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Under(grad) Pressure

Portland State University Graduation Ceremony 2012

The last year of your undergraduate career can be kind of scary and overwhelming. If you’re planning on going to grad school and you haven’t even started to prepare, it’s time to step on it.

I, like many others, am a severe procrastinator when it comes to things that stress me out. A lot of times I need that sense of pressure as a push for me to get things going. I finally got up the nerve to email some professors about getting letters of recommendation at the beginning of this month. Although this isn’t a severely late start to the process, it is a lot later than it should be. I still have to take my GRE and put together my writing samples. This is one of those things that you won’t want to save until the last minute. Honestly, it’s just going to get worse the longer you put it aside.

Start planning early. Look for schools that have grad programs you’re interested in. Research the programs instead of just checking for your field of study. Start the application – make sure you know exactly what they’re looking for in the application. Send your requests for letters of recommendation ASAP. You want to give your professors enough time – they’re probably a lot busier than you are – and if they write you a letter, you owe them a lot of gratitude.

Trust me, folks. You’re going to be glad if you start sooner rather than later. It’ll make ending your last undergraduate year a lot smoother.

A purr-fect match: Tips for student pet-owners

Brooke's cat Ulysses

Brooke’s cat Ulysses

By: Brooke Horn

When I moved here, I couldn’t bring Bandit with me.

I knew that a 400sqft studio in the city is no place for an energetic Black Lab, and that I would be able to adopt after the move. Bandit was more than happy to stay home with family and escape the traumatic experience of flying. After settling into Portland, I did a lot of research into pet adoption. For my fellow students who own pets, or are interested in owning pets, here are some of the best tips I’ve come across:

 

  1. Know the pet rules for where you live. According to PSU’s Housing & Residence Life FAQs, “The only animals allowed in on-campus housing are fish in a small tank (up to 10 gallons), cats, and service animals that are pre-approved by the Disability Resource Center (DRC).” For those of you who live off-campus, it’s important to know that most management companies will require you to have renter’s insurance (I decided to go with State Farm for $10/month), and most have a policies regarding weight and breed restrictions.
  1. The Oregon Humane Society is wonderful. Not only do they have great pets that desperately need good homes, they have a phenomenal list of resources for pet-owners. This list covers everything from which apartments are pet-friendly to sample pet references/resumes.
  2. Buy all of your pet supplies in advance, and make sure you really have the room in your home AND your schedule to devote to a pet. Pinterest has some great student-friendly ideas for DIY pet furniture that saves space!
  3. Spend some time researching your local veterinarians. Although they’re a little far from campus, the folks at Powell Veterinary Center have been kind to me, my pet, AND my wallet.

I finally met my purr-fect match through The Delicious Mickey Grrrl Fund – a small group of dedicated, friendly locals who match neglected pets with forever homes. They went above and beyond to make my adoption experience wonderful, and now I’m the proud pet-mama of Ulysses (pictured above).

Have an inspiring adoption story, a cute pet photo, or know of a good pet resource? Share it with us!

Join •Participate•Be Fearless

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Photo Credit: Jasmin Landa

By: Jasmin Landa

PSU’s annual Party in the Park commenced on Oct. 7, bringing together all campus organizations that can offer students avenues to particiapte in something they love, whether its something, whther its something pertaining to their educational major or an extracurricular activity.

Student organizations are a great way to get involved, an to find other students on campus with similar attributes, interests and excitement for activities.

During the Party in the Park, I was able to learn about, sign uo for and connect with various student organizations, one being the Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club). This club and thos who are part of i inspire my dreams and entrepreneurial desires to start my own company one day. I am learning a lot while also discvering more about myself.

So as we approach winter term, have you joined any student organizations? I encourage you to get involved: Join, Participate and be fearless.

Here is a link for a current list of student groups/programs and their contact infromation:

http://www.pdx.edu/student-leadership/sites/www.pdx.edu.student-leadership/files/Group%20Info%20and%20Contacts.pdf

It is a wonderful life

By: Sharon Jackson

I absolutely adore this time of year! See expression below.

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Bulky sweaters. Knitted socks. Hot holiday beverages. “I could go on forever baby!”

My dad and I used to pull out several boxes of tangled strings of large light bulbs from the attic and attempt to wrestle them into a straight line.

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After many hours and a few curse words, we would finally attach them ever so precisely to the outline of our home. I am certain we had the best looking house in the neighborhood.

For this reason I get a bit nostalgic on Peacock Lane: a block in Southeast Portland where each vintage Tudor home has been entirely decorated since 1920.

My mother and I would watch A Christmas Story every year [I seriously believe the movie is an accurate representation of her childhood holidays] and laugh hysterically at the leg lamp catastrophe and terrible gifts from distant relatives until we would cry.

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My first holiday in Portland, I started to feel a bit homesick.

For this reason I am always present at Portland’s Annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square : the official start to the holiday season with the lighting of the 75-foot Douglas fir and a sing-along of all the favorite holiday carols by a family of random strangers, even in the pouring rain!

My Insight into CLSB

By: Marilynn Sandoval

I’ve become a huge fan of the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building on the South Waterfront. Sure, the transportation there might not be ideal for some folks. But the new labs, lecture halls, research space and restaurants are really nice.

Photo provided by: Portland State University

Photo provided by: Portland State University

I’m a science major, and I started at PSU the same year they began construction in 2011. I didn’t know if they’d be done on time for me to experience having classes in the new building, but they must have had amazing people working on it, because it opened this fall. I’m sure we have broken in this building quite fast. Almost every seat in the 400-student lecture hall is filled from class to class.

The most exciting part about this building is that we get to interact with students from OSU and OHSU. As my chemistry professor put it, “You never know who you can run into in this building.” I hope to experience the new labs and research space and meet more students from other schools next term.

I also enjoy taking the streetcar there for free. You just have to play a game of puzzle trying to fit everyone after class has ended. I’m there around lunchtime, so I’m grateful when my stomach is growling and there is a Starbucks located just right in front of the classroom. Oh, and there is an Elephants Delicatessen, too!

However, one thing the building is missing is a spot to print papers quickly. If anyone does know about a printing spot in there, please share your knowledge! I’m still trying to figure out the building myself.

Has anyone else been able to explore the new building? If so, what did you think about it?

Three Tips for Picking Classes

By Grace Carroll

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So you’ve just gotten a message to your .pdx e­mail that it’s time to register for classes.  Maybe you have a list of subjects you’ve always wanted to study, or maybe you just know the next Spanish class you need to take. Where ever you are in the process, here are some things to think about when registering:

● How often is the course offered? Keep in mind that some classes are not offered every term at PSU, while others are. For instance, most TOP: (topic) classes change each term, and if you find one specific to your interest, that should perhaps take priority over the Intro to Queer Studies class (a UNST Cluster course) that you’ve always wanted to take.

● What are your most productive times of the day? Sure, you’re sick of getting up with an early schedule, but maybe you’re just burnt out by evening classes. If you’re falling asleep in class, you may need to rearrange your day. Consider when you are most motivated during the day, and when you be best able to do your homework.

● Who is the professor? It’s true, you don’t always get much of a choice. But when you do, looking into your professors’ backgrounds can be a deciding factor in which classes you take. Portland State’s website has profiles for many of its faculty, so check the department pages for your courses. If you don’t find anything there, RateMyProfessors.com is your next step!

Still have questions? TALK TO YOUR ADVISER!

Please Silence Your Cell Phone and Enjoy the Show!

post 1 picBy: Chelsea Ware

For a college student like me who is on a tight budget, going to a mainstream movie theater can be tough. $11 for a ticket? $6 for popcorn? All for a movie that’s a remake or just full of plot holes and lousy acting… However, there is still a way for students to enjoy movies without breaking the bank right here on campus. 5th Avenue Cinema, Portland State University’s student run movie theater, is free with your student I.D. You also get a complimentary bag of popcorn.  One to two movies are featured every weekend at 7:30 and 9. It is a great place to check out vintage titles such as “Gremlins” and “Return to Oz” while supporting your fellow students.

If you are new to campus, it is a wonderful way to meet other people because it is definitely not your conventional movie theater. One of the coolest things about 5th Avenue Cinema is that the patrons know how to have an exciting time. When I was last there a few weeks ago to watch the Japanese horror flick Pulse,   people gathered in the lobby before the show to talk and munch on their popcorn.  During the movie, the audience was cracking witty jokes and strangers were laughing together about the characters’ poor decisions.  The small theater size and enthusiasm from the crowd made the amusement palpable, and it was hard not to be infected from the humor that buzzed around.

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest that you check out some of their screenings. All upcoming titles and show times can be found at http://5thavenuecinema.org/.

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