Year in review: 2016

You thought this was over, didn’t you?

To be honest, so did I. But here I am, ready to recap my year in what is becoming my annual blog post.


-Won a statewide journalism award. OK, so I didn’t technically find out about this until February due to a snow issue, but I would have gotten it in January. But seriously – I won first place for college investigative journalism in the Kentucky Press Association contest. Considering that’s my major, big deal.

(Considering that didn’t happen in January, I’m not sure what I spent my month doing.)


-Really hit my peak. And when I mean peak, I mean I made a House of Cards-themed cover. And that’s about all I did in February.



-Went to a Donald Trump rally. It was, uh, wild.

-Interviewed the lead singer of AWOLNATION. I initially thought I was going to interview Fall Out Boy, but this was slightly less anxiety-provoking.

The lead singer of AWOLNATION and I have the same hair.

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-Went to Gatlinburg. And it wasn’t for a fraternity formal! How revolutionary.



-Finished my time as EIC. After running the Cardinal for three semesters, I was finally told I had to give someone else a chance. Instead of talking about what I learned, I’ll let you read the column here.

-…but not without being salty AF at the end of semester dinner. Using my own money, I gave all editors a parting gift. The gifts were typically books on how to fix their flaws, including this one for the adviser.


-Somehow survived finals week. I’m not one to complain about finals, but this was a bad one. A look:


-Went to Derby. Well, I technically covered Derby for The Cardinal, as proven by this photo of me praising my Macbook in Derby attire and a press pass.


-Started a big kid internship. They only sent me to get coffee once!


-Joined a gym. And I was doing really well at the whole working out thing for a whole three weeks.

-Also joined a softball team. Somehow joined a rec league softball team of life insurance agents I mainly didn’t know about midway through the season. I hit the ball once. Go team.



-Turned 21. I got some balloons.


-Won a lot of awards. The Cardinal won almost triple the number of awards it won in 2015 in the Society of Professional Journalists Metro Louisville contest.


-Started working at Chipotle. #Chipotlife.

-Revenge of the chip. One of my front teeth was whittled down to a fang so I could get a replacement veneer. I had to wear a fake tooth for three weeks and it was definitely the most traumatic experience on this list.

-Dog in my storage unit. Someone abandoned a dog in my apartment’s storage unit, which I didn’t know I had.


-Jenny moved in. Not in front of our apartment, but the party is always here.


-Survived recruitment; had this photo taken of me. #Senya



-Published a story I spent two years working on. Partially because investigative stuff takes time, partially because I can be easily distracted/lazy, partially because I wanted to submit it for an award and needed to publish it before the end of September. You can read it here.


-Won an intramural contest. Yo, I’m a reigning tug-of-war intramural champion for the next calendar year. Doing big things.

I wore my intramural jersey all day for this. #tugofwarchamps #believethehype #musclesbychipotle

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-I dressed as a ceiling fan for Halloween. Sometimes, I hate myself. This was one of those times.

S/O to my FANZ #ceilingfan #threestripelife

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-Voted in a presidential election. Also wore a shirt with Mitch McConnell’s face on it that I accidentally bought from the Republican National Committee.

-Praise Yeezus. I wrote around 3,000 words on Kanye West’s spiritual journey in his music, as well as a mixtape called…”Praise Yeezus.” Later, it was named one of the top six “dopest” mixtapes of the class.

-Got accepted to Teach for America. After a delayed interview and a couple of crash courses on how to do any form of public speaking, I made it.



-Gave a 45-minute class presentation. Y’all, I write. I don’t speak. I’m not sure how I did it, but I did it. If you want to know anything about death in the Roman Empire, I got you.

-Flew in an airplane. It took me 21 years to finally get in an airplane. 21.

-Went to Italy. For those continuing to ask: Yes, Rome was great – how did you think I was going to respond?


-Saw a Star Wars movie for the first time. It also took me 21 years to see any part of the Star Wars franchise. Because of this, “Rogue One” was pretty confusing for me.

-Rejected Teach for America. I can’t tell you why I did it yet, but, uhh, surprise. Big announcement in the coming weeks.

Ten things I learned as EIC.

Three semesters and 43 issues later, my term as the Cardinal’s Editor-in-Chief is over. That’s right—by the time you read this, I’ll be the washed-up, former EIC. As much as I dislike having the phrase “washed-up” apply to me, I could not be more thankful to have held the position.

I get asked a lot (mainly by Tinder matches) how I got into such a powerful role. After saying “No one man should have all the power,” I get to relay the following story. I applied for the position at the end of my freshman year, going up against an older editor who knew more and had more journalism experience. I got the job after the opponent’s phone died, causing his alarm to not go off and him to miss the 8 a.m. interview. First lesson as EIC? Always have your phone charged.

Of course, I learned more than to show up to an important interview, and I’ve written it all down. (Another thing I learned—listicles are pretty frowned-upon by mainstream journalists.)

Expected the unexpected: You would think I would know better and avoid cliches, but this is the best way to say it. If you asked me two years ago if I thought the board of trustees would be considering a vote of no confidence in President James Ramsey right now, I would laugh. Things happen, and you better be adaptable. Other unexpected things: the entirety of the basketball/stripper allegations, having a U of L official ask me what “Deez Nuts” meant because we ran a story on it and people sending photos of dogs wearing sombreros to my U of L email.

Font choice is key: Like Kanye, I sometimes get emotional over fonts. It took half a semester of being EIC to realize few people understand the power of a great font. The sooner you understand strong font-choosing abilities is key to having people like you, the better you will be as an individual.

You deal with a lot: Let’s be real: more people would be better off if they started living by the following acronyms: IDGAF, IDFWU and GOMD (consult Urban Dictionary if you are confused). Stop dealing with people you don’t like and do you. It took a sombrero-related national media hellstorm to make me realize this, so I’m saying it here so you can learn it faster than me.

Say it twice: One of my professors gave me some advice this semester: “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say twice.” It didn’t take him saying it for me to realize it’s time to start being honest. Don’t like something? Speak your piece, and don’t tell different people otherwise because you’re scared of confrontation. You’ll be surprised how much stress you have due to your current lack of honesty. Oh, and stop saying sorry.

Haters should be spelled with a “z”: People will hate the paper even if they don’t read the paper. People can’t tell the difference between the news and opinion section, and they will call you biased because of it. People don’t understand simple grammar rules and will be upset when you edit their stories so they won’t humiliate themselves. People will get upset when you tell the truth because it “makes U of L look bad.”

But 50 told me and Kanye repeated it: “Go ahead and switch your style up. If they hate, let ‘em hate and watch the money pile up.”

Don’t willingly have 9 a.m. staff meetings: Your editor that works at UPS will not be there, and neither will your brain or ambition. Just say no.

Networking is way easier than you think: I used to groan when someone said something would be a “perfect networking opportunity.” Actually, I still groan. For me, networking is up on the list of unspeakable words like moist and panties. Here’s the thing: the best kind of networking is simply being really good at your job and then putting it on Twitter.

Know your (journalistic) rights: Kentucky Open Meeting laws are great. The first amendment is better. Being able to shut down a guy asking U of L to sue you for libel against Ramsey on Twitter because you understand libel laws is best. That guy still has me blocked, but it’s his fault he didn’t understand communication law. For those not in journalism: you can go to meetings and ask questions. Use those rights and be informed.

Confidence: All of these boil down to one thing: be confident. Don’t let people walk on you and silence you; both are hard habits to break. Don’t let your words, opinions or spirit be censored. At the same time, learn the line between savage and rude.

Thanks for reading all of the stories. I’ll be back next semester as copy editor, but for now, EIC out.

Year in review: 2015

Everyone’s favorite blog post of the year is back. For the 300+ friends I’ve made this year (according to Facebook), I’m just going to run through the wonderful year of 2015. Kinda like a highlight and blooper reel all in one.


-Started running a newspaper.

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Although I officially took over in December 2014, I actually started doing stuff in January. I’ve been Editor-in-Chief since, and have a sweatshirt and an airbrush hat to prove it. Also, 29 issues of a newspaper.

-Went to not one, but two fraternity prefs.

   And both dates asked me willingly. W i l l i n g l y.

-Dedicated an entire issue of the newspaper to Montrezl Harrell, because he’s the love of my life and also why not.

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-I used a SurveyMonkey to find a date for Valentine’s Day.

Wrote an article about it. And then SurveyMonkey sent me free stuff and followed me on Twitter.

-Co-chaired Fryberger.

   I successfully got my sorority onto a stage in front of people to sing songs and dance.

-Attempted RaiseRED. Failed.

   I raised a ton of money to be in an 18-hour dance marathon and got sick and had to leave at hour 14.

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-Skipped my own formal to go to a fraternity formal.

Nothing spikes my social anxiety quite like a fraternity formal.

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-An egg told me I wasn’t “pretty enough to be raped.”

   A Twitter user with no photo so kindly read my article on rape culture three months late and tweeted this at me.

-Saw Maroon 5 in concert.

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-Had a boyfriend for two weeks.



-Won a beta fish. 

-Went to my first U of L football game.

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   Sure, it was the spring game, but I saw it from the sidelines.

-Wrote a 12 page paper on the Unabomber in seven hours?

   Is this a good time? Will work to improve.



   I spent $40 bucks to stand in the sun for 50 minutes for ??? Didn’t even see a horse.

-Officially named a College Media Editorial Fellow. 

   I’m now a pro at Twitter chats.


-The Apothecary was created.

   I moved into a big kid apartment and quickly gave it a nickname like it was a fraternity party house.

-Started working at the Target. 

-Roaring 20s.

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   Yes, I made myself a banner.


-Went to a beach.

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   Also got a monogrammed PFG just for said trip to the Gulf Shores.

-Bought a selfie stick.

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-Creation of the Olivia Five, a Jackson Five cover band. 

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   Literally the only thing worth noting from August.


-Kelsey, aye. Delaney, aye.

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   Got another little + a grand little hello.

-Guy at Kroger taught me to how to “hit the quan.”

   A guy selling newspaper subscriptions offered to teach me how to HTQ if I signed up for a subscription. I quickly realized it was a very watered down version of the dance and everyone in the Kroger lobby probably laughed at me.


-Used SurveyMonkey to find a date party date. Got a lot of responses.

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   …and then had to do it again because the original survey winner couldn’t actually attend the date party.

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*me fighting the winner of the second survey prior to date party*

-Ann Wood moved in.


-Discovered Poot Lovato



-Called U of L’s president a racist, national firestorm happens. 

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   Culture isn’t a costume, but that didn’t stop Prez Ramsey and his staff from dressing in stereotypical Mexican garb for a staff Halloween party. The op-ed I wrote, where I “ripped” and “blasted” Ramsey’s decision, was quoted nationally (I MADE TFM).

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People also called me a “social justice warrior” like that is a bad thing.

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-Some guy brought homemade banana bread to The Apothecary’s Halloween gathering. 

   1. Why? 2. But thank you, it was delicious.


-“’The Louisville Cardinal’ is a lazy name.” 

   Actual criticism from a classmate about the newspaper.

-Got asked not to write about bad things at U of L. Did it anyway. 

   If they don’t want me to report bad things about them, maybe they should behave better. *shrugs for the tenth time while writing this blog*

-Black Friday.

   I experienced my first Black Friday in retail. I worked 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. *soft smile*

-Fish died. 

-Realized I have become a savage. Tweeted about it.

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-“We’ll have a nice life.”

   A friend’s misfortune has taught me to always use apostrophes correctly in life.


-Actually watched a semi hit the Third Street overpass.

   It was painful.


   I’m not sure how.

-Went to another fraternity formal.

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   Because I personally like having a three day panic attack.

-Christmas Eve 15 hour shift.

   Sure, I can stay another couple hours. Actually, I’ll just leave when the store closes.

What I spent my KEES money on: A reflection

Let me begin by reminding everyone that it was my goal to blog once a month this school year. I think I might have definitely not kept up with that goal. However, I convinced my newspaper’s editorial intern that it would be necessary for her to make a graphic for a column that I would be writing to be named – you guessed it – The Bad Pitch. Basically, I’m just going to print my blog and make myself feel like I’m actually doing something.

On to the actual topic of the evening. Seeing as I attended high school and college in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and seeing that I have a certain GPA, I receive a lovely thing called KEES money. Basically, I get about $1,200 dollars each semester to spend on “things for school.”


Luckily, I’m in a position where a different scholarship covers all of my tuition, so this money just kind of appears. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe I spend this extra money on important things that support my goal of graduating college, but I also seem to make enough questionable purchases that my friends dare me to make a blog listing my purchases.

Seeing as I worked hard to get a 4.4 GPA in high school and to continue to receive this scholarship, I don’t see this as bragging. I see it as fulfilling a dare and an exercise in budgeting.

To save time, I only reflected on things above $10. Things below $10: Chinese food, paying to park in the garage instead of walk three blocks to campus, ridiculously over-priced turkey sandwiches on campus, PSLs.


Purchase 1: $51 / a bookstore.

I kicked things off in a respectable manner – by purchasing stuff for a new little. I think I got her Lilly Pulitzer post-its and some shirts, but I’m not sure. *yes they make Lilly post-its*


Purchase 2: $170 / Target.

I definitely got Starbucks and used a cupholder on my cart during this trip. Purchase consisted of fall clothing, because I cannot attend class naked.

I also acknowledge that this is a ridiculous amount to spend on clothes.

Purchase 3: $31 / Etsy.

I believe this was a Pi Phi Comfort Colors tank top. Did I need it? No. Have I been “saving up for it” for seven months? Yes.

Purchase 4: $24 / Etsy.

Oh yes, the famous Editor-in-Chief sweatshirt. I saw this as an appropriate purchase as I run a newspaper. I also appreciate being warm.

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Purchase 5: $47 / Walmart.

???I think I bought a flannel???Maybe stuff for big/little???

Purchase 6: $14 / GreekBill.

First truly adult purchase: I paid for my own sorority bill for the month. (This specific month only consisted of a tote bag, not actual dues.)

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Purchase 7: $130 / Jenna Benna Co.

I. Spent. What. On. Stitch. Letters.

Looking back, this was definitely a poor purchase. I could have gotten so much Chinese food with this.

Purchase 8: $37 / Speedway.

A full tank of gas = definite adult purchase.


Purchase 9: $15 / Hobby Lobby.

Did I mention this happened during Big/Little week? Gotta keep the people happy.

Purchase 10: $25 / JoAnn Fabric.

See above. “Wasn’t there a spending limit on Big/Little,” I whisper to myself.

Purchase 11: $158 / LG&E.

Oh, yes, Olivia, you go girl. Way to make a strong adult choice and keep the lights on in your apartment way to go.

Purchase 12: $47 / Hallmark.

I bought Lilly Pulitzer headphones and a Simply Southern shirt. I have no reasoning and I refuse to reflect on it.

Purchases 13-18: $115 / Poshmark.

For those of you who don’t know, Poshmark is an app where people can buy and sell clothes they don’t want anymore. So, first off, I was being thrifty. Second, I bought at least two blazers to wear to more business casual journalism stuff. Third, I got white high-top Converse because I am trendy.


Purchase 19: $50 / Time Warner.

Another bill paid by myself. Seeing that I did important stuff helps me feel less guilty about this.

Purchase 20: $30 / another Greek shirt company.

I shouldn’t be allowed to purchase anymore Greek apparel from now until graduation. This purchase was for two tank tops (it was also very close to October/fall/coldness).

Purchase 21: $170 / various parking tickets + car related fees.

I don’t want to talk about it.

An overall reflection: I’m currently at a mix of “Oh my God, hat have I done” and “Wow, definitely thirty, flirty, and thriving.”

Oh, and my account is currently at a negative amount.



“Ya Did What?”: I used a survey to find a Valentine

Let me start by saying I’ve had one valentine in my 19 years of living. His name was Winston, and we were 9 years old and in the same fourth grade class. He gave me one of those huge, completely useless teddy bears, which led to a long class lecture about how Valentine’s Day wasn’t about gifts but about love. Our teacher made me give the teddy bear back, and that was the last time a guy ever tried to be my valentine.

A decade later, I’m a junior in college and despite my acutely successful Tinder account, males are hard to attract – especially around Feb. 14. So, I did what every intelligent, semi-lonely, heterosexual female my age would do: I created an online survey for potential valentines.

Questions ranged from “Describe your perfect Valentine’s Day date” to “How tall are you.” Out of the 22 responses, a solid 60 percent were joke entries from my sorority littles, friends and one cruel person pretending to be my ex.

Potential dates included everything from 333 Express to building a toenail church, just to give you an idea of exactly how out of control this thing got. I didn’t it expect it to get fake entries, but looking back, that was a serious lapse of judgment on my part.

One thing I did plan for was some level of backlash, and waited for responses of “thirsty” and “desperate” to come to me. Instead, I got multiple retweets, leading an increased Klout score and an increased ego.

But did it work? Eh, no, not really. As of press, my selected valentine hasn’t stepped forward, and due to the semi-anonymous nature of the survey, I don’t have their contact information. Maybe they’ll come forward between when I finish writing this and you read it in print, but at least we now know one way not to get a Valentine.

year in review: 2014.

Everyone’s favorite post of the year: what has Chippy been doing all year (because no one knows).

New this year: additional photos and sass.


-Went Greek.

-Restarted the blog.

For those just now tuning in, I had a different blog that covered my senior year of high school and my first semester of college. I made this one for an online journalism class where a blog was required. I got an A for blogging.

-Had a photoshoot in the office. Annoyed my Facebook friends.

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-Covered a basketball game. Got kicked out of the locker room. Wrote a story about it.


-Forgot my mother’s birthday.

-Sang and danced on a stage in front of humans.


Ah, Fryberger. Better known as Greek Sing to people who don’t go to U of L. I sang. I span on choir risers. I didn’t die. And now I get co-lead my chapter through the whole thing next year.


-Got a big.


Sup, JHubb.

-Had my brakes go out on a busy street.

Ah, the things that happen when you drive with your emergency brake on. Didn’t die, though.


-Went to a sorority formal. Took the sports editor as my date.


-Wrote a blog post. Convinced a girl to go to U of L.


Go Cards, Go Katie.

-This. Whatever this is.


-Selected to run a newspaper.

-End of semester staff party.

Fun fact: At the end of every semester, the Cardinal has a dinner for all of the editors. For the spring, we went to a Vietnamese sandwich place (YOLO). The night was basically summed up by this photo:



-Moved in with three guys.

I needed a place to stay and they had someone who needed to sublease their room. #ChippysRoommates was a frequently trending tag on Twitter. Do I regret it? No. Would I do it again? Probably not.

-Tried to find a summer job. Ended up at Marco’s (again).

-Learned to ride a bike.


Check out that helmet. Safety first.


-Turned 19.


No one cares about being 19 and no one cares about June.


-Watched my grandma pass away…and then saw my favorite band two days later.

One of the strangest weeks emotionally. My grandma passed away from Alzheimer’s two weeks before her 90th birthday, an obviously sad event, was juxtaposed with the Fall Out Boy concert I had waited for since sixth grade. Not sure what else to say.


-Got food poisoning on my first business trip.

After three years of working for them, Marco’s trusted me to help a new store a few weeks after it opened. So I drive about three hours away to the store to work for the weekend. First day is fine. Second day I get food poisoning and miss my first Marco’s shift ever. If there’s one thing I don’t want to do again from this year, it would be food poisoning.

-Watched the publication I interned for literally fall apart in about two days.

LOL, I get to tell the LEO story again. Basically, I had a summer internship with an alt-newsweekly in Louisville. My last week, the new owner decided to fire half of the editorial staff and then watched the other half walk out on him. I was known as “the one girl who interns at LEO” for a bit.

-Lived in a newspaper office for nine days.

My lease ran up before my new one started and sleeping in the office was on my bucket list. YOLO.



I made it out alive.

-Return of Creepy Russian Guy (#CRG)

A guy on my Russian class hit on me last year. I thought he graduated. He did not. (UPDATE: he just graduated in December. This won’t happen again.)


-Got littles.


-Made my modeling debut. Got a cool cover photo for social media.


The Cardinal needed a photo for the cover, and I stepped up. Do it for the Cardinal always.


-Jeremih pointed at me.


-Got rejected. Got put on an anxiety med.

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald / The Great Gatsby.

Not even going to try explain the entire situation, but my anxiety got to the point where I needed medication. Fun fact about Lexapro: it makes you feel absolutely terrible before you get better at all. You’ll be completely off your game for about a week.

Maybe I’ll blog about this situation when I can make more jokes about it. For now: if you like someone, tell them.

-Dressed up as Medusa.


We don’t talk about Halloween 2014.

-Had two baes at one time.


Bae #1 and Bae #2. We also don’t talk about that.

Actually, we don’t talk about October in general.


-Shook Mitch McConnell’s hand.


Sat with the McConnell Scholars at a press conference and shook a senator’s hand. He asked how my semester was going and I won’t let you forget it.

-Went to two date parties in one weekend.

Clearly I’m so popular with the males that I got invited to a frat date party and got a date to my own date party (that’s two males, y’all). Here’s the best picture from that weekend, which happens to not feature either of my dates.



-Got the cover story.


-Officially started running a newspaper.

On the last day of classes, I officially became the editor of a newspaper. Due to winter break, I haven’t done much in my new role, but I now have an office. Stay tuned.

-Watched my big graduate.


Sup, JHubb.

-Chopped off my hair.


Just in case anyone hasn’t seen this picture (sorry I don’t take a lot of selfies).

-Got a fur vest.


I am Macklemore.

2014: 7/10, do it for the experience.

How to make the most of your freshman year: U of L edition

An unknown person approached me through a friend with a simple question: what is your brutally honest opinion of the University of Louisville?

I was quick to type out a quick response with how everything here is great, and I erased just as quickly. Not because it isn’t true, but because it isn’t true for everyone. After thinking about it for a second, I made the decision to double-blog this week to truly answer this question.

Let me be clear: this blog’s purpose is twofold – to give my opinion while telling how to get the best experience at U of L. In typical Chippy fashion, I’m turning the post into a bit of a list because readers like those.

If you don’t want to read the entire thing, here is my opinion: U of L is great if you do things. If you hide in your dorm, do the minimum, and go home every weekend, you will hate it. I firmly believe U of L offers something for everyone, and anyone can be truly happy here.

Now, if you want to find out how you can be happy at U of L, I will now go into detail. In list format, like I said before.


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U of L is a school. You learn things here. Classes are important. If you walk into freshman year advising and have to take a bunch of gen-eds that you aren’t interested in at all, you’re going to have a bad time. I’m not saying don’t take your gen-eds, because that isn’t an option, but do your research. Look into what classes you have to take, and find the best option for you. Take a random seminar. Take a class in an unfamiliar department just because you heard the professor is great. Classes are a huge part of college; don’t bore yourself. And please major in something you actually care about.

Semi-social life.

By this I mean clubs and things that are fun, but require work. Ya feel me? Okay, good. College is not high school. You don’t have to join a bunch of things in hopes of getting a scholarship anymore. Do things because you love them, or you want to help others, or you ant to try something new. I joined the Cardinal staff because I love writing. In the process, I made friends. A large university like U of L can be a lonely place, but there are so many ways that you can make it a not so lonely place.

Actual social life.

I am not condoning underage drinking or anything, but go out. Do things with your friends. Talk to people. Go eat dinner off campus. Experience the thing called a “frat party.” If you go home every weekend, or hide in your dorm, you will feel sad. Trust me, I’ve been there. Also, you will find friends. The great thing about U of L is that there are so many people, but everyone is different. Whatever your preferred type of friend is, you can find one here.


(examples of things you can do: city events and sorority formals)

Also, we are the University of LOUISVILLE, so we are in LOUISVILLE which is a large city in Kentucky. We have things you can do here. Like Thunder Over Louisville (which just happened, so that’s why I mention it and have a picture of it) and Derby. Oh, and we have several restaurants, which you can eat at. Food is good.

Long section short: You have no reason to want to go home every weekend.

Athletics + School Spirit. 


We got Montrezl Harrell. Holla. Going to games makes you feel like a real student. Just go to one. Just one. We aren’t really bad at anything, so we’re easy to cheer for. We have hashtags and our school colors look good together and it is easy to find clothing in those colors, so you really don’t even have to go to games to be supportive.

To mystery person, I hope this helps you no matter where you decide to go. But I really hope that place is U of L. #L1C4