Balancing Act

Three women explore the art of having it all together; running for a cause, buying groceries and making summer memories

I first started running in the summer of 2009. I was about to go out for my first season of cross and followed a strict training schedule. At the same time, a cultural fitness trend was still getting off the ground.

Road races popped up all over the place. Strapping on a chip and a bib were no longer reserved for an elite group of athletes in larger cities.

In those first couple of summers I ran so many “first ever” road races of various distances. City fairs, charitable causes and just about every other event now features at least a 5k.

I love this trend. I love how welcoming the running community has become. Especially since we can easily become a somewhat elitist bunch when comparing splits and mileage.

I love that these fun runs offer everyone something to aim for. A 5k is a very attainable goal. Anyone can do a 5k. Yes, anyone. I know someone out there will say, “not me,” but that person would be mistaken.

There are apps that promise to get you from sitting on your couch to crossing a finish line. With commitment and determination anyone can cross that finish line. That’s how I will end this column: with a challenge to you all.

Find a cause you agree with and sign up for their road race — no matter the distance or how fast you get from start to finish. At the very least you’re almost always promised a T-shirt and banana.

— Courtney Kueppers, Editor in Chief


Groceries are expensive. As a college student who has been lucky to have parents pay for groceries, I was only acutely aware of this until recently. I would pick anything and everything up at the grocery store, thinking, “This might be good.”

If it wasn’t good, oh well. I would have no problem giving it away — worse yet, throwing it away — because my mentality was “not my money, not my problem.” But with graduation approaching and total independence on the horizon, I have become obsessed with my grocery bill.

The key to spending the minimum amount on groceries? Meal planning. It’s as easy as taking 20 minutes one day to plan exactly what you are going to eat for the next week.

This way, you know exactly how much you need of each staple and won’t waste money on things that will only go bad in your fridge. Lost at what exactly to plan for your meals? Wait for the Saturday ads that overflow your mailbox. Take a page out of your grandma’s book — shop the sales.

On a recent trip to Trader Joe’s I got food for a week and a half for $55. By shopping the sales, planning ahead and eating only what I have, the grocery bill is finally starting to freak me out a little less.

— Kristina Bornholtz, Managing Editor


For some of us, the days of lectures and exams will soon be done. I am looking forward to sitting on my porch on a sunny afternoon with a book in one hand and iced tea in the other.

No college summer looks the same. Some of us are graduating, some taking summer classes, others taking internships and a lot of us are spending the sunny days working.

Regardless of what you’ll be doing this summer, you’ll have free time — some more than others. Don’t waste the entirety of those nice days on Netflix. Don’t let that be your answer to the question, “What did you do this summer?”

Instead, what if this summer goes down as “The one with all the roadtrips?” Instead of hiding inside, what if your friends got together and visited each state that claims it has the largest ball of twine? There are four of them, after all.

It doesn’t have to be that elaborate either. It could be “The one with (insert favorite author here),” too. You could spend all of your extra time reading books by one person just to say you did. I suggest Arthur Conan Doyle, but I do have a Sherlock bias.

What about “the one with the pancakes,” when each morning you make a different kind of pancake. It may get difficult around week three, but I think it can happen.

Dream big people, this summer could be one for the books.

— Anna Mateffy, Photo & Multimedia Editor