to Millikin According to Melissa's eagle eyes, we found out a few weeks ago about the Goodheart Event right before tickets went on sale. Every two years, the alumnae foundation provides a really great comedian or act at Kirkland for Millikin students and staff, as well as the Decatur community. Millikin According to Melissa and I were able to snag second-row tickets for ourselves, our dad's, and a couple of friends. Since we were right up by the stage, Leno talked to people in our group several times, which was really exciting! He had a really great show, and I think everyone had a blast.

This has been a super busy weekend for me. Yesterday, my sister and I ran in the Penguin in the Park 5K. This race is in a park right off campus, and it was so great to be able to do our warm-up just walking over from my sorority house. Joining us were Aaron Copley, of Residence Life, and Susan Deppe, of Admissions. It was so fun to get to run again with my sister, and to see so many staff and students out there supporting us!

My sorority is getting ready for "Delta Love" week, the week leading up to initiation. We have lots of fun activities planned for our new members including "firesides," or intimate chats with the older members, as well as Pearl Sis Reveal, where the new members get to find out who their Pearl Sis is! This is one of my favorite weeks, and I'm excited to be a part of it!

Nursing classes have been going really well. I've been enjoying my Community Health class, and my friend Brenna and I have been working hard on our big research project. It's a lot of work, but it has been so interesting!

Well, I think that about wraps it up!! Happy New Week, readers!

Your moment of zen:
Behold the "irony mark!"
Hey guys! Sooo sorry about the break in posting! This has been a crazy-busy year, but it's been so great!

As many of you fellow central-Illinoisan's know, weather around here can be fickle. Case in point- a few weeks ago, I experienced my first (and second!) ever Millikin snow days! We got tons of snow and ice, so they canceled classes for two days, the first time Millikin has done so in years! Snow days are always fun, but these were especially a blast. OSP provided movies, popcorn, and hot chocolate in RTUC all day, plus cards and board games that my friends and I definitely took advantage of. (Mafia, anyone?) The second day was a bit warmer so we took to the slopes (the hill by the football fields and track) to do some tupperware lid sledding! There seems to be a reason that tupperware does not market their lids as sleds, as it really sort of creeped down the hill, rather than careening down as I had pictured. However, once the sledding devolved into a snowball fight we all had a blast! My good friend Jannic is actually from Jamaica so this was his LITERALLY first-ever snow day experience. I think we made it a good one!

In other news, Millikin's Greek Life had formal recruitment a couple weeks ago! So many great new guys and gals joined Greek Life and I am so thrilled to report that my Tri Delta chapter has 21 new members!! It's so great getting new sisters in the house, and these girls are especially amazing.

Also, I have officially begun my senior year. I am graduating this December (less than a year!) and it seems like time is just flying by! My years at Millikin have been so great and so life-changing, it makes me sad to think about leaving! Luckily I have about ten months to get used to the idea.

Well, I hope that you are all staying warm here in the great Midwest, and happy-end-of-February!

Your moment of zen

Wow! I can't believe we're already halfway through September. This semester is getting away from me already! I guess I should catch all you wonderful readers up with what's been going on in my life at MU!

I am currently in my mental health clinical rotation in the nursing program. It has been such a great experience to go onto the unit and speak with the patients. I feel like I've learned so much already about communication, coping with stress, and mental illness, I can hardly imagine what the rest of the semester will hold! I am currently working with inpatient clients at the hospital, but later in the semester I will be at an outpatient unit in the community. I am anxious to see how these two experiences contrast!

Last week was super busy and super exciting because it was informal recruitment week! After a week of open houses, philanthropy parties, and getting to know tons of great girls, my sorority now has four new members! All of the chapters had a great recruitment and gained some fantastic new members. I love getting to share my sisterhood with new girls, and I am so excited to see what they will add to our chapter!

I also got a job this semester! I work in the nursing lab, helping to set up demonstrations and assisting other students with studying, careplans, etc. It has been so fun because it helps me to refresh my skills and to learn from the older students in the program about what I have to look forward to!

Fall has officially (in my mind) arrived in the Midwest, and my friends and I celebrated with Del's caramel apples! Del's candy shop is located within walking distance in downtown Decatur and sells some of the best caramel apples ever!! We all went together and bought our apples and then ate them in Central Park, where we took pictures and people-watched. It was a great way to start out the new season and to de-stress and bond as friends.

This weekend, Millikin According to Melissa, our buddy Ty, and I are hosting an X-men party! We will be watching the movies, eating X-men themed snacks, and hopefully even comparing costumes. We love hosting silly themed parties (we had a Christmas party two weeks ago!) and I'm sure that this one will also be a hit.

Now, your moment of zen, Lady Gaga and her meat dress at the VMA's!

Hello to you all, out there in internet land! I promised some summer updates and halfway through the season, I have finally had time to sit down and write about them!

Working with the Residence Life summer staff has been an absolute blast! I am so fortunate to be working with such a fun group of friends. We have worked through just about everything together. From 800 show choir campers (it was like living in Glee!) to multiple basketball tournaments, to lugging 100 mattresses between dorms (those things aren't light), we have braved it all and even managed to have a little fun. I never thought I'd see Brittany mattress-sledding down the stairs at Weck, but it happened!

I was amazed at the number and diversity of camps that visit Millikin's campus in the summer time. We have had Red Cross volunteers, Show Choir Camps of America, volleyball and basketball camps, and even a math camp. I've met a ton of new people and it's been fun to have the campus full of all these different types.

Although the camps keep me busy, I have been able to find time to fit a new activity into my schedule- running. For any of the readers who know me well, this is probably a bit of a shock. Physical activity has never been a strong point, and running was almost a phobia. Just the idea of sweating would give me the heebie-jeebies. In high school, I distinctly remember running 3 laps when everyone else ran 4 and still coming in miserably last. So, when my sister suggested joining her in a 5K training program, I was hesitant to say the least. However, she was able to talk me into it and I'm
so glad that she did! The training program has been surprisingly fun, and I feel like I've really made progress. I am now up to running about 2.5 miles each time and I actually ran my first 10 minute mile earlier this week. I couldn't believe it and I am so proud of myself. I'm really amazed at what my body has been able to do, even though sometimes it complains a bit (eh, calf muscles?). The race is the first full weekend in August, and I couldn't be more excited!

That first weekend in August is an exciting one for me for an additional reason. That's right, August 6th through 8th is this year's Decatur Celebration! I simply
adore the celebration and I consider it one of the highlights of my summer. It is a humongous street fair with crafts, artwork, live music, a carnival, and yummy fair food! And this year, one of my all-time favorite bands is performing- the Charlie Daniels Band! I plan on arriving early and watching from right up by the stage. I know it'll be a fantastic concert!

So that is your update on summer-time at MU! To my new-freshmen readers, I am completely
pumped to meet you all!

Your moment of zen:
This website is all about loving your body, no matter what your shape or size is. I have been reading it obsessively all week and I think I have almost finished the entire site! Check it out, lovelies!

Stay cool and hydrated!


Well, hello there internet land. What a strange past few weeks I've had here in the Milli-bubble (campus for those newbies reading the blog). I hardly know where to begin!

This weekend was graduation for all of our wonderful seniors, MBA's, and PACE students. We are so sad to see them go but anxiously waiting to hear about all the wonderful things they are going to do in the "real world." It is always hard to let go of friends, but I know that every single one of the graduates has what it takes to do amazing things and change the world.

I feel like "good-bye" has been my theme these past few weeks. My friends are moving out of the dorm, Millikin According to Melissa is packing her room as we speak (type?), and the floor feels suddenly empty. New people are moving on for the summer but it is strange to see the rooms filled with unfamiliar faces. However, I am really looking forward to getting to know all the new people I will be sharing a hallway with, and I know that I will make some fantastic new friends!

On a sadder note, I have also had to say good-bye to a fellow Millikin student and hometown-friend, Jessica Kettelkamp. Jess passed away a couple of weeks ago in a car accident and all of us were completely taken aback at this sudden loss of a wonderful girl. Jess touched many people and I know that her influence will continue to be felt even beyond my own lifetime.

As the year comes to a close, I am cherishing every moment that I have with my friends. Last night, Millikin According to Melissa, my friend Taylor, and I all went out to Central Park (home of the legendary Transfer House) and made it into our own personal playground. Small moments like these are a HUGE part of college- it is so important to really just set aside your worries and enjoy your friends. I'm not kidding when I say college goes fast- take advantage of this unique experience and get out and have some fun!

Since I am spending summer on campus I will definitely continue to keep up this blog. I promise that you will hear lots about my new jobs! I am working as summer staff for the Office of Residence Life and I'm a student worker in the President's Office. I'm so excited to have a bigger part in student life here at Millikin!

Today's Moment of Zen is actually a link that I have recently discovered and have fallen absolutely in love with:
It is so fun! You just choose your mood or activity and it provides you with a playlist specifically arranged to match your mood!

Have a lovely beginning of summer, kiddies!

That's right folks! Two more weeks and the spring semester will be over. I am facing it with mixed emotions. While I am incredibly excited for a break from the homework, tests, papers, etcetera, it is difficult to see another semester end. I can't believe I only have three semesters left- college really does fly by! I am working hard to enjoy every second I have left- I try to participate in as much as I can and spend lots of time with my friends. I'm going to squeeze every drop of fun out of Millikin!

I have had a lot of fun these past few weeks. A couple Saturday's ago was the Tri Delta formal which was a blast! The dance was at the country club and we had delicious food and a great dj! All the girls got decked out in their prettiest dresses and all the boys looked sharp in their tuxes. I'm always at home on a dance floor and the whole night was just wonderful.

I went home over Easter break with Millikin According to Melissa and my SAE big brother Jannic! We had a great time hiding eggs for my three year old niece and eating lots of yummy home-cooked food. It was fun to show them around my hometown (Taylorville) and my family loved meeting them!

My nursing classes have been going really well. I'm really enjoying clinicals on the pediatric floor and the other day I got to spend an afternoon in the NICU. One of the babies was the smallest baby I'd ever seen and they were all so sweet. Also, I received an award for nursing at the Honors Convocation last week- The James Millikin Excellence in Nursing Practice Award. I was completely thrilled to get such a fantastic honor! It was extra fun because my family and friends were there at the Convocation.

These next couple weeks will be pretty busy. I am preparing for finals, organizing summer jobs, and getting housing on campus for the summer. I will hopefully be working on campus and I'm extra excited because my best friend Stephanie will be home for the summer! It will be so great to have a few months to catch up and cause some trouble.

Well ladies and gentlemen, it is time once again for your moment of zen (I still love you Jon Stewart- if you're reading this call me!).

"A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows." -St. Francis of Assisi

Wish me luck!!
I must first start off with a heartfelt apology- it has been way too long since my last post! I truly regret to be the one telling you this, but college keeps a girl pretty busy. Also, I have been a bit under the weather- in quick succession I had walking pneumonia, bronchitis, strep throat, and an ear infection. However, I am now feeling hale and hearty and I have so much to tell you!

I should probably explain the title of this post- it is quite the story! My dear friend and fellow Hessler resident Ty, is a new member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). As a fundraiser for their philanthropy, the boys auction off- you guessed it- boxers to the eager bidders. Now, don't worry mum's and dad's, it was all PG, everyone remained fully clothed, and most boys auctioned off silly pairs of undies that had probably never been worn. As a show of support for Ty, the entire floor got together and pitched in money, and with some help from our friends drove his bid up to $25 and bought his boxers! It was a silly, fun night and a great way to donate to a good cause!

Right before spring break, I finished my obstetric clinicals and i am thrilled to report that my wish came true. I got to help deliver not one but two babies while on the unit! It was truly an amazing experience. The nurses were fantastic and really encouraged us to be as hands-on as possible. I also got to spend a day in the special care nursery taking care of a preemie. This clinical was definitely my favorite so far- never a dull moment!

I also got some fantastic news last week- I was selected to be a First Year Experience Mentor again next year! I had this position this year and I absolutely loved it. It was so fun to work with the new freshmen as they entered the millibubble and I am proud to say that one of my freshmen students is now a FYEM too! His name is Kale and I know he will do a fantastic job!

Babies seem to really be the theme of the week. My friend Josh (a pre-med student here at Millikin) and his wife Kristy just welcome a beautiful baby boy, Garin, into the world today! So many have been anxiously awaiting his arrival and we are thrilled to have a new future-Millikin-student running around Decatur... well crawling, eventually!

I am very very much looking forward to tomorrow night folks, and not just because Wednesday is one of my favorite days of the week. Tomorrow night is our campus's Big Event! Every year UCB (the University Center Board) puts on a huge concert and almost the entire student body attends. This year, the main act is One Republic of "Apologize" fame! I love seeing the whole campus together for events, and everyone is super psyched about this year's group. I predict a very fun and exciting evening ahead of me!

Well, I have some reading to do before my next meeting, until next time, here is your moment of zen:

^this video is amazing! special thanks to Millikin According to Melissa for sharing it with me : )

That's right folks! The dances don't stop when you leave high school- I attended not one, but two proms this past weekend! The first was sponsored by the Millikin University Concert Committee (MUCC). It was pretty casual with snacks and some awesome student bands- I loved The Great Waltz. The second prom was sponsored by my residence hall- Hessler prom! It was a valentine-themed dance with streamers, balloons, snacks, and great music! I went stag and had a fantastic time dancing with my friends! It was a great way for us to bond as a hall and to celebrate the day of love!

As my friends know, I am often impulsive and a little bit over the top. So, last night on a whim, I decided to leave my friend Ty a scavenger hunt with sticky notes left all over the building. I had him running up and down the stairs, stopping to visit friends, and exploring the laundry room. I am sad to say there was no prize at the end, but several people ended up following my notes including Molly Pawsey, the director of Learning Communities! It was a fun, silly way to start the week.

I went back to Springfield today for my obstetrics clinicals- what a blast! I saw so many beautiful babies and I had tons of opportunities to perform new skills. I palpated uteruses (uteri?), gave a vaccination, spent time in the special care nursery, prepped a woman for surgery, and taught a mother how to care for her newborn at home.

On another exciting note, I am currently watching American Idol for the first season ever because my Pan-Hellenic sister Katelyn Epperly is competing!! (She's a pi phi!) It has been so fun to watch the show hoping to hear her sing or to at least catch a glimpse of her among the other contestants. Everyone here at Millikin is rooting for her and so excited to see her succeed. She is such a talented woman and I think it is safe to say that she could be a Millikin Idol!

Another hot topic around campus recently has been the winter olympics! My friends and I have been stationed at the big-screen tv in the lounge watching speed skating, luging, ski jumping, and figure skating and, of course, rooting for the good old USA! Today at dinner, curling was the main event and after a successful throw (or whatever it is you do in curling) the whole caf erupted into cheers! It seems that everyone has caught the olympic spirit!

This has been a busy week (and it's only Tuesday!) but I am looking forward to this weekend... in fact I have been counting down for weeks! Why, you may ask, is this weekend so exciting, so spectacular, so highly anticipated? Because, I will answer you, my best friend Stephanie is coming to visit Millikin! She attends school in Arkansas now (which is wayyy too far away for my taste) and I haven't seen her since New Year's Eve! We have definitely been missing each other, but are newly thankful for facebook videos. We leave each other videos at least once a week just to say hi and catch up. It has been a great way to stay in touch!

Well, folks, that wraps up my past week or so! I hope all is well in internet-land!

Now, your moment of zen:
"Guess what. I have flaws. What are they? Oh I dunno, I sing in the shower? Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I'll hit somebody with my car. So sue me-- no, don't sue me. That is opposite the point I'm trying to make." -The one and only Michael Scott (did I mention I love the office?)

Patriotically yours,

As you can see, I am incredibly excited to announce that Tri Delta welcomed 20 fantastic new girls into our chapter yesterday! And, I'm even more excited to announce that the other sororities got incredible girls, as well- it was truly a successful week for Greek life!

Recruitment week has been my favorite week so far this semester. Wednesday night was "Go Greek" night and each of the houses decorated according to their themes and showed the new recruits how fun and rewarding Greek life can be. Thursday night was dedicated to philanthropy and it is also my favorite night! The recruits learned all about each house's philanthropy commitments and even made projects! Friday night was Preference night, and it was absolutely beautiful. We were able to truly show the new recruits what our sisterhood means to us and what it has to offer.
And finally, the best day of all- Bid Day! Yesterday afternoon we waited anxiously at the door of the house to see all our new members running up to meet us. Our twenty new members were welcomed into the house and we began to really bond with them. We had a house talent show, dinner from La Gondola's (yum!), and then we all went ice skating at the Decatur Civic Center. I am happy to report that no one was injured skating and everyone had a fantastic time!

I am looking forward to an exciting, busy week. Tomorrow evening, several of the students in my dorm will be having dinner with the Dean of Academic Affairs, Renardo Hall. I am really excited about this opportunity! Dean Hall is a fantastic guy and he is committed to getting to know every student at Millikin. I'm sure the dinner will be fascinating and I can't wait to see what he has to talk about.

Also, on Tuesday, I will be (hopefully! stay away snow!) heading over to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield for my first day of clinicals on the labor and delivery unit. I am so excited about getting to see first-hand what birth is really like, but I am also a bit nervous- your best wishes and good thoughts are much appreciated!

Well, I'm going to go grab a couple of my sisters and start studying for my Pediatrics test tomorrow! Have a fantastic evening!

Your moment of zen (yes, I know I stole this from Jon Stewart, but as he is my celebrity crush, I don't think he would mind my admiration):
Winning isn't everything but wanting to win is. -Vince Lombardi

Set a goal for this week and make it come true! (Mine is making flashcards for all of my nursing classes)

Last week, as a favor to one of my sorority sisters, I spent several hours at the Decatur jail. Now, don't get me wrong, neither of us had committed a crime- I was helping her to interview people for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was really a great experience and it has definitely reinforced my desire to stay out of jail. We spoke to everyone getting out on bail or bond and we also toured the facilities- including the booking room, the isolation rooms, and the "outdoor" recreation areas. Let's just say- its no Holiday Inn.

On a lighter note, on Saturday night, a group of us went out to Rock Springs nature center and went on a "wolf moon hike." What a fantastic experience! Although the weather was chilly (around 40 degrees) it was beautiful out there. The wolf moon turned out to be a harvest moon, except even brighter so the whole hike was well lit, and many of the animal tracks were clearly visible in the snow. It was a fun way for my friends and I to get out, get some exercise, and really enjoy the outdoors. For those of you from other areas, Rock Springs is only a five-ten minute drive from campus and they have activities year-round.

Classes have definitely picked up this week! I am busy preparing for my first OB nursing test and also, we will be going to the hospital for orientation this week! I am definitely anxious to start that process and maybe soon I'll be writing to say that I've helped to deliver a baby!

This week is also recruitment week for both sororities and fraternities! Tomorrow night is the first official night for sorority recruitment and it's going to be so much fun! Every house has been working hard to show the new recruits just exactly what their sisterhood means to them.
Being in a sorority has definitely been a fantastic experience for me. It is wonderful to have a whole support system of girls who believe in you and share your values.  The older girls are great role models and I have already found some amazing friends in the house that I know I'll only continue to get close to. I really can't wait to share this experience with the new sisters I will get at the end of the week!

I think I would like to start ending these posts with a thought of the week. (Sometimes, if my posting is extra-ambitious we may have multiple thoughts of the week- a bonus!)
So this week,

"There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth- that person is you!" -author unknown

Have a fantastic week!

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL