Meet Amber Crow, Iowa's Very Own Explorer

Name: Amber Crow 

Hometown: Truro, Iowa 

Major: Double majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications as well as Ethics and Public Policy

Favorite Snack: Chips and queso 

Favorite Movies: She's The Man and The Time Traveler's Wife 

Favorite TV Shows: Game of Thrones and Scandal 

How many countries have you traveled to and which is your favorite one? 

I have been to 17 countries (including the United States). My favorite ones are Spain, Ireland and Ethiopia. It’s impossible for me to pick just one! One thing that I love that they all have is amazing, kind and genuine people. I hosted a girl from Spain as a Foreign Exchange Student and spent a few weeks over there in high school where I went to a Spanish high school and stayed with a family over there. I returned there again this year when I was studying abroad in Prague, and it was honestly so amazing to see all of my friends over there. I loved Ireland because of the weather and the people there. Everyone is so friendly and funny, and I met a family when I was in Poland, and we joke that they’re my adopted parents. I visited them, too, at their home in Belfast when I went to visit. Ethiopia has a special place in my heart because my sister’s husband is from there, and they got married there. Spending time with such a large and loving family over there definitely changed my life and my perspective on families. I also lived in Prague in the Czech Republic for six months and studied at Charles University. It was a really amazing experience. I think traveling and education are the two most important things we can do to make our world a better place. 

What are some of your hobbies, and which do you like best? 

I’ve always been someone who gets involved in too much. I really like playing volleyball and softball, watching football (massive Green Bay Packers and Iowa football fan!!!) and participating in Mock Trial. I also just love getting involved with international stuff like hosting students when I was in high school, and now I’m a part of a Global Buddies program here at Iowa where we get paired with international students and show them around and be a friend! I think I like playing volleyball the most, but it’s the activity I get to do the least. I think maybe that has something to do with it, sometimes we do stuff we love too much and burn ourselves out. 

If you could go back in time and give tips on your freshman self, what would you say? 

Looking back at my freshmen year self I was a mess. I came in as a pharmacy major and realized I hated everything about it. I had a lot of nights where I cried, felt really insecure and stupid and felt like my worth wasn’t existent anymore. I came from a small school where I was a big fish in a little pond, and freshman year here at Iowa made me feel like a little fish in a big ocean. My roommate and now best friend was really essential in me finding my way to where I am today. She always says, “Everything works out for me.” It sounds silly, but whenever something goes wrong I tell myself that, and it really helps me out a lot. I also really want to tell people and myself to build relationships with professors and TAs. I’ve found that not only can they help you with your academic and professional life but with your personal life, too.  

What made you choose your major and what would your dream job be? 

I’ve kind of come full-circle with my career choice. When I was in high school I did Journalism and Mock Trial and really, really loved it. My parents weren’t super excited about the journalism idea, and at that point I didn’t think I was smart enough or confident enough to be a lawyer. I battled a lot of stuff in high school and never knew what I was capable or worth. I settled for something that I thought made my parents happy and mostly because I felt really lost. It wasn’t until I started to hate my classes that I realized I needed to take a step back and reevaluate my life. I had built a relationship with one of my professors who helped me realize my strengths and passion for things like advocacy, policies, problem-solving and arguing. After I realized that, it all clicked for me, and I’ve never been happier! 

What has been your favorite moment so far in the semester?  

This year I have a lot going on! I’m a resident assistant here at UIowa, the Vice-President of Active Minds, a member of Iowa Mock Trial and a Global Buddies member! I think my favorite part of the semester has been getting to know my residents. My heart has just melted seeing their love, passion and patience as they interact on my floor. I also really love being a resource for students and helping ease their transition to college. It’s crazy knowing that this summer I’ll be taking the LSAT, then applying for law school and then graduating from Iowa. There’s a lot of unknown in the future, but I know that if I take it one step at a time and remember that everything always works out for me, everything will be okay! 

About The Author

Ridhima Jagtap is a college newbie, a.k.a a freshman, working towards a degree in the field of journalism. You'll often find her chasing after cats and watching adorable cat videos on YouTube. If she's not doing this then she'll be singing her lungs out so that her whole floor can hear her. She hopes to blow people away with writing what she's passionate about. Books, music and a lot of animals!