Day in the Life: Cristina Alma McNeiley

Megan Ward MS ’13

from Fall 2016

Cristina with students“You’re going to leave this place and go to college” are the words first-generation college student Cristina heard from her parents. She admits that, during her first semester of college, it was a struggle to find a good balance between schoolwork and having fun. Her advice? “Use your time wisely when it comes to schoolwork, and take advantage of any free time you have to do what makes you happy.”

Cristina clearly has found the sweet spot, balancing a heavy course-load, SGA leadership, and outings to downtown Indy. Speaking of sweets, they’re a favorite of Cristina’s at the dining hall. She says, “Atherton really hooks it up with the desserts”—soft cookies, a sundae bar, and vanilla cake with pink frosting—she’s “in heaven.” It sounds like Butler basketball in Hinkle isn’t the only thing that fills her heart with joy!

To avoid running back-and-forth to her room throughout the day, Cristina packs everything she needs for the day in her backpack: books, supplies, and, of course, snacks! And, if she could, every semester she would take a class with Professor Jess Butler, who “keeps sociology interesting” and “cares about how her students are doing in and out of the classroom—which says a lot.”

During her (rare) free time, Cristina enjoys going out to eat, taking advantage of SGA late-night programs, watching movies, and napping. As for the future, she’s dreaming of doing the “fountain hop” before graduating and attending law school after graduation. She hopes to practice law in Indy or Chicago and have her own law firm someday; then, she wants to own an art gallery. Ultimately, she wants to say, “I always did what I loved.”

Cristina's Typical Monday

9:30 AM—Wake up, eat breakfast, pack and prepare for my morning meeting and then class.

10:45 AM—Leave Apartment Village and walk to Atherton for my

11:00 AM meeting with Jen Agnew to talk about what I’ll cover in my Diversity and Inclusion Board meeting later today… or sometimes we just talk about how everything is going.

Cristina walking to classNOON—Statistics class. I’m not the greatest when it comes to math, but I try my hardest to pay attention and ask questions.

1:00 PM—Time for Research Methods. I try to stay focused, but sometimes it gets hard—it’s one of my longest classes.

2:15 PM—Time to grab something to eat at C-Club, say “hi” to people in the Diversity Center, or walk back to my room for a power nap.

3:50 PM—YES, last class of the day. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency is so interesting, and I have a few friends in this class.

5:05 PM—Head to Atherton for my board meeting at 6:00 PM. I’m looking forward to our great upcoming programs!

7:00 PM—Time to grab some food and go back to Apartment Village to eat, or my boyfriend will come over and we eat together.

9:15 PM—Final meeting of the day! I love being around these individuals in SGA Cabinet. We make sure that we get the important things done first, but always save time to catch up and relax. Sometimes, it’s my favorite part of any Monday.

10:40 PM—Time to get some work done at the library or the apartment.

1:00 AM—Bedtime! I try hard to get to sleep by this time—depending on my workload.