Jose Peacock.

MIHEC Student Profile: Jose Peacock

I stayed pretty busy my first year in college. I’m in the University of Iowa Reach program, and I have an on-campus job setting up events at Iowa Memorial Union, for a little bit of extra income. I set up tables and chairs for events. At home, I’m still employed with the Science Museum of Minnesota, where I’ve worked for more than four years. I help my neighbor with yard work since I like gardening and get paid for that, too. I have to be organized, and I like having some structure to my schedule. That’s important for people going to college.

I hope to get into a class on plants and vegetables, like what we grow and put into our meals. I’m really into conservation and working in the outdoor space. When we come back next year, I’m hoping to meet with the landscaping crew on campus to talk about an internship. I can see myself working in that for the city or a county after college, too. Last year, I worked with the Conservation Corps, where I got trained on how to use a chainsaw to cut down a tree safely, identify and remove invasive plant species, and manage prescribed fires, which are important for conservation. I go fishing a lot, too. I live near the Mississippi River, about ten minutes away, so it’s nice to fish there. People say, “Oh, fishing is boring,” and it can be if you don’t have patience for fishing. But I have that kind of patience where I could go two hours without a bite, and then I’d still be out there even after that. It’s all about being one with nature for me.

I advise someone new to college to get involved with clubs, sports, and friends. Try to get as much into personal activities as you possibly can. Go to a football or basketball game—I wish I had gone to a Caitlin Clark game for her last year at the University of Iowa. Getting involved helps with the homesickness. A first-year student right out of high school might experience that, so just get involved. You can even keep the door to your room open for people to say “hi.”

You need to advocate a lot for yourself in college. If you want something, you’re the driver. Your parents and support team can help. But it’s up to you to make it happen. They won’t do all the work for you. And you have to be organized. Set up a few reminders on your phone, make notes, and be prepared for in-person meetings. I had to advocate for myself by setting up a meeting with the landscaping crew about my internship because it didn’t happen last year. Luckily, I’m naturally pretty organized, which is good because most of this advocating for myself was on my own. I’m really looking forward to my internship next year and my future.