Tips for grad students

Aimee Burch

Congratulations. You completed all your undergraduate coursework. You did the required internship. You took the insanely stressful GRE or other graduate admissions tests. And you got that bachelor’s degree.

You’re now on to the bigger and better thing called graduate school. Iowa State is a great place to take that step, and while Ames may seem small there is no shortage of things to learn and explore around here.

But sooner or later you will stumble upon an issue that will inevitably stump you beyond belief. Questions like what services are open to graduate students and where these places are even located.

Like you, I’ve been in that situation. Now, I am by no means an expert in the ISU culture. I have only been here a year. But I did manage to navigate my way around and carve out my niche in the ISU community.

Here’s some key resources and helpful hints that I gathered as a member of the graduate college.

Grad students can and should visit the Thielen Student Health Center here on campus, if for no other reason than to know its location. There is nothing worse than trying to figure out where to go when you’re feeling absolutely miserable.

Located on Sheldon Avenue across from State Gym, the center offers students of all education levels services ranging from the standard student physical to women’s health to vaccines.

All students, including graduate and doctoral candidates, are eligible to frequent and use all recreation facilities and services. This includes the recently renovated State Gym, with its new equipment and swimming areas. We are also eligible to participate in any and all intramural sports. This is one thing I have not had the pleasure of doing just yet but would really like to.

There is also a myriad of classes all students can participate in, including Zumba, spin and yoga. Whether you’re looking for the fellowship of bonding with fellow students on the field or looking for the solo solace of a spin on the elliptical machine, ISU offers plenty of outlets for just that.

Just remember: Even though you’re a grad student, you’re still a student. So do all the stuff students do. Go to sporting events and shows. Hang out on Central Campus and the library. Enjoy what Iowa State has to offer.

And if there is ever free food offered on Central Campus, take it.