Keegan Crain, '15, got together with a group of friends and grilled during a football game.

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Electrical engineering major Keegan Crain feels accepted in Midwest at Iowa State University

Find out what the members of the class of 2015 are up to in their first year of college. A college freshman is featured in the Freshman Focus every Friday.

Keegan Crain, ‘15, attends Iowa State University in Ames. He is majoring in electrical engineering and considering a minor in business finance or biomedical engineering. Iowa State is home to 30,034 undergraduates and 5,096 graduates.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: Electrical Engineering 185, math, chemistry, English 101 and a library course that is required.

Q: What’s your favorite?

A: Electrical Engineering 185 because my professor “does not teach. (We) learn.”

We learn how to think critically and relate “the most brilliant” musicians or geometric functions to the real world.

Q: How’s the engineering department?

A: Amazing. All of the teachers care about having their students succeed. And everyone is just so helpful when you need it.

Q: How’s your dorm?  

A: My dorm room is small, but my roommate and I were able to fit everything we had in it and made it look amazing.

Everyone (54 people) in my dorm “house” is really cool, and a majority of us eat lunch and/or dinner together.

Q: How’s your roommate?

A: (He) is a pretty cool kid. He is from a small town in Wisconsin, and we get along very well.

Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

A: A lot of my friends and I are going to be active in intramurals, such as outdoor and indoor soccer and volleyball.

In a week, we will be in a street soccer tournament that is a fundraiser for Pencils for Promise, which gives the less fortunate children school supplies.

Q: What about Greek life?

A: Next semester, I will join a fraternity called Lambda Chi Alpha.

(At first) I did not want to join because I wanted to attend college without anything “anchoring me” down.

(But) I think I will have absorbed enough of the college life by (next semester).

Q: How’s the weather?

A: So far the weather been nice. But everyone says I will die in this weather because, during the winter, 20 degrees Fahrenheit is “shorts weather.”

Lately, it has been highs of 70 and lows of 40. I might have to go shopping for more winter clothes.

Crain and his friends dress up to check out the night life of Iowa State University.
(Photo used by permission of Crain)
Keegan Crain (center row, fourth from left) and his friends dress up to check out the night life of Iowa State University.

Q: What’s Ames like?

A: Ames is known as a college town, like Davis. There is campustown and downtown, but everyone hangs out at campustown because there is more to do.

However, there is a Buffalo Wild Wings, Wal-Mart and Target downtown.

Q: How do you like the Midwest?

A: So far, (it’s) interesting. There are lots of kids from in state and Illinois.

It is getting cold much faster than I am used to, but the football games are pretty fun.

I cannot wait for basketball season to start because our team has some of the top players in the Midwest.

Q: What’s the most embarrassing freshman mistake you’ve made so far?

A: I took the wrong bus and was late to class. Also, I did not end something before I started something else (more information for anyone curious enough to ask me).

Q: What surprises you about Iowa State?

A: The most surprising thing is that they are very accepting of who I am and where I am from. Also, even though our football team is not top 10, we are still very enthusiastic about them.

The most disappointing thing is that our football team is not very good. (After finishing 2-10 last year, the Cyclones currently have a record of 1-2.)

Q: What makes it special?

A: We are not a well-known college, so the people who know about the college are very enthusiastic about it.

The main reason I wanted to go here was because it was close to family in Kansas City (so I had a home away from home), it has a great engineering program, and it has decent sports.

I wanted an academic yet fun campus.

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2016?

A: Do not get attached to anything too early on. Experience college as what it is. Have all doors open rather than one or more of the doors closed.

Also, do not “spread yourself too thin” (president of Louden, Crain’s dorm house).

If you pack too much in your schedule, then you won’t have enough time to hang out with your friends or have enough time to study for your tests the next week.

Speaking of which, start to study for your tests at least a week early.

Think about going to a school that is located somewhere other than the West Coast. Learning how non-West-Coast schools work is just as (educational) as it would be to study abroad.

—By Zoë Bowlus

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