Haley Hollern: UI Homecoming Court 2016

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Haley Hollern is a senior from Champaign, Illinois, majoring in Communication Studies, minoring in Human Relations, and receiving a certificate in Leadership Studies. 

What is a fun fact that no one knows about you?

Hmmm. A fun fact nobody knows about me?! That’s too hard to think of! My go-to fun fact is that I have a set of freckles on my right thigh that when connected, make the Big Dipper. One day in high school, I was sitting in math class and I could feel myself drifting and getting sleepy, so naturally, I decided to doodle on my leg to wake myself up and that’s when I made this STELLAR discovery! 

What is a favorite memory from The University of Iowa?

Picking just one memory and labeling it as my favorite is a near impossible task. There are so many people and adventures that have made my time here at Iowa oh-so-special. If I have to pick one, I’ll take y’all back to my sophomore year fall finals week. A group of friends and I were halfway through the week and most of us still had several big exams ahead. We’d spent hours and I mean HOURS in the student organization office and suites (SOOS) in the IMU studying, laughing, napping, crying (only a little bit), and laughing some more. One night, it was close to midnight and we’d all reached that delirious everything-is-funny stage and next thing I know, we turned the SOOS into a little club. We set up strobe lights, a bubble and fog machine, and played some tunes (shout out to CAB for providing us with the materials!). For the next half hour or so, we danced and reminisced on the semester. We took a much needed break from the stresses of finals week to remind ourselves of the good company we were fortunate enough to be surrounded by and the memories we’d made. In that moment, I remember feeling so beyond blessed to call Iowa my home and those people my friends.  

If you had a superpower for one day, what would it be?

If only for a day, I’d want the ability to teleport. I’d say something like flying, reading people’s minds, or healing, but imagine how much ground you could cover in a day if you could teleport! Traveling is a huge passion of mine and I’m sure I could knock a lot of destinations off of my list if I had the ability to simply close my eyes and open them in a new part of the world. 

Why do you want to be a part of Homecoming Royalty?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again - this university has given me so much more than I ever expected. If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I thought I’d help plan and execute bringing Kevin Hart to campus for a show in Carver Hawkeye Arena or that I’d help welcome and transition thousands of incoming students through programs like Orientation and OnIowa!, I’d have called you nuts. The opportunities I’ve been given, people I’ve met, and challenges I’ve been faced with have helped me define who I am and grow as both a young woman and a student leader. With that being said, being a part of Homecoming Royalty has been a way for me to commemorate and celebrate my journey as a Hawkeye. 

What is something you would like to see changed in the world within your generation?

One thing I’d like to see my generation change is our dependency on technology and social media. My friends always give me trouble because at any given time, it’s not unusual for me to have 50 some text messages sitting in my inbox. We joke about the fact that it takes me 3-7 business days (sometimes even longer) to get back to them. While I think that social media and the advancements in technology bring with them so many benefits and have made communication much more accessible and quick, it’s also become an obsession. As a generation, we invest so much time and energy into our social media accounts - constantly comparing, checking in, and updating. It’d be nice to find a healthy balance.

If you had the chance to redo one year on campus, which year would it be, and what would you do differently?

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Looking back at my time at Iowa, each decision I’ve made, conversation I’ve had, and person I’ve met has brought me to this exact moment. Sure, there are mistakes I’ve made and opportunities I’ve passed on that I shouldn’t have, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s all been a part of my journey. As a Senior, there’s a few things I wish I could’ve told Freshman Haley: say yes more often than no, don’t be afraid to be the first to say hello, and buckle up for a wild ride because it’s true when they say these four years are going to go by in the blink of an eye!