What It Takes To Be A Tiger: A healthy mind, being involved, and a drive for success

STORY BY LAURYN BECKER
PHOTOS COURTESY ANNA DEAL

Throughout college and even high school, students are told that being involved is the best way to enjoy the college experience. For FHSU graduate student Anna Deal, that has never been more true than throughout her undergraduate and graduate years. 

Deal

Deal, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Communication Studies and received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in PR and Advertising from FHSU, has been involved in everything from Peer Counseling to the Delta Zeta Sorority Chapter throughout her time at Fort Hays. 

But with all of that on her plate already, she is currently also a GTA in the Communication Studies Department.

“The thing that occupies my time the most right now at FHSU is teaching,” Deal said. “ I am a GTA for the communication studies department and teach two sections of COMM100 – introduction to oral communication – also known as public speaking.”

Becoming a GTA in her graduate studies has opened her eyes to the possibility of one day becoming a teacher in the field. 

“I love teaching and getting to know my students, so this has made me think about possibly becoming a full-time professor after I graduate,” she said. 

Another important part of Deal’s life is the importance of mental health and letting others know that even though college can be tough at times, there is always help waiting for students. 

“Mental health is something I never realized would become so prevalent throughout my college career. College can be some of the most difficult and trying times of your life between school stress, managing relationships, and trying to map out your future,” Deal said. “The community the health and wellness center has built through their mental health services has positively impacted so many students, including myself. It is such a relief to know that if I ever need anyone to talk to about anything, there are always people available who want to make sure you are heard.”

With how busy Deal is, she’s learned the importance of balancing priorities and that figuring out what those priorities are is the first step to balancing a busy schedule.

“Being a grad student has definitely been challenging with workload and teaching on top of that often makes me feel like I have no free time. This semester, I have started to prioritize my physical health along with my mental health and got a gym membership at the rec,” Deal said. “This has helped me so much to manage my stress and make time for something I care about that makes me feel good.”

Another big part of Deal’s college experience has been being an active member of the Delta Zeta Sorority Chapter. Deal is currently serving as Philanthropy Advisor for the chapter. 

“Delta Zeta has brought me so many life-long friends who have helped me through so much. I am getting married in the summer of 2023 and plan on asking several of my “sisters” to be bridesmaids,” Deal said. “I have a family in Hays through my sorority and would not change my experiences for the world. I am so excited to be the philanthropy advisor this semester and help the women of Delta Zeta to give back.”

One sorority sister that has the opportunity to grow close to Deal and witness her leadership in and out of Delta Zeta is Delta Zeta President, Kati Rivera. 

“Anna has impacted my life a lot while being at FHSU. She was a senior in my sorority my freshman year and really took on an older sister role to me and my friends. She is never not in her very bubbly mood and that infectious attitude lights up a room every time,” Rivera said. “I have always admired and been influenced by Anna’s dedication to school and her driven mindset. Anna is one of the kindest souls I have ever met and she will forever be a huge part of my college experience.”  

Through everything Deal is involved in, she’s found that her true passion is found in her education. 

“I have always been extremely passionate about my education. I see school as a gift and I will never waste it. I know I am so lucky to be able to attend college to learn and grow. Graduate school has made me even more passionate about Communication Studies and the infinite possibilities that come with this degree. I love learning and sharing my knowledge with others,” Deal said. 

“The world can take so many things away from you, but it can never take your knowledge.”

For Deal, to be a Tiger means to take part in the family environment that is Fort Hays. 

“Anytime I think about being a Tiger, I think about family. I have made so many friendships here that I know will last a lifetime and have mentors who have pushed me to become the best version of myself,” Deal said. “I came to Fort Hays a scared and lost freshman and will soon graduate with a master’s degree as a completely different person who is confident in herself and not afraid to reach her goals. I owe so much of my successes to FHSU and will always consider myself a faithful FHSU Tiger.”

For more What It Takes to be a Tiger stay tuned to Tiger Media Network.

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