Finals Guide Collegian Articles

Check out the articles I wrote for Friday’s edition of the Collegian!

http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2014/05/09/finals-week-sleeping-habits-could-have-lasting-effects/

http://www.kstatecollegian.com/2014/05/10/proper-preparation-requires-the-perfect-study-spot/

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Technology taking away the simple things?

I’ll start off with a disclaimer: I love technology.  Staying in touch with my parents and friends who are hundreds of miles away wouldn’t be possible without it.  I have several types of social media, all on my smartphone.  As a public relations major, I see social media as a great communication method.  I love being able to take photos everywhere I go.  I love being able to go for a run, while listening to music and tracking my pace.

But lately, I’ve been noticing how much technology is controlling our lives.  People bury their heads in their phones, without the slightest notice of the world going on around them.   Walking to class and waiting for class to start, consists of scrolling through Twitter and Instagram.  When people don’t have something to instantly entertain them, their first instinct is to reach for their phone.

I’m worried people will begin losing touch with some of the greatest things in life such as the company of others, people watching and the natural world around them.

One of my favorite songs right now is Automatic by Miranda Lambert.  A verse goes, “If you had something to say, you’d write it on a piece of paper, then you’d put a stamp on it, and they’d get it three days later.”  Now while I’m glad I can text, call and video chat my family and friends, I’m afraid some of the greatest things in life will be lost–such as a simple hand written letter.  

The chorus sings, “Hey, whatever happened to waiting your turn, doing it all by hand, cuz when everything is handed to you, it’s only worth as much as the time put in, it all just seemed so good the way we had it, back before everything became automatic.”

It is so much easier to appreciate the small things when our heads aren’t buried in our phones.  To enjoy the company of others, instead of relying on a phone for entertainment.  To take a moment to notice all the details going on around us.

After all, magic is hidden in the simple things.

“Life begins at the end of our comfort zone.”

Sometimes the opportunities that arise for us can seem like bigger tasks than we are comfortable with.  Whether it be a new job, position within an organization or event we are asked to be a part of–there is sometimes that moment of hesitation of whether we want to accept the responsibility that comes with the opportunity.  But the thing to remember, is with the opportunity, is a chance to have a boatload of new experiences.

Tomorrow, I will walk on to a stage in front of the entire student athlete population, and present Show Stopping Moment of the Year.  When I accepted the position in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the first thing that came to my mind wasn’t the fact I would have to do any public speaking.  I was merely excited to be a leader on my team.  Now, I don’t have a fear of public speaking, but there is not doubt I’ll be a little nervous walking on to the stage tomorrow night.  But that, is where I think life begins, is right there at the end of my comfort zone.  Trying new experiences, and in return getting the opportunity to be a part of events and meet new groups of people.  After all,

“You only regret the chances you didn’t take.”

And with every event I help plan, volunteer opportunity that I’m a part of, photo shoot I’m able to be in, and athlete that I meet, I always remember,

magic is really hidden in the simple things.

 

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Eat. Sleep. Golf.

College golf has redefined this expression for me.

Many golf enthusiasts use the saying “eat, sleep, golf” to emphasize their love of the game. As a collegiate competitor though, going to tournaments is the exact definition of these three words.

An example of this from our last tournament in Utah:

Travel day: Wake up. Eat. Drive to St. George from Las Vegas. Check in with host families. Eat. Practice and play nine holes. Eat. Sleep.

Practice round day: Wake up. Eat. Arrive at course and have practice competitions. Go for hike with host family. (Hey look! Something that’s not eating, sleeping or golfing!) Eat. Play practice round. Eat. Sleep.

Competition Day 1: Wake up. Eat. Warm up and play 36 holes. Eat lunch during round. Eat dinner immediately following play. Sleep.

Competition Day 2: Wake up. Eat. Warm up and play 18 holes. Pack up van. Eat. Drive to Las Vegas. Check into hotel. Eat. Drive around Las Vegas. Sleep.

The summary of those four days: Eat. Sleep. Golf.

Gotta love college golf!

4 o’clock drop, 5 o’clock drop, 6 o’clock plummet!

We woke up in Manhattan to a foggy morning and a nippy 27 degrees with 100% humidity.  The high temperature was projected to be 51, but that was seeming less and less like a possibility unless the sun decided to peek its way through the low cloud cover.

At 11 a.m. we received the text.  We would be playing at 2 p.m.!

On the drive to the golf course we listened as the radio weather man reported a current temperature of 35 degrees.  With four layers on top and three on bottom (and two pairs of socks!), we were ready to go though!

Right as we were about to tee off, it was like God knew we had qualifying to accomplish.  The sun came out! It is amazing the difference in the “real feel” temperature with just a little bit of solar energy.

As soon as I got on the course, it felt so freeing to be out playing golf! After months in the indoor, sloshing through snow and ice to even get there, all while trying to stay warm even with the heaters on, it was such a relief to be outdoors playing golf! Real golf! Not just putting and hitting balls out into the blinding, snow-covered range.  I believe that a lot can be accomplished in the indoor and there are many parts of your game you can focus on, but there is nothing like being out on the course playing.

By our final hole, it was beginning to get a bit chilly.  We had played through the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock drops, but now it was time for the 6 o’clock plummet! The sun was beginning to fall closer to the horizon, and we’d soon lose visibility too as my teammate cheerfully pointed out.

Despite our initial fears in the beginning of the day that it was going to be a rough round to get through between the cold and course conditions, it turned out to be a great day.  I thought about that as I stood up on that last tee.

Looking around, the setting sun was making the hills all around me glow.  I will never get over the beauty of Colbert Hills at sunset.  I also realized, I hadn’t stopped smiling the entire round.

How could I not? I was playing golf with my best friends in the beautiful state of Kansas.

Magic really is hidden in the simple things.

So golf isn’t a sport?….

As a competitive golfer, I have unfortunately heard the words, “golf isn’t a sport,” too many times to count.  I have also been questioned why golfers work out and what workouts could possibly consist of.

So I leave you with these 10 things to consider…

1. Have you ever walked 36 holes in one day carrying your golf bag of 14 clubs?

2. How about just 18? On a sunny August day when it’s 100 degrees and it’s a hilly course.

3. If being strong makes you hit the ball further, how would working out not help?

4. How many hours can you focus on a task? A basketball, football or baseball game lasts an estimated 3 hours.  Well golf, a round is fast if it’s finished in 4 hours.  And a 36 hole college tournament? Easily 9 hours competing.

5. You have to play in all types of weather elements. It might be 35 degrees when you tee off at 8 a.m.  Bring on the pants, ear muffs, jackets and hand warmers.  Then, by 1 p.m. be 70 degrees.  Time to undress! Or, a shower might pass by and you have to haul out your umbrella, rain gloves, jacket, rain pants and rain cover for your bag.

6. You have to be good at math.  5 yards into the wind.  10 yards uphill.  20 yards in front of the 150 yrd marker.  Pin is -8 from center.  What club do you hit?

7. Have you ever counted every shot you hit? And that includes following the rules and taking proper drops from water hazards and out-of-bounds. Now what did you shoot?

8. There’s 14 clubs in  your bag, and the best players in the world could hit any of them for any shot.

9. There’s so many aspects to practice…chipping, putting, pitching, driving, irons, sand shots, fairway bunkers, bad lies, punch shots, flop shots, low irons, high irons, woods, short putts, lag putts…the list goes on and on.  There’s just not enough time in the day!

10. You get to playing good, then you hit a bad shot.  You step up to a hole with a water hazard all along the right hand side and you’ve been slicing it all day.  You are 3-under par and just want to break 70.  It’s all mental.  And it’s been proven that golf is one of the more mentally challenging sports.

So, the next time you’re wondering if golf is a sport, go out there and try to play competitively.  I guarantee you, it won’t be as easy as you thought.

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” -Arnold Palmer

From Teammates to Family

Everyone who goes off to college is told they will create a home away from home at school.  The people they meet will become their family.  They’ll start a whole new life.

In high school I never thought about the importance of the people that I’d meet once I got to K-State.  I knew I’d be spending a lot of time with my teammates and they’d be my closest friends.  But I never realized the significance of the idea that they’d literally become my family.

When you’re on a Division I golf team, you see your teammates every day.  You spend hours at the golf course together, rain or shine, hot or cold.  Snow or ice.

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You challenge each other. You workout, and push each other to get stronger.

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You are forced to spend 10 hours straight driving from Dallas to Manhattan squeezed in the back of a car.

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You get the chance to travel to places you’ve always dreamed of visiting.

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And with all the time you spend focused and serious, there are also plenty of laughs.  Plenty of them.

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But at the end of the day, you realize you truly are a family.  A group of people that have different backgrounds but are coming together with a common goal.  Everything’s not perfect 100% of the time, but you make it work, just like a family.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t be happier to have these group of girls in my life.

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A very wise family friend once told me that college golf would be the best four years of my life: “it’s the best vacation you’ll ever have,” he said, playing golf, traveling all expenses paid, and most importantly, being with your very best friends.