C.R.E.A.M.

By Teddi Faller

  
Nothing makes you feel older than when you have take a new job because of the financial benefits – like stable hours, higher pay, stocks and 401ks. I consider myself a die hard loyalist when it comes to jobs. This is probably because the first job I ever had was a dream and I was pulled kicking and screaming from it due to relocation.

After that I tried to find a similar job – and huzzah! — I succeeded. Unfortunately, retail and certain industries are suffering right now. The hours were inconsistent and the upward mobility was non-existent — no movement at all. I fell into that trap of comparing one job to another, which never ends well.

This leads to searching for new jobs even if you aren’t necessarily unhappy.

And if a new job offer comes along, you are faced with a difficult choice — stay with what you know or take a jump.

The scariest thing about putting in your two weeks’ notice is spending those next two weeks wondering if you made the right decision.

In switching jobs you:

1. Realize that you’re comfortable in your job
2. Realize how awful it is to be new at a job
3. Realize how much you like your coworkers
4. Realize how much you might not like your new coworkers
5. Wonder whether you made the right choice

Life is made of hard choices. Moments like these remind me that I am, in fact, a grownup. When staring student loans in the face, and the potential consequences that your loans might have on your future spouse — extra grown-up points? — career choices became more “what can I afford” rather than sticking with something that’s comfortable.

I suppose the takeaway from all this is simply to take risks when we’re young, so that when we’re older we can chase our dreams knowing we’re taken care of.

“Dorm Jealousy”

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By: Zaira Carranza

Since coming to Portland State University, I have made many friends that live in campus dorms. I can’t help but be a little jealous because living in the dorms would make my life way easier. One of my friend lives on the 10th floor of the Ondine. She has the most amazing view of Portland from her room. I always go visit her to take naps. She has one roommate and two suitemates whom she shares the bathroom and kitchenette with. The dorms are more spacious than I’d expected and you can decorate it as you please. My friend keeps hers very clean and minimalistic. Some of downsides of living in the dorms are being homesick and having to deal with roommates on stressful days. Other than that they are super convenient, and I can’t wait to one day experience dorm life.

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Is This Home?

Chronicles Grav

By Shezad Khan

This is my fifth year at Portland State, and my last year as an undergrad. It’s very common remaining for half a decade in one place is enough to make you sick. In March I received an email letting me now that I had been accepted into a Master of Arts in English Graduate Program. Obviously, I was incredibly excited and even a little proud of myself. Can you guess where I’ll be attending school for my years as a graduate student? How about somewhere else in the state or even a neighboring state? Maybe the east coast, or even out of the country!

Alas, the answer is that I’ve decided to stay right here, in Portland, to attend Portland State for another few years.

So what is about Portland State that is so enticing? I’ve met people from several different states and several different countries who moved to Oregon so they could go to school here. Maybe I should have taken the time to ask what influenced their decision. But since I don’t have their points-of-view, I will offer mine.

  • My family moved to Portland when I was just two-years-old. Although we moved out of the city itself, Portland will always be my home.
  • My first visit to Portland State was overwhelming. It seemed enormous. Although it looks a little smaller now that I’m used to it, it’s still a giant campus.
  • The diversity of students and staff is incredible. I came from a high school of about 3,000 kids, there was diversity there, sure, but nothing compared to the wonderful cultures that mix at PSU.
  • I’m always learning something new about the campus.
  • There is always some sort of event going on. I seriously need to take advantage of this one!
  • The staff that I’ve had the honor of working with and taking classes from are simply amazing.
  • Last, but definitely not least, I have met some of the coolest people at Portland State. With so many attending students, it’s hard not to make friends.

I’ve enjoyed my last five years at PSU, and I have no doubt that I’ll continue to enjoy it during my years in the Master’s Program, regardless of how long it takes.

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Wait… elections are happening?

By: Marilynn SandovalMarilynn

Did you know the ASPSU elections are going on? To be honest, I had no idea until I heard a group of people discussing running for office. In my time attending PSU, I have only voted once, and that was because someone I knew was running.

I like to complain about things that don’t get done on campus or changes that need to happen; yet I usually don’t participate in these elections. I would like to think that I’m not the only one who forgets they even happen. I assume the number of voters isn’t high.

So I decided to do some research on this year’s elections and vote. Yes, I said it, I’m going to vote this time around, and I think you should, too. Through my research, I found that this year’s elections are actually controversial and causing important debates. I would suggest you check out this article of the coverage of the elections this year [http://bit.ly/1HAM5H9]. I know some people who are running too, so that was definitely a nice surprise.

I won’t disclose my own personal votes, but I would suggest for you all to do some research and cast a vote this year. If you want a change to happen, put a little bit of work in. It wasn’t all that hard pushing some buttons and hitting submit.

Check ASPSU’s homepage to learn more about the candidates at http://bit.ly/1G3ZMyY and hurry because the poll closes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd.

Photo credit to hercampus.com http://www.hercampus.com/career/career-how-tos/5-ways-fight-senioritis-land-job-after-graduation

The Graduation Blues

Brooke HornBy Brooke Horn

I have a countdown app installed on my cell phone. It has three events on it: Portfolio Due, Thesis Defense, and Commencement, each with their own countdown timer. It tells me that I have six days left to finish my portfolio, thirty-six days left to panic about my thesis, and fifty-nine days until I will (with any luck) walk across the stage at the Moda Center, beaming, having earned a Master’s degree in Writing and Book Publishing.

That day feels both terrifyingly close and impossibly far away. There is so much to do before then, so much that could go wrong. And yet, even though it feels like my two-year degree program started yesterday, I feel confident. My education and experiences have equipped me with both a unique range of skills and, perhaps more importantly, the confidence to go forth into the mysterious beyond of post-graduation adulthood.

Never mind that I still waited until the last possible minute to file my taxes this year, or that I opt for pizza and Netflix instead of cooking a real meal more than I’d like to admit.

Over the past two years, I’ve juggled a full graduate course load, 2-3 jobs and internships each term, a serious relationship, and a leadership position on campus. Both of my parents were hospitalized due to medical conditions within the last few months too. To be frank, I’ve been a walking bundle of stress.

Keep-Calm-and-GraduateIf I could pass along one piece of advice to my fellow students, it would be this: learn how to manage your stress. Because you will, inevitably, face a point in your life when everything seems to come crashing down. Knowing how to relax, how to let go and take care of yourself – these are things that I never learned until I really needed them, and looking back, I wish I had learned them sooner. Now I know better: I recognize my limitations, and I listen to my body when it tells me to slow down, go for a walk, or pour a bubble bath.

But thankfully, both of my parents are recovering, my portfolio is coming along nicely, and my friends have been both patient and supportive. I bounced back. I’ve made lasting relationships – both professional and otherwise – and worked with some truly talented authors, students, and educators in my program. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I look forward to the future waiting on the other side of that stage.

Cloudy Day

Embrace the Gray

 Chelsea 2

By: Chelsea Ware

It seems like every day, whether I’m in line for coffee, riding the streetcar or in class, I hear someone complain about the rain. “I’m just so sick of this gloomy weather” or “I wish we would get more sun.” This attitude towards the rain in the Pacific Northwest astounds me!

First of all, the abundance of rain we get keeps the foliage lush and leafy. Oregon and Washington have some of the most beautiful trails, forests, and outdoor scenery. This is largely due to the fact that it rains much of the year. It keeps everything clean, green, and growing.

Secondly, as a native Californian I love the rain because I understand how much of a precious resource it is. After the lowest snowfall ever recorded and no end to the drought in sight, many homeowners in California have resorted to spray painting their dehydrated withering front lawns green. Back home my parents have to time their showers so that they don’t overuse their water ration.

Lastly, the rain makes it perfect for studying at one of Portland’s many cozy coffee shops. I love to go with friends to the Mezz café at the Pearl District Whole Foods when it’s raining. Not only do they have delicious coffee, it’s also right next to Powell’s Bookstore. So next time it’s less than sunny outside and you feel like complaining about the weather, try to remember that the rain is vital to many of the things we get to enjoy in Portland.

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The Choices you make at the Fork in the Road

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By: Jasmin Landa

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you weren’t going to college right now?

Would you be working at a part-time job, traveling, or relaxing on a lawn chair thinking about the things you want to accomplish?

The reason I find that question so intriguing is that while the human mind has the capability to dream and have aspirations for the future, it is also very susceptible to thinking of the past and dwelling on it. But at the end of the day, we can only live in the present and go forward. We gain memories and experiences from our past, and they shape who we are, but life moves forward not back.

Even though your past has had a lot to do with shaping who you are, this does not mean that where you came from and what you have done in the past determines the person you want to become tomorrow. It only takes one decision to change, alter, or ameliorate the life that you had in the past. It’s not where you have been that’s important, but where it is you are going with the dreams and aspirations that are within you.

If accomplishing our ultimate dreams was an easy process, the words “hard work,” “trying,” “sacrificing” and words of encouragement would not be used as often as they are. Challenging people’s utmost potential and breaking boundaries creates leaders, innovators, and phenomenal people. So what would your life be if you weren’t doing what you are doing? Well, it’s a thought that has escaped my mind. Today is only here for 24 hours, and the seconds will soon become minutes, and time will soon fly by, so live the life that you chose as you are the painter of your own portrait.