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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

It’s Too Damn Warm

As a native Californian, I never imagined I would say Iowa was “too warm” for anything. Perhaps with the exception of move-in week my first year, when we had heat-advisory warnings and I often woke up drenched in sweat, I’d always imagined Iowa weather to err on the colder side and the winters to fill our loggias with snow and dread. Especially my first winter was a harsh introduction to the Midwest, when I was forced to digest the meaning of the term “polar vortex.”

But alas, now it’s the middle of November, and we’re consistently enjoying weather that hovers in the 60s. Yellow (not red!) leaves still cling tightly to their branches on North Campus, long after one would expect them to have fluttered to the ground. There have been no real cold snaps to speak of. The gingko tree by the swing set doesn’t smell like a stink bomb yet. Some days have even brought “beach weather,” although I haven’t seen as many people tanning on Cleve Beach as I would expect.

But if it’s warm enough to walk around in shorts mid-day, it’s certainly too warm for any kind of productive hunting. Pheasants, deer and ducks have all been relatively elusive, content to sit in hidden draws and wait for the cover of night. As such, there’s not much to say along the lines of what this column is usually about. I figured that until we get some serious cold weather, I would take the rest of the space in this week’s column to focus on what I’ve learned at Grinnell, and what I wish I had known three years ago.

I want to preface this advice with a disclaimer that it is not meant to be a complete list, and it’s primarily a reflection of my preoccupations at Grinnell this semester. Obviously, your priorities will differ from mine, so feel free to adapt and alter this advice as you please.

First, Grinnell has one of the best athletics facilities for its student body size among all colleges in the United States, and unless you go on weekdays at 4 p.m., the equipment you want is almost always available. If you’re trying to change up your workout routine, both the rock-climbing wall and the lap swim at our natatorium are amazing. They’re supervised and allow you to stick with whatever level you feel comfortable with. And we host Division III nationals in our pool for a reason: the water is never too chlorinated, it’s always the perfect temperature and you almost always get your own lane on free-swim days. It’s within walking distance, and it doesn’t cost you any extra money to go there.

Secondly, as a job-seeking fourth year, don’t forget to look at job review sites like Glassdoor! It can save you so much heartache, and help you compare secondary considerations like mentorship or retirement benefits. Likewise, not only is it great for finding out what salary you can expect/negotiate at your next job, but it will also help you avoid dodgy sales jobs that are essentially dressed-up pyramid schemes. (Take it from somebody who applied for a quite a few).

Along those lines, if a job is really (really) easy to apply to, chances are that hundreds, if not thousands of other people have applied to it. Most of the mass-recruiting websites for well-known companies just use algorithms to sort you via your resume, so it’s important to know where to allocate your time. Most positions have a certain waiting period before you should expect to hear back. If the job is a) super easy to apply to and b) responds right away, alarm bells should be going off in your head.

Third: do you remember kicking yourself for wishing you had started your college application essays earlier? I’m the same way, as I told myself: enjoy your summer, then do job apps when you’re at school and more likely to be focused. But it never quite works out that way, so get started EARLY! And then start earlier than that. Treat job/grad/service apps like Puppies and Pancakes or Drag Show — you can never get there too early.

Fourth, and finally, the CLS website has a lot of helpful handouts, and so do a number of other schools that have to find careers for significantly larger numbers of students than there are here. I highly recommend checking these out, as they are all public access and you will gain connections to positions that don’t show up on LinkedIn, Indeed, SLAC or Pioneer Link.

And here’s a fun one that you probably already know about: HyVee has a 5 percent student discount if you show your P-card, which can be really nice for loading up on the weekend!

-Steve Yang ’17

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