Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Lyons’

My Christmas break goals for you

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

It’s hard to believe that this is the last story I’ll write for the Collegian this semester. No worries – I’m planning to return in the spring.

As we prepare to enter the abyss that is finals week, I want to look back on eight things I’ve learned in 2018. I asked on Twitter last week what one thing that made you a better person physically, mentally or spiritually in 2018 – here are my answers.

1. Reaching out to those you haven’t spoken to in a while can be a good thing.

A speaker at an event that I went to who happened to be a retired school administrator, encouraged those of us attending his session to reach out to someone we hadn’t spoken to in a year. I promise, even if it’s the most nerve-racking thing you do sometime soon, you have a chance to grow your relationship with that person. I know personally that the person I reached out to had been through a lot since we last had a real conversation, more than just ‘Hi, how are you’, but knowing that the person was receptive to helping with an English project was possibly one of the best moments of my first semester.

2. Stand tall and show that you know what you are doing.

I had an instructor who appeared to doubt my abilities this semester. This week I had my chance to show him that I really do know what I’m doing. It could be as simple as dressing professionally for a presentation. The comments on the rubric I received back made feeling incredibly stiff worth it.

3. Celebrate those around you and enjoy their presence.

You never know when you will lose someone who means the world to you. The more time you spend with them, the more you have to remember them by.

4.  Be proud of your faith, if you choose to have one.

Before I dive into this, I am in no way telling you how to believe – just that you should be proud of what you believe in. If you have a faith, take pride in having those beliefs and traditions. Some choose to not have a faith, and that is their choice. Having pride does not mean that you should hate someone else for what they believe in, just that you shouldn’t have to fear what others will think about your faith.

5.  Find your friends and hold them close.

There’s a saying that “you find out who your friends are,” and I find it to be entirely true. Find people who are have the same interests and are going to complement your personality. Some of my closest friends are a year or two younger than me in age and grade, but they have personalities that work so well with mine that they have become some of my closest friends. My best friend is almost the exact opposite of me- short, redhead, different tastes in music and clothing but we get along super well.

6. I love writing in a journalistic style.

Although I do love a good research paper, it’s refreshing to write informally every so often, or once a week. Because of this, I decided to take up writing my own blog. We’ll see how long that lasts but how bad could it really go?

7. Passion and working to a higher standard may mean that you aren’t understood.

I was blessed with some amazing opportunities in high school, but often I find that people don’t realize that I have experience in being professional and working on projects, like a professional. Although my club advisors might be a tad frustrated that I struggled to get my projects in on time. Tad might be an understatement, but I’ll take an understatement to an overstatement. My apologies to them, but I think – I hope – I’ve learned my lesson by now.

8. The power of saying “Thank You”

Never underestimate the power of not only keeping in touch with those teachers you connected with during high school, but also thanking them. They often leave work without a ‘proper’ thank you. If they truly impacted, you TELL THEM. You won’t regret it. It may also be a worth while occasion to take screenshots of their reaction (if they email you).

Hopefully, something in this list made an impact on you as a reader today. If you want to share something you learned in 2018 feel free to join the conversation by tagging me on Twitter! Have a great Winter Break, I’ll see you back here sometime in 2019! Until next semester friends.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying Business. 

To all who’ve asked: This is where I’m from

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

At this point in the semester, I think it’s high time I address where I’m from.

Buckle your seatbelts ladies and gentlemen. It’s important that you know some basic facts first. I have lived my entire life in Newton. My diploma and letter jacket are marked with Goessel High School and some form of blue and white.

If anything in the whole process of trying figure out what to tell people when they ask “where are you from,” I’ve learned that no matter where you claim to be at home, where you went to high school or where you make your home after college – you will have people who mean the world to you. You will have people whom you can call on when you need help with a project or when you think you might burst because you need to tell someone your good news (or bad news).

It doesn’t matter what town you graduated from, lived in all your life, or what town you went to college in. It matters who you meet and what kind of impression that you make on them. Even if you sing your school’s alma mater with someone after every sporting event, you might not know them at all or you could become their best friend.

With that said – I claim Newton as ‘where I’m from’. I may have graduated a Goessel Bluebird, and become a Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragon – but I found my friends in the town that I lived in and a few surrounding towns. Most are or were Newton Railers, one a Canton-Galva Eagle, the other a Blue Valley Ram. There are a few in my high school graduating class that I have decided are close enough to keep in touch with – but for the most part my friends are in Newton.

I think I should re-introduce myself now, and so I will. Hello, my name is Rachel Lyons. I am a freshman business major here at HutchCC. I am from Newton and graduated in May 2018 from Goessel High School. In high school, I was a very active member of Family, Career, and Community Leaders (FCCLA) and Business Professionals of America (BPA). Hopefully that clears the confusion up.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman who attended Goessel and is studying Business

Teacher Appreciation needs to be shared

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Rachel Lyons, Collegian columnist

I don’t know what it is about going back home for a football game, but it’s incredible how much they feel like home – even if I’m finally on the other side of the fence, or counter. I don’t know what it is, because lately I’ve found myself missing the self-induced stress of working concessions.

I miss the little moments when we hit a slow time and could spare a few minutes to laugh together. I miss being so tired after working a shift that I couldn’t see straight.

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a game and a half – and it’s the best thing I’ve done since I became an alumni of the Newton High School Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter.

The first time I went back, I only made it in for half of the game – but I had the opportunity to surprise my friends and my advisor. The reaction is one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

I didn’t have the best experience at my alma mater, Goessel High School, but nothing that happened there seemed to matter when I was with BPA.

It didn’t matter how bad my day or week had been when I went to a BPA meeting or competition. I didn’t have to worry so much about making myself likable- because my fellow club members like, and still like me for who I am. I’m not perfect, but for them I don’t have to be.

I remember having a conversation with the teacher that I had for eighth-grade computer applications (he had taken a job at Newton High School starting my freshman year) before my first BPA regional competition. It means something to have teachers who are willing to maintain a relationship, even after they have you as a student.

I was given the opportunity to surprise my Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher at the beginning of the school year with a t-shirt to commemorate our first trip to National Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Conference. It felt good to know that I made her cry happy tears when she figured out what was going.

I suppose that shows how invested these teachers are in their students. No matter how much ‘trouble’ we give them. These are the kind of teachers who want to hear from students after graduation. They are the teachers who aren’t afraid to tell you that you need to work harder or put more effort into something, whether that something is a class, an assignment, or any type of relationship. These are the teachers that you write, or wish you could write a letter so that they could know that they really did have an impact on you.

This article is coming out exactly two weeks after World Teacher’s Day. I encourage you to take a moment after you read this article to email, text, Facebook message, or otherwise reconnect with a teacher you haven’t spoken to since graduation. I can almost guarantee that doing so will make their day that much better.

I chose not to name teachers mentioned in this article because I don’t need to. I know who these teachers are, and they likely do too. I don’t need names to prove that we all have at least one high school teacher that has impacted us as an individual.

The ball’s in your court now. I dare you to reach out to at least one teacher and tell them how you are doing. Even if you think you don’t know what to say. Saying something is better than saying nothing.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying business administration

Unpopular opinion: the great Nike ad debate

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Rachel Lyons

When Nike announced its newest advertisement, which aired on September 6, featuring a Colin Kaepernick voice over, the public went crazy. Many were not happy that Kaepernick, who started the trend of athletes kneeling during the national anthem, was being given a public platform to speak, and possibly promote his actions. The naysayers are, however, forgetting a few key factors as to why Nike would pursue this advertisement.

The biggest factor is Nike’s sense of social responsibility, which is not well developed. In simple terms, social responsibility is like a code of conduct between an individual and society that tells how the person believes that one should act as a unit of the society it contributes to.

Nike has refused to uphold those standards with their influencers. That’s where I draw the line. “Business Insider” writer Max Nilsen summarized my opinion on this situation in his 2013 article “How Nike Solved its Sweatshop Problem”.

“Transparency doesn’t change ongoing reports of abuses, still-low wages, or tragedies like the one in Bangladesh.” This situation may not be related to sweatshops, but no matter how transparent a company is with the public, there is no way to change reports of unattended issues. Nike has faced issues like this since 1996’s Eric Cantona situation, yet they kept him on board.

For these reasons my “unpopular” opinion is that Nike needs to put more effort into social responsibility and ethics. As a Business major, I find it to be irritating when mainstream brands fail to uphold the values of the consumers, even if this failure draws more customers to small businesses.

I understand that a veteran wrote a letter to Kaepernick suggesting that he kneel during the national anthem, as opposed to sitting on the bench, I understand that he feels that the American flag oppresses the minority that he belongs to, but I don’t think that Nike should be utilizing Kaepernick as an influencer.

I was struggling to understand why many of the people I follow on various social media platforms had chosen to convert to only fair-trade fashion. I get it now, there aren’t issues like this with those brands, in fact, many employ women who are survivors of horrible incidents. Nike is wagering on the younger demographics of the country purchasing its products and the truth may be that those younger demographics do continue to purchase those products, not because they choose to go against social responsibility and ethical behaviors, but because they are unaware of the importance of being an educated consumer.

Overall, I believe that we need to push brands to uphold socially responsible and ethical values.

I think that it’s time we put a bit more of a good faith effort into supporting small businesses and show big name brands that we, as consumers, will stand for what we believe in. It’s also time that we educate our children and grandchildren about the importance of being an educated consumer and knowing the importance of social responsibility and ethics. If we don’t educate about these key factors, we risk having more scandals in the future.

Rachel Lyons is a Newton freshman studying business administration