Navigating Winona State University: Reflecting on the Ups, Downs and My Choice to Transfer

My time at Winona State University

While I was finishing up high school, I decided to pursue higher education at Winona State University, in Winona MN.

During my senior year in 2021, I was not able to tour schools due to the pandemic, so I chose the only school that I had toured.

I packed my belongings and moved onto campus in August. I decided to study I-Design. A choice I hoped I would enjoy due to my love of design.

My First Semester

After moving to Winona State, I had a difficult time adjusting and making friends. I ended up making friends in my classes. I enjoyed my first semester there, but I had this aching feeling that I wasn’t in the right place.

That aching feeling led to the decline of my mental health. I made it through the fall semester without any trouble, but the tides changed after winter break leading into the second semester.

Spring Semester 2022

After winter break, I took it upon myself to start scouting out other schools that I could transfer to. At this point, my mental health was at an all-time low.

I knew about Drake University because my sister is a Drake alum, and I knew that I had some connection with the school. I made the decision to apply to Drake University, just to see what would happen. I ended up getting accepted in March, and I had a difficult choice to make whether I should finish the year or withdraw from Winona State or not because I wouldn’t have made it through the semester.

After talking over the situation with my advisor, I came to the decision that withdrawing was the best option for me. April 2022, I had my admitted students day at Drake, and I knew that I made the right choice.

My Time at Drake University So Far.

When I moved to Drake University, it became clear that it was the correct school for me. I fell in love with the classes, the people and the location.

I came to Drake as a double major in multimedia journalism and graphic design, but that quickly changed to multimedia journalism and public relations.

It took me some time to decide on what I wanted to study which ended up being digital media production and graphic design. After I figured out what I wanted to study, the classes came easier to me and I was starting to make more friends.

My mental health started to increase, but it’s a battle I continue to fight on a daily basis.

Wrapping Up

Overall, I am thankful for my time at Winona State because it helped clarify that Drake was the school I needed to be at. Drake has given me so many opportunities to grow, that I wouldn’t have pursued if it wasn’t for Winona State. So, although my time at Winona State was rocky, I value my time and experience being a WSU Warrior.


The Art of Collecting Vinyl Records

The Start of My Collection

I started collecting vinyl records in late 2022, and it has turned into a slippery slope. I use my vinyl collection as a form of identification, a person can understand who I am based on the records in my collection.

I started collecting vinyl records to express my personality through music. Music is a big part of me, and having a way to collect my favorite albums by my favorite artists means so much to me. The first vinyl in my collection was “evermore” by Taylor Swift, and that vinyl and album means so much to me.

Best Places to Shop for Records

There are plenty of places to get vinyl records, but the best places to do so are local vinyl stores. Buying from local stores contributes to the community’s vibrancy and growth. Personally, if you are in the Des Moines area, I suggest Vinyl Cup Records or Marv’s Music for any vinyl purchases.

My Favorite Records in my Collection

Throughout my time collecting records, I have accumulated a total of 52 vinyl records, which is bound to increase as time goes on. Within my collection, there are a few albums that are special to me.

Those albums are:

  • “Snow Angel” by Reneé Rapp
  • “folklore” by Taylor Swift
  • “evermore“by Taylor Swift
  • “Emails I Can’t Send” by Sabrina Carpenter
  • “Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo

“Snow Angel” by Reneé Rapp

This album is special to me because I have been a fan of Reneé Rapp since she was on Broadway. I find it exciting that her first album has done so well.

“folklore” by Taylor Swift

“folklore” is Taylor’s eighth studio album. This album is interesting because it is about a love triangle between James, Betty and Augustine. I find Taylor’s storytelling throughout the album very engaging.

“evermore” by Taylor Swift

“evermore” is Taylor’s ninth studio album, and is the sister album to “folklore”, as seen above. This album is special to me because it was the first vinyl I bought, and it is my favorite album by Taylor Swift. This album is a lyrical masterpiece and is an excellent display of Taylor’s song writing abilities.

“Emails I Can’t Send” by Sabrina Carpenter

This album is Sabrina Carpenter’s fifth studio album and is chock-full of pop hits. The songs are written in a manner that are catchy but also holds a deeper meaning than the pop-like tunes allow.

“Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo

“Sour” is Olivia Rodrigo’s first studio album, released in 2021, and quickly soared to the top album at the time. It is full of catchy pop songs and gut-wrenching ballads. “Sour” will always hold a special place in my heart due to the time it was released. It was released around the time of my high school graduation so it has many good memories associated with it.