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More Space to Play



By: James Wilson

With fall term starting, it’s time to get back into the habit of hitting the gym. Over the summer, the Rec Center underwent some construction to expand the fourth floor.


Rec Construction

It was rough trying to work out around this, especially with everything being moved into the courts. But now with everything moved back into our awesome updated space, it really is time to take advantage of everything it has to offer. 

Rec Construction 2For more information on the expansion click here.


Balancing School, Work and Exercise

blog1 (1)By: Xylia Lydgate

The first day of school is right around the corner, and I have yet to figure out my fall schedule —­ and I don’t mean registering for classes. Upon the start of each term, I create a “master schedule” allocating designated times for everything I need (and want) to do that day. Before the big day, I like to kick things back the old-fashioned way; I gather all my Crayola markers and create a colorful calendar masterpiece. Although I may not always look at this calendar throughout the term, having planned my schedule in advance ingrains these responsibilities into my memory and most importantly, it helps me find balance between school, work, extracurriculars and, of course, some “me” time!

It’s inevitable that I will become preoccupied with my responsibilities, but claiming that I “don’t have time” to eat, sleep or exercise is never a legitimate excuse. Making sure that I care for myself both physically and mentally is just as important as succeeding at school and work. In my schedule, I create blocks of time for eating meals and exercising. Frequent visits to the Rec Center throughout the school year has helped me to stay physically and mentally strong; it sharpens my ability to focus when returning to school and allows me to clear my mind and maintain my stamina. Keeping a specific, goal-oriented schedule handy, motivates me to stay committed to the physical and mental responsibilities that I owe to myself.

If you don’t already create a hand-drawn schedule, I suggest you give it a try! Take a little break from the screen and resort to some good ol’ pen and paper.

How do you like to stay organized?

chronicles september

Get off Your Ass and Vote

Chelsea 2

By: Chelsea Ware

Every morning when I read the news while drinking tea I am bombarded with articles about the candidates running in the upcoming elections. What’s even more surprising than the latest candidate scandals is that not only do many millennials not actively follow elections, but they don’t vote either. I would probably be able to pay off my student debt in a month if I had a dollar for every time I heard a young person say that they don’t plan on voting because it doesn’t even count or matter. Worse yet, I hear people say that they don’t vote because they don’t know enough about the candidates.

But it does count and it does matter. Student debt, health care, gun control — these important factors are all influenced by whoever is elected into office. Our votes help make that possible. While the Electoral College does have a large role in the presidential election, so do we.

The majority of the time, electors in the Electoral College vote for the candidate who has received the most votes in their particular state. Additionally, some states even have laws requiring electors to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in the state they represent and other electors are mandated by pledges to a specific political party. While there have been times when electors have voted contrary to the popular vote in their state, it is not as common as electors voting in favor of the popular vote.

In the time it takes you to find something on Netflix, you can run a google search on the presidential candidates and what they stand for. In an age when many citizens in other countries are still fighting to voice their opinions, it is important that we appreciate the fact that we have the constitutional right to exercise ours. So please inform yourself and vote. I promise Netflix will still be there when you are finished.


Looking back on a year of fitness

selfieBy: Sam Bakkila

In the corner of my room, right in front of my over-crammed bookcase, I keep my black Nike tennis shoes. These shoes have followed me a long way: they’ve cushioned me on ten mile runs, supported me when I put 300 pounds on my shoulders in the gym, and even splashed into the Willamette with me during crew practice on one of the most scorching days of this unusually hot summer.

When I started as a graduate student at Portland State last fall, I knew that I would need to be proactive about finding time for recreation and fitness. I’m getting my master’s degree in English literature, and I am also teaching writing courses to undergraduates. Trying to be a student and an instructor at the same time can be demanding and I knew that there would be no time for play in my schedule unless I made it a priority.

When I was in college, I didn’t have the healthiest habits. I rarely got seven hours of sleep, and though I liked to exercise, I didn’t make time for it regularly enough to reap its benefits. I was always tired and stressed-out and relying on coffee to give me the energy to power through my day.

I decided that graduate school would be different. My first step was that I signed up to have a personal trainer at Campus Rec. I had never felt very comfortable lifting weights—at other gyms, it always seemed like everyone else there had been lifting for years and they were silently judging my rookie mistakes. Having access to very affordable personal training led by other PSU students in such a welcoming environment was a great opportunity for me.

Before I started, I had lower back pain from sitting with bad posture at my computer, and I didn’t have enough flexibility to even perform some of the most basic lifts. Now, I lace up my Nike’s practically everyday, and as I perform my favorite lifts I feel my new-found strength radiating from my muscles throughout my whole body.

My shoes are now worn and ready to be replaced, and I find myself feeling surprisingly sentimental about letting them go. In buying these shoes, which were a little bit of a splurge on my student budget, I decided that I deserved good support in pursuing my fitness endeavors. In using these shoes, I remembered how much I like to challenge myself to get a little bit stronger everyday. Today, these shoes and their wear and tear represent goals made and goals achieved.


A Major Change

Chronicles Grav

By Shezad Khan

The fact that I’ll be a graduate student in about a month has me thinking about my undergrad years and how I struggled with deciding on a major. As a new college student, I firmly believed that I was going to major in biology. Being a bio major was something I had “figured out” in high school. But as time went on, I changed my mind. I came to the realization that I wanted to major in English – a subject that I truly loved.

I recently listened to a couple of younger college students discuss their indecision about what they wanted to do. This seems universal; I hear it from friends, family members, and other students. Now that I’ve finished my undergrad, it always seems interesting how much people stress about their major.

It’s a clichéd piece of advice to tell people they have time to figure out what they want to do – but it’s true. I guess my main piece of advice for new students, or continuing students who are still undecided, is to not stress about it. I changed my major sophomore year, and I know people who have changed their majors three or four times before finding what they truly wanted. I think the key to deciding your major is your happiness. If what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it.

Find a subject that you love, and go for it. No matter what anyone else says or thinks about it, stick to it. You’re going to be in college for quite some time, you may as well have a passion for it.


The Museum of Trees

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 1.44.15 PM By: James Wilson

As much as I love the Rec Center for all the services it offers, it isn’t the only place to have fun. We are lucky not only because our Rec Center is the best gym in the downtown area, but also because we live in the Pacific Northwest. What is great about Portland is all the options that surround our campus.


This week I decided to take a trip with my partner to Hoyt Arboretum, which is just a quick Blue Line ride from The Galleria to the Oregon Zoo. The arboretum, an amazing tree-filled park, is right next door. It’s a great and local option for hiking since it’s right near the PSU campus.



What a Wonderful Year

meBy: Sharon Nellist

This upcoming year at Portland State is the one I have been waiting for.

Not only is it my last undergraduate year (hoping to stay for graduate studies!), but I am comfortably involved in various ways to ensure that quintessential college experience that I have been pining for all of my young adult life – and I am elated!

I WRITE – for the PSU Chronicles, and I love it. This is my voice and I intend to use it. I hope to flourish my opinion on controversial issues not only on campus but within my community. This is the only option for change.

I PLAY – or rather dabble in various Rec clubs from swing dancing, to Dragon Boat racing, and rowing. I am taking advantage of all that our unique urban campus has to offer like the week-long community celebration Portland State of Mind, FREE movies at the student-run 5th Avenue Cinema, and the privilege of listening to generous amounts of brilliant minds at PSU hosted events.

I SERVE – as a Student Leader for Service through the Student Community Engagement Center. Stepping a bit out my box and yearning for growth as a leader, I am a liaison between PSU and Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives’ Healthy Food Access Program. I also am tending community gardens at low-income properties, working with residents and hosting workshops on garden eating, helping organize community service projects and getting PSU students involved! It cannot get any more GREEN or PORTLAND than this.

My only advice to all of the new students – live these years to the fullest, PSU is simply handing it to you.