Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thank you

Dear Readers,

It's been a great pleasure to be entrusted the role of blogging about student life at Drake.  There are thousands of students and each has a very unique and lively story to tell.  From first year students adjusting to the college experience and having a ton of new experiences to seniors, pharmacy students, and law students who are pursuing their next big thing, Drake is a place where new and exciting things happening.

I’ve heard it before from President Maxwell, and it rings truer than ever.  Drake is more than a university, more than a place where students go to find a job, but a place where students go to become the kinds of people they are going to be for a lifetime.  They interact with people and participate in the kinds of things that shape them.  They play an interactive role in creating the foundation of what their life will hold.  That’s been my experience.  If you want to do it, and you can dream it, then start at Drake.

Blogging has helped me become a better writer and a better student.  It has challenged me to do things I wouldn't normally do because I thought there could be a story there to share.  I have worked to find content that is richly entertaining and helpful as you assess your college options and find a place to call home for four, six or seven years. It’s my hope that these posts over the last six years have provided you windows in to the Drake University lifestyle and what kind of a place Drake really is.  The adjectives that could be used to describe a day at Drake are infinite, but college is more than that.  And that’s what you’ll find in these posts. 

It’s been a pleasure to serve you as a blogger, I hope you’ve found reading these posts as entertaining as I have in writing them.  This is Drake. 


Adam's Last Lecture

There seems to be a tradition of outgoing leaders leaving a last lecture.  It’s everything they want to say as they reflect on their experiences.  It’s their last chance to leave everything with the audience.  Last lectures are usually reserved for distinguished professors and leaders, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Here is my advice as I close this chapter at Drake and some of things I’d recommend taking part in on campus.

First things first, meet as many people as you can and make that the first thing you do on campus.  

Don’t be afraid to do something different.  If it’s never been done before, that’s a great reason to take it on.  Whether it’s meeting people you wouldn’t normally talk to or participating in an event you wouldn’t normally attend, college is that chance to do it!!  You’ll always regret the things you didn’t do!!

Never underestimate the power of nice.  If there’s one skill that I think will carry further than anything else, it’s the power being nice and having a positive attitude.  When you greet each person with a smile and a friendly hello, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make friends!!  I had the gratifying experience at the Drake Relays of seeing tons of friends and being greeted by some great people who I hadn’t seen a long time.  I attribute that bond with so many people to being nice and having a positive attitude.  

Never take a day for granted.  You and the world would be impressed if you used every day to its fullest potential.  One of the most powerful things I’ve learned is that every day is a gift and we owe society everything we can in that day.  College will give you the opportunities to do so many different things.  Use every day in college to achieve and do everything you can.  Work harder than you ever thought possible and do more than you ever thought possible.  When you look back at your college experience, and you filled everyday with as much as you possible could, then you will never have regret.  Some of my closest friends are students who worked as hard and harder than I did and made a serious and lasting impact on campus.  We have that bound that will last a lifetime.

College will give you the chance to be whoever you want to be.  Drake will give you the chance to reinvent yourself.  When you arrive at Drake, you didn’t come with your whole high school class, in fact you may be the only person from your high school or college that came to Drake.  Use that chance to be the person you want to be.  If you want to be outgoing, if you want be athletic, if you want to be a leader, go for it!!  No one will tell you no, be the person you want to be and go for it.  

Here are some of the activities that I have been a part of over the last 7 years that have had a significant impact on my life:

The Drake College Republicans – The college republicans were one of the first organizations that I joined.  The club needed leaders and students to take over and our class came in at the perfect time.  The club at Drake allowed me to meet other students who had similar beliefs and we were able to advocate for our beliefs and stand together against those who would look down on conservatives.  It also allowed me meet conservative students from around the state and country.  Those students are now running organizations and shaping national and state policy and some of my friends from the college republican days are now running for elected office.  There’s nothing more rewarding that championing a cause and seeing your friends being successful.  

Drake Student Ambassador – One of the most rewarding experiences at Drake was being a student ambassador.  There’s nothing more exciting than getting know incoming students to Drake.  Prospective students are full of energy, they are full of potential and they are so excited to come to college.  It was so exciting to share with them my Drake story and tell the things my classmates and I were doing.  I would get questions about can you do this or that at Drake??  Can you study abroad, can you get engaged in service or Greek life or intermurals.  Getting to tell students YES, YES, YES, what one of most exciting things I’ve ever done.  The Ambassador position was not a sales position, but Drake is by far the easiest message I’ve ever sold.  Being an ambassador pushed me to experience new things, and it pushed me to get to know campus better than most students.  I attribute that experience, in part, to my great love for Drake, because I know all that it can offer.

Senior Reflections – Joining 20 of Drake’s most active leaders and sharing our Drake stories and our experiences in leadership was one of the greatest experiences at Drake.  Getting to hear, as seniors at Drake, my friends’ leadership journey and the things they experienced was simply priceless.  You never know what people experience until you ask and hear their story.  I got to hear some incredible stories.  There’s nothing more humbling than understanding the journey your friends have made and the impact they have made on your life.

The Drake Law Federalist Society – I like to build things.  The legal profession is not like construction, we don’t build buildings or erect structures, we build cases.  The Drake Law Federalist Society allowed me the chance to build something.  We had a club that needed students to take it and run with it.  A couple students and I adopted the Federalist Society, brought in speakers and a point of view not heard often at the law school.  Our club finished the year with more speakers and more members than it has had in a long time.  We took a club and spent two years building it.  We built to be a strong organization and that was incredibly powerful!!

The faculty and staff at Drake are there to engage students, they are there to help and encourage students.  That’s part of the reason I chose to attend Drake, because everyone wanted to see me succeed!!  As I complete my time at Drake, I’ve learned that students are in partnership with faculty, it’s that partnership that truly makes Drake such a special place.

Day 1 - Graduation

It all culminates in Day 1...Graduation.  Graduation was May 12, 2012.  Three years of hard work culminated receiving a Juris Doctorate from Drake University Law School.  Drake hosted a great ceremony for the graduates.  We had several great speakers, including our student speaker, Student Bar Association President Mike Traxinger who reminded us of a great deal of memories from our law school careers.  Mike spoke about surviving 1L year and celebrating all the milestones that we had accomplished.  We had come from different backgrounds and different places, but had come together as a class.  Our class had something special, a special spark of enthusiasm and spirit that was certainly unique!!

For graduation I had the great fortune of having my grandmother and aunt, as well as my immediate family in attendance.  It was a great ceremony and truly celebrated the culmination of our law school experience.  I also sang in the choir and we got great reviews from our performance of the Drake Alma Motar and a portion of We Are Young.

Part of the graduation weekend was spent celebrating with great friends.  There were several receptions and open houses to attend..  In the coming days, several of my friends are headed to different states to begin their bar preparation and legal careers. 

My law school career allowed me to make a great deal of friends!!  I have friends who will be all over the country practicing law and being lawyer champions.  I'm looking forward to seeing them and the impact they have on the world.  Law school has given us the tools to truly impact the world, and I have no doubt my classmates will meet their potential.

Congratulations to my law school class and all those students part of the Class of 2012.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 2 - Celebrating with good friends

I completed my finals last week and have been spending this week with friends, enjoying the last few days of law school.  I've had several friends who have been finishing up papers and tests in the last couple of days and we've had the chance to spend some time as everyone finishes up.

Last night was the annual end of the year party.  It was great to have everyone together and all the finals complete.  Everyone was relaxed and having a good time.  I especially like attending end of semester and end of the year finals because people are relaxed and talking about things besides law school.  Last night we got to talk about what people are planning to do for the summer and how the job search is going for many of my fellow graduating 3Ls.  

There was a great deal to celebrate last night and it was a blast.  Not only are the the 3Ls graduating, but the 1L completed their first year of law school and the 2Ls are now 3Ls.  It was a night with a lot of friends and fun.  We are getting to the point where we are not going to have a lot of time left together.  Tomorrow is graduation so this is really the last hooray!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 3 - Is it a sprint or marathon?

Is the college experience a sprint or a marathon? Over the last several days my friends have been posting about the last day of their college experience or celebrating their last final. Today someone posted that law school was the best & worst of times, that went really fast & really slow, and was the most difficult & most rewarding experience. I couldn't agree more. Some days can feel like you are sprinting just to keep up and other days seem like the end is a long way off and you'll never get done.

My class is a couple days from graduation. We sprinted the marathon and are about to cross the finish line!!. One thing that has remained constant in everyone's Facebook statuses about completing law school is their thanks to friends and family for helping them succeed in law school. As much as it is a very personal experience, it is also very much a team effort. Family will cheer you on and support even though it may be hard for them to understand what you are going through. Friends will pull you up and keep you grounded even though they are competing with you for the highest class rank. Even with that, it is vital to have the support of your friends and family!!!

Congratulations to the Class of 2012 and their friends and family as they approach the finish line.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 4 - 5 life lessons I learned in law school

1. There's more I don't know than that I do know. I've rediscovered a love for learning and reading to continue to learn more and keep learning.

2. Lawyers can be like nurses, doctors and teachers. We help guide our clients through difficult situations and offer more than legal advice, we offer support and care.

3. Let legal tools help you accomplish your goals. Whether it's a will or a corporation or having a lawyer stand up for your rights, the legal industry has tools to help you accomplish your goals.

4. Never lose perspective with the real world. There's a big world with ups and downs out there, It's bigger than any test or reading assignment. Don't forget that we are hear to make a difference. Take part in the real world, it's a full contact sport!!

5. You can do anything you set your mind to and work hard to get. Law school taught me to work harder than I've ever worked before. I learned if I can work that hard, I can accomplish anything!!
All Drake bloggers are compensated for their time. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Drake University.
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