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Iowa Summer Bucket List

As the start of school is approaching, I know it can feel like all the fun summer activities go out the window. And while schedules definitely get busier, remember that we still have a couple months of sweltering heat left in Iowa! There is time to check off those last remaining summer bucket list items. You’re likely going to be spending a lot of time in cars and hotel rooms before you know it, so I recommend enjoying the outdoors while you still can!

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Road Warrior Survival Guide

August is here and school supplies are flying off the shelves. This can only mean one thing: admissions recruitment travel season is right around the corner. Whether you are new to the field or have earned your “road warrior” status years ago, surviving travel season comes much easier with preparation. Here are my tips and tricks learned during 10+ years navigating the rolling hills (interstates, highways, brick, gravel and sometimes even dirt roads) of Iowa behind the wheel of a college-branded car:

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Post-Season Travel Adjustments

Where to start? What to do? Your mind is probably needing a break from the consecutive days on the road mixed with the busy visit days happening back on campus. As the weather is cooling off, it’s likely your travel schedule is, too. If you’re a seasoned road warrior, you know this transition all too well. If you’re newer to the road, you may feel a little discombobulated. Start with a deep breath. What we set out to complete amidst the chaos of travel season may not always materialize. You may realize that you didn’t email every student you spoke with at a high school visit or college fair this fall. You might have missed a congratulations text to a new commit or a next steps call to a new prospect. As you turn in your rental keys, fill out your final reimbursement forms and unpack your travel bags, here are a few tips to help with your transition back to the office.

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College Fairs are Back Again!

After a year and a half of Zoom meetings, Google chats, work from home, and socially-distanced campus tours, it was great to be back on the road again for the Iowa ACAC College Fair circuit. To say that I was nervous about taking over as the Iowa ACAC College Day/Night Chair in the middle of a world-wide pandemic is probably an understatement. If I’m truly being honest with you, I was terrified.

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Believe it or not, I got to hit the road about a month ago and visit some high schools in Northwest Iowa. I always love going to that area of the state; it’s close to home (I grew up in Southwest Minnesota) and it reminds me to slow down. I felt a little rusty actually going into high schools and really talking to people (weird, I know) but it was so fun.

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3 Tips for a DIY Travel Season

It’s early October (in 2019). You’re packing up your life, heading to Starbucks or Dunkin’ to get your 29th Pumpkin spiced something while listening to (insert podcast name here). It’s travel season.

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Food is Everything

This is the third part of an Iowa ACAC series on food in Iowa. Join us as we explore food in our state, food on campuses across Iowa, places 
you should find, and much more.

“He who eats alone chokes alone.”

“Life is too short to eat bad food.”

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Perspectives on a First Travel Season

Traveling was one of the biggest things that attracted me to the Admissions world. I never was one who liked staying in one place over a long period of time. I always knew there was plenty of uncharted territory waiting to be explored and I found ways to do just that. 

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Eat Well Series-Part I: What We Heard!

In the March edition of Scenes, we introduced a multipart series, “Eat Well, Live Well” - if you missed it, you can catch up here. In this first edition, Tom Paulsen, Iowa ACAC President-Elect, shared some great places around the state to grab a bite. We asked Iowa ACAC members what spots around the state needed to be added to that list and here is what you told us:

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Iowa Can be Cool!

Although travel season is winding down, we know some of you road warriors might still have a few trips left on your calendar. If you are out and about traveling around our beautiful state for work, or for fun, consider making a stop at some of these hidden gems! Happy trails!

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Iowa ACAC Cares - Right?

It’s not exactly an obsession, but I love to keep those little hotel shampoos and soaps. I’ve been known to request extras. There. I’ve said it.

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How Not to Meet People on the Road

I find myself telling students “don’t look for colleges the way I did” all the time. I was the student that did well in school, did not flinch at acceptance criteria, did not explore the options and just followed her sister to school without even talking to a counselor or scheduling a visit. I am so thankful that I got lucky enough to love the institution I enrolled at – so much that they sucked me back in as an admission counselor.

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There’s More To Life Than Subway and Casey’s

As a self-proclaimed food critic, Gordon Ramsey-fanatic, Food Network junkie, and traveling Admissions Professional for the past 7 1/2 years, the opportunity for dining out and experiencing different restaurants across the great plains of Iowa is inevitable for me and my peers in the admissions profession.

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Fun Things to Do Around Iowa

Loess Hills - TripAdvisor.comWith warmer temperatures finally giving us a refreshing reminder of summer, it is exciting to get back outside and brainstorm about fun activities to do during this time of year. Here in Iowa, we are very fortunate to have a broad variety of natural recreation spaces, outdoor experiences, and organized events to partake in throughout the warmer months. All across our state are a variety of unique opportunities to enjoy. I hope this article gives you some fun reminders or new ideas!  

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Staying Healthy During Travel Season

Staying fit, healthy, and active, while traveling for work, is always difficult. As we kick off spring travel season, here are some quick tips to help you stay healthy while on the road. 

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Did You All Come in One Car? 3 Tips for An Amazing Presentation

Presentations are something that we’re all familiar with. Whether you are watching one or giving it, chances are you know what works and what doesn’t. However, in case you don’t know what else to improve on as a presenter, here are three tips to help ensure you are giving an amazing presentation:

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Things I Wish You Knew

In the upcoming months, the Iowa ACAC blog will feature a three-part series titled "Things I Wish You Knew."  This series will focus on survey responses received from admissions counselors, school counselors, upper level admissions staff, recent college admits and their parents to offer a new perspective into their lives, which will hopefully impact the way you interact with these individuals.  Watch for a survey from me in the future in your Inbox!

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New Year, New Goals

Life in admissions moves fast from September–November, then we take time to focus on family and friends (and hopefully a little less on work) in December, and January brings another new year and another opportunity to work on those “resolutions.” The truth is, that despite our best intentions, sometimes we forget, or run out of time, to focus on self-improvement. Practicing mindfulness is an easy way to focus on ourselves during those hectic times.  

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7 Tips to Buying the Purrrfect Gift (or at least something they won't hate)

The trick to buying gifts is realizing who you're buying for. Every person has different likes and dislikes, personalities, talents, annoyances and preferences. That's why there isn't one perfect gift for everyone. Even though we all think money is a perfect back-up plan, it also shows a lack of effort and attention to the receiver. 

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Fall Bucket List

What's on YOUR fall Bucket List
• Grab your favorite fall drink at your local coffee shop
• Drive to see the fall foliage
• Go to the pumpkin patch
• Walk a corn maze
• Learn how to make pumpkin pie from scratch
• Donate to a local food bank
• Go to a football game and tailgate
• Have a bonfire
• Go to apple orchard
• Attend a local Farmer’s Market
• Enjoy some apple cider
• Help your neighbor rake leaves
• Watch seasonal movies
• Carve a pumpkin
• Buy a new sweater or hoodie
• Decorate your home for fall
• Find a local fall festivity
• Take a hay ride
• Have a family or friends game night
• Make caramel apples
• Go on a nature walk, hike, or bike ride (bring the camera!)
• Do a Color Run, Color Dash, or other colorful 5K
• Try a new recipe!!