Dancing Through Life

The Everyday Life of a Ball State Student

Halfway

Filed under: Holiday Breaks — nmmccormick at 11:06 pm on Sunday, May 6, 2012  Tagged , , , ,

It’s hard to believe that I’m home already – it’s only the first week of May!  You see, this time a year ago, I was packing up to head to Europe for two weeks.  So I wasn’t truly home for summer until the end of May.  This is a first for me!

Leaving school yesterday was full of “last times.”  It was the last time I would be in DeHority as a resident; the last time I will ever have an actual roommate; the last time I’ll be living on campus; the last time I’ll have to spend a meal in the dining halls; and more.

My cousin, Allison, graduated this year - I met up with her during my Jr. Marshal duties at Commencement 2012

I spent most of the day Saturday volunteering as a Junior Marshal for the commencement festivities.  First, I worked with the main university commencement bright and early, helping to set up, pass out programs, and make sure graduates got where they needed to be.  Then, I moved to the Miller College of Business ceremony at noon.  This time, I was actually assigned to work with a faculty member and a department (mine was Accounting).  It was more fun to do the business ceremony, because I actually knew several of the graduates.  Of course, I couldn’t help but think about how that will be me in just two years!

Two years…gosh, that means I’m halfway through my college career already.  The last two years have literally changed my life.  I am nowhere near the same person I was when I graduated high school.  But I suppose that’s one of the greatest parts of college:  not only do you learn and receive higher education, you also learn and grow as a person too.

Just this year, I’ve accomplished so much.  Take a look back through my blog posts and you’ll read about how BSU beat IU at Lucas Oil Stadium, how I finally went to the Learning Center for help with Stats and ended up with a job (and an A!), how I attended a luncheon with the CEO of Pepsi, how I felt like an honored guest at the Alumni Awards Dinner, how I’ve spent my time on Immersive Learning projects this year, and how I danced in, not one, but two ballroom competitions.

I am so happy to be where I am today.  I’ve truly been blessed with a wonderful university, an incredible boyfriend, beautiful friends, and a great family.  For what more could I ask?  It’s been an incredible year and I’m so glad I got to share it all with you!

For those of you wondering, I’ll be in my hometown this summer, working and saving up some money.  Next year, I’ll be returning to Ball State and living in an apartment with three of my best girls.  I’m beyond excited to begin my junior year and get started in more classes within my major!

Even though I won’t be returning as a blogger for Ball State next year, I’ll still be keeping a blog – you can follow it here:

http://nicole-dancingthroughlife.blogspot.com

For those of you still finishing up school, good luck!  Thank you so much for keeping up with me the past couple years; it’s been a pleasure to share my experiences with you.  Have a wonderful summer!!

 

Honored Guest

Filed under: Academics — nmmccormick at 3:51 pm on Friday, April 20, 2012  Tagged , , ,

Whenever a professor announces a guest speaker, students are tempted to believe that day will be a free pass to skip class.  In fact, I often find myself easily falling into this belief.  But this semester, I’ve realized that is not a good idea!  Don’t fall into that trap!  Guest speakers are some of the most interesting and exciting days you will ever have in class!

This week, I had two guest speakers on the same day and I gained valuable advice from each of them.  The first was in my Intro to Entrepreneurship class, where we learn about what it takes to become your own boss.  Our guest speaker was exciting and energetic.  He was a different kind of entrepreneur, who works at a Bible College in Indianapolis, while also working with a network marketing company (which is like the Avon business model).  His message to us was simple:  line up multiple streams of income!  This just means that you have a daytime job, but also devote a couple hours a week to a company on the side, like selling beauty products.  It seems like such a good idea.

He also encouraged us to create a 5-year vision statement, detailing where we would like to be in 5 years.  By writing it in the present tense and updating it each year, these goals are much more likely to be achieved.  This is an idea that I think I’ll actually implement!

Our second speaker that day was Moria Forbes, who is an executive heading up the ForbesWoman initiative.  Her presentation was truly inspiring to me as a woman wanting to move up in business.  She encouraged us to have a mission we’re passionate about and be willing to take risks!  By looking to leaders and their stories, one can find inspiration.  This is something I’ve found just by attending guest lectures.

It seems that taking the initiative in your education can truly benefit, motivate, and inspire you.  This can be done just by attending guest speaker events.  It’s really that simple!  Sometimes, it’s too easy to make light of a college education by just doing enough to get by.  But then, I wonder if you’d regret that 5, 10, or 20 years down the road.  What if we all took advantage of the time we have at Ball State and other universities?  What is each of us made the most of our college days?  Imagine what would be different about college, society, and each of our personal lives.  And it could all begin with an honored guest.

Honors Week

Filed under: Academics,Campus Life — nmmccormick at 12:33 pm on Thursday, April 12, 2012  Tagged , , , , ,

Happy Honors Week, everyone!  This week is a special week with designated days to celebrate the Honors College at Ball State University.  The Student Honors Council has planned various activities for students to celebrate being a member of the Honors College.  These days remind me a bit of our Homecoming week festivities during high school – you know, like school spirit days.  But here in the BSU Honors College, we do things a little differently.

Mad Science Monday
Honors students have a tendency of being rather academic, so the first day of the week is a celebrate science with handmade ice cream and other science activities to kick-off Honors Week!

Get Your Green On
To enjoy our environmentally-friendly sides, Tuesday provided activities like painting your own flower pot, eating dirt pudding, and enjoying Buffalo Wild Wings.  After the activities, it was easy for students to stick around for the DeHority Hall Council meeting.

Feed Your Body, Feed Your Mind!
Wednesday’s activity provided a relaxing yoga session and healthy snacks, followed by a presentation featuring the Associate Director of Student Life, Mitch Isaacs, and finish the night with a late night breakfast put on by DeHority Hall Council!

Throwback Thursday
“Come to snack time, recess, and study hall at the Honors House! Bring old board games to play and donate to The Buley Center, take part in a Hula Hoop Contest, make friendship bracelets, and listen to music from your childhood!”  This is tonight and will be a fun evening of celebrating the good ol’ days!

Formal Friday
Even though it’s Friday the 13th, the Honors Formal promises to be a fun evening of friends and dancing.  They even have a photo booth this year!

Check out my post from last year’s Honors Week for photos and good memories!

Irish Dancesport Gala

Filed under: Campus Life — nmmccormick at 11:52 am on Thursday, April 5, 2012  Tagged , , , ,

This past weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in my third ballroom competition! The members of the Ball State Ballroom Dance League travelled to the University of Notre Dame this weekend to compete in a variety of ballroom dance styles.

Our competitors did a fantastic job! The Ball State team is definitely more skilled in the Rhythm styles, which include Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, and Mambo, as several of our dancers advanced in these rounds!  Still, my partner and I felt like we did well in the Smooth styles of Waltz and Tango – better than we did at the last competition, which means a lot to us!

The most exciting time of the day was the afternoon, when we danced for about an hour straight during the Rhythm dances.  My partner and I advanced in Rumba and Cha Cha to the second round, which is something we hadn’t done before!  It was really exciting.

The surprise of the day was when I competed in Mambo with my partner from last year’s Purdue competition:  we got called back….twice!  It was incredible to make it to the Quarter Finals for the first time ever!!

My favorite part of competitions isn’t advancing to the next rounds or competing to win. Rather, it’s the camaraderie amongst the dancers and the fun atmosphere of the day.  The excitement of getting to dance a second (or third) time is the best part because dance, for me, is about doing what I love.

Here’s the video of our dances from the Irish Dancesport Gala at Notre Dame!

Student Symposium

Filed under: Academics — nmmccormick at 2:16 pm on Wednesday, March 28, 2012  Tagged , , , , , ,

This week, I attended the Student Symposium, where Ball State students exhibit their creative projects and academic work.  I went mainly because I knew some of the seniors presenting their thesis projects.  The event reminded me a bit of a science fair, with all the posters lined up and students prepared to share information about their projects with you.

It was interesting because I went to it thinking it was just for honors college students who were seniors. Turns out, any BSU student is eligible to present their projects.  It could be a senior thesis, class project, or any type of organized project.

Honestly, some of the more science-y projects didn’t really interest me, but that’s not my field.  When we got to the business-related projects, I started thinking about what potential I may have for presenting a project in the next couple of years.

The most obvious project I could do would be my business plan for my Entrepreneurship major. I wonder if students ever present these at the Symposium?  I also think it would be an interesting project to do an independent study in something for my French major.  Now that I know I could have the opportunity to present it at the end of the year, I think that would give me motivation to really develop it.

So this week, I learned something new!  Ball State offers an opportunity for students who have been working on organized projects to converse with faculty and community members about their research efforts, creative projects, and education. Kind of a cool opportunity I may have to think about in the future!

Immersive Learning

Filed under: Academics — nmmccormick at 1:42 pm on Tuesday, March 20, 2012  Tagged , , , , ,

One of Ball State’s somewhat infamous taglines is “Immersive Learning.”  In fact, there’s an entire section of the BSU Website on it – you can check it out here!

Immersive Learning, as Ball State’s Website states, is at “the heart of a Ball State education.”  It’s all about bringing students together from across campus to work on a project that benefits the local community.  Besides making a difference in a business or organization, Immersive Learning projects provide opportunities for students to build their resumes with real-world experience.

So far in my career at Ball State, I’ve already been involved in two Immersive projects.  From my perspective, what seems to occur sometimes is that classes are turned into Immersive experiences.  That’s what happened in two of my classes!  There are also numerous projects you can sign up for too.  I would recommend signing up for a project you are interested in, though, rather than just waiting for a class to be turned into a project.  If you aren’t very interested in the subject of the project, you definitely won’t enjoy it as much or be as dedicated to it!

My projects have both been classes of business majors, and the project I’m currently working on is through the Building Better Communities program, which you can read more about here.  For this project I’m currently working on, my Marketing class has prepared a market research survey for a local bank, who is interested in learning more about small business perspectives and expectations of the economy.

After our meeting with the client, our class chose a team leader and divided up into three groups that would eventually come together into one team.  For the first part of the semester, my class has been working together to develop an authentic, repeatable survey.  Each group had an essential role in the creation process.  At this point, we are in the middle of actually conducting the survey by calling local small businesses.  Once the data is collected, we will be able to analyze it and create a presentation to exhibit for our client at the end of the semester.

The first project I did was through my Management class, which was for a local non-profit organization.  After meeting with that client, we also divided our class into three teams, except each team would work on a different project for the organization.  Our goal was to provide as many benefits to our client as possible.  The first group was in charge of developing an existing fundraising program for the organization.  The second group was also involved in fundraising, only from corporate and local sponsors.  The group I was in planned a volunteer activity to be completed that semester.

We went through numerous planning stages, even going so far as to have a date set, until we realized that our timeline was much too short to coordinate all the volunteers, businesses, and materials.  Our event wasn’t going to happen on time!  So we had to backtrack and start basically from the beginning.  It was hard because we felt like failures, but as our professor assured us, it didn’t have to be a complete loss.  So what we ended up doing was gathering all the material we had prepared for the event and created a package for our client to implement the event the next semester with little to no planning on his part.

What I’ve discovered about Immersive Learning projects is that they are truly just that – learning experiences.  Sometimes you’ll do really excellent work and feel great about your finished product; other times, you may fail. But that’s when you pick yourself and your group up and do better next time.  No matter how your project goes, you will definitely have something to talk about during a job interview.  These are experiences for helping you grow as a student, as a group member, and as a leader.  And to me, that’s a pretty good reason for making Immersive Learning a BSU tagline.

Having Faith In Business

Filed under: Campus Life — nmmccormick at 5:19 pm on Wednesday, March 14, 2012  Tagged , , , , , , ,

A group that I’ve gotten involved in recently is an outreach program through Campus Crusade (Cru).  One of my Bible study leaders is a business major, just like me.  She decided to begin an outreach program amongst other business majors.  So she started having weekly meetings, which led to brainstorming for event ideas, which eventually led to actually planning the event!

Our event involves a guest speaker discussing the question, “Can faith play a role in business?”  Here’s what the Facebook event page has to say:

“Can faith play a role in business? Have you ever asked yourself this question? As business school students, we often learn about success, making a profit, and beating the competition, but where does faith fit into the hustle and bustle of the business world? Come find out what Randy Tempest has to say about this topic. Mr. Tempest is a Ball State graduate working as the Director of Business Development for Receivables Management Partners. He has been involved with the youth at Harvest Fellowship Church for many years. He is passionate about this topic and will be coming to Ball State to talk about his experiences related to faith and business in the professional world.”

If you are a business major at Ball State (and even if you aren’t!), come hear what our guest speaker has to say about this interesting topic.  To be honest, I don’t even know what he has to say!  However, it promises to be an enlightening experience when it comes to having faith in business.

For more date and location information on the event, leave a comment on this post and let me know you’re interested!

It’s Cru Formal Time!

Filed under: Campus Life — nmmccormick at 2:24 pm on Thursday, March 1, 2012  Tagged , , , , ,

At the end of January, Campus Crusade for Christ had their annual formal event. This is a really fun evening where everybody in Cru dresses up in their most formal attire for dancing, pictures, and food!  It’s a really great night to meet other members of Cru, make new friends, and have a good time with your friends.

Each year, I attend with my Bible study. We always spend a while choosing our dresses, doing our hair and nails, and hanging out. It’s a great chance to become closer with your small group, like my Bible study. Here are some photos from the night!

The beautiful ladies of my b’stud (photo by Ashley Lentz)

My handsome date and I (photo by Ashley Lentz)

Cru is just one of the many religious organizations on campus. Check out one of my previous posts for more about these groups!

Miller Interview Day 2012

Filed under: Academics — nmmccormick at 3:59 pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2012  Tagged , , , , , ,

This past weekend was the Interview Day for the class of 2017 Miller Scholars.  Gosh, that seems like so long from now!  But at the same time, I am already almost half way done with college.  I’ll be a JUNIOR by the time this class starts college in the fall!  Time really does fly, just like they say!

For me, Interview Days are much more exciting now that I am not being interviewed anymore.  I enjoy being a host rather than an interviewee.  We spent most of the day with the prospective students, guiding them to their interviews, getting to know them, and sharing our experiences with them.

There were several student panels for both prospective students and their parents.  I was actually on a study abroad panel for the students. This was truly an enjoyable experience for me, since I got to talk about my trip to Europe last summer.  The only downside was that it made me want to go back again!  Every time I look at my pictures or reread my blog posts from last summer, it makes me miss Europe very much.  Hopefully, I’ll one day have an opportunity to return.

I thoroughly enjoyed Interview Day, especially getting to know my student.  I am looking forward to meeting our next class of Miller Scholars in the fall!

P.S. It’s not too late to apply for the Miller HONORS Program – deadline is March 1st!  Apply Here!

STOMP!

Filed under: Campus Life — nmmccormick at 3:55 pm on Monday, February 13, 2012  Tagged , , , , ,

A couple weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending a performance of STOMP at Ball State’s Emens Auditorium.  It was such an incredible performance!  I was expecting the show to be good, with clever routines and great rhythms.  It definitely delivered on all of those aspects, but also on humor too!  It was a show without speech, but still had hilarious antics by the performers.

Shows like this are some of the benefits of being a college student.  Just in the last year and a half, I have seen major shows like The Color Purple, Legally Blonde, Beauty and the Beast, and STOMP.  My friends have even been to concerts like Skillet and Luke Bryan.  All on a student’s budget!  Check out Emens Auditorium’s website for more information about upcoming shows and concerts.

Next Page »