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Posts by Haley Heynderickx

8 random facts about going to PSU

1. Believe it or not, not everyone is a hipster here. Yes there’s a lot of stylish duds and mason jar usage, but there are a wide variety of cultures on campus. Read more

Is Ratemyprofessor.com actually accurate?

Have you ever noticed how most people will go out of their way to tell someone that they’re doing a bad job, but not when they are particularly good? Where do we begin seeing this… Google reviews, Yelp, Ebay, Amazon, and (probably most prominent for college students) Rate My Professor.com. Read more

Quarter Life Crisis

If you would have told me my freshman year that I would cut more than a foot of hair off my head, learn how to longboard, and  major in communication and film, I would have thought you were crazier than the guy who walks his pet pig around campus on a leash.  (Though I hear that dude is pretty awesome, don’t get me wrong.) Read more

The Man and His Jack Russell Terriers

Every morning I emerge from the fourth floor of Stephen Epler, groggy from almost sleeping through my alarm, hungry and hopelessly awaiting dozens of collegial topics to hit me in the face. I take the stairs to the lobby and join the school of fish I call Portland State.

Through rain or shine, I stomp my way past ‘The Meetro’ only to pass a short span of open green grass. Dozens of college kids alike take this path down to the Park Blocks, and it wasn’t till recently that I noticed that almost every morning a friendly man walks his two jack russel terriers around this small grassy area. Every day I see one terrier, ripe with energy, chasing a bright green tennis ball across the little field. The second terrier, calm and polite, patiently wags his tail next to his owner. The little brown spots on each of their faces reveal two incredibly handsome dogs with two different personalities.

Day after day, the college hustle and bustle passes the man and his dogs, only to walk away a bit cheerier than what they were originally.

One day I decided to finally talk to this man and thank him for bringing his lovely dogs to the park. They never cease to leave a smile on my face, and I didn’t realize until recently how much it brightened my mornings.

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After talking with him, I finally learned one of the true purposes to his consistent early dog walking. It is not only his love for his animals (though we both agreed that animals are a special gift given to humans), but to strike a smile on people’s faces in the morning. He sees the anxious, stressed, and worried college kids each day and brings his playful dogs to the park to change their mood. Who would have guessed that this man purposely walks his dogs near campus, simply to make a stranger’s morning?

Simple acts of kindness truly make my day, and I deeply appreciate how PSU has made it possible to meet people like this.

Overcome ’50 Shades of Grey’

It’s that time of the year. That beautiful sun has gone missing and a misty grey veil has slipped over our city. Midterms seem gloomier, the snooze button is hit 10 times more than usual, and motivation has mysteriously disappeared. I’ve noticed throughout the dorms how this new dark weather has been affecting residents, and though I’m not a licensed therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist, these are my personal college tips on coping with Portland’s very own “50 Shades of Grey”. (And no, not like THAT shade of grey.)Image

  1. Vitamin C and Vitamin D! Head over to the “Vitamin Shoppe” on 4th avenue. Five bucks for a bottle of healthy mood enhancers? Yes please.
  2. It’s easy to get sucked into hibernation mode in our own rooms, but we are not small woodland creatures such as squirrels (unfortunately). We are humans who have the opportunity to NOT sleep away our winter. Set your alarm clock 10-20 minutes early because you know you’re going to hit snooze subconsciously.
  3. From my personal experience, working out is a huge mood booster. Even if you accomplish nothing else in a day, getting to say you worked out truly adds a feeling of success. All PSU students have free gym membership at the PSU Rec Center, so take advantage of it!
  4. Surround yourself with positive people. If you have that one ‘Positive Polly’ in your group of friends, make extra time for him or her. Actually, make time for all your friends. Being around others will motivate you to do more engaging activities than sitting inside all day.
  5. I would suggest adding “blue light” to your room. But let’s face it, a very small percentage of college students would actually take time to do this. If you feel that this trick will placebo your mind into thinking it’s blue outside, please take the cheap college route by making an extra tab and looking through google images for a bright blue picture to stare at. (I kid, I kid.)

Good luck fellow students! We can beat this SAD (seasonal affective disorder) ordeal together.

7 Personal Truths I have learned as a PSU Sophomore

  1. You live in Portland. You are bound to see something uncomfortably strange one time or another. Last month I saw a woman drop a greasy piece of cheese from her pizza on a wet sidewalk… And eat it?
  2. Have faith in the classes you signed up for this term. Sometimes your major requirements will surprise you, so don’t be too miserable about it! Public speaking was probably the most fun I’ve had so far in a college class setting.
  3. Find your weapons for fighting off stress early in the game. Nutella is not the answer, and neither is watching “The Bachelor”. It’s easy to eat/sleep/distract our ways away from stress, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to go away anytime soon.
  4. Be consoling. In college you’re going to see a lot of other friends and students go through numerable hardships. For example, nothing like the stress of financial planning to add on top of that midterm! It’s very easy to get swept up in the routine you already have, but try and be there for your friends; they’ll be sure to do the same for you.
  5. Don’t be scared to sit down and talk with a professional. Financial stress, mental stress, academic stress… Someone somewhere has always got you covered.
  6. “Your good friends moved 2 blocks away from campus? Better make some new friends.”  I found this random quote to be quite funny but honest. When life starts moving faster than you are used to, it isn’t uncommon to notice that the friends you knew from the year before have found different paths. It isn’t a bad thing either, it’s just change.
  7. Ratemyprofessor.com is extremely reliable. I have seen nothing but sunny skies in terms of choosing the right teacher with this website.

Does anyone else have any wise advice they’d like to add on to the list? Sophomore experience is not necessary! I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Freshman Gain is Sophomore Loss

After living in the dorms last year at PSU, I’ve learned far too much about myself in terms of eating. I remember the first time I walked into Victor’s, (PSU’s mandatory dining hall for on campus freshman) for the first time. My eyes filled with wonder at all the options! I felt no shame eating burgers for lunch or just fries for dinner if my heart desired. They always had a plethora of pasta to give, and a frozen yogurt machine to satisfy the sweet tooth.

After fall term of freshman year, I remember seeing I had gained five pounds. An extra five came with winter term. And who would have suspected? The same happened in the spring.

“I can’t believe I actually gained the Freshman 15!” I was absolutely shocked that I, a previous cross country runner and hurdler in high school, had gained that much weight in 9 months.

That is why this summer and this school year I decided to start taking care of my body. I saw students all around me eating only French toast with bacon for breakfast, pizza and fries for dinner. I decided my body could no longer partake in that lifestyle, so I’ve made a change.

The speeds of our spectacular metabolisms are starting to slow down, and if you don’t love working out, your motivation is going to run even slower. That is why I strongly suggest eating food that makes your body feel good and finding classes at the Rec Center to try out! Little did I know Zumba would be one of my greatest loves, until I finally tried it out.  It’s incredibly engaging and active. I find myself wanting to actually throw on those gym shoes and head to class. Best of all, it’s FREE along with many other classes!

Today I can say, “Hello sophomore negative 15. I have greeted you happily with open arms” because I finally have found a place where my body feels healthy and happy.

Portland’s Hopeful vs. Hopeless Musicians

I wish I was one of those lucky individuals who woke up one morning to say, “Hello world! I’m going to be a doctor. This is who I am, and this is what I want to do!” Unfortunately, I woke up from a dream of wearing purple bell bottoms playing an electric guitar that caught on fire: a female Jimi Hendrix. Of course this was probably due to the sounding of my last name, but guitar has become my love ever since I had that dream when I turned 11 years old. Why did I have to fall in love with one of the hardest passions to follow?

Let me start off by saying, I have immeasurable respect for music majors and teachers here at PSU. They are ultimately following their passions, and (from the ones I personally know) they are all ridiculously talented. Often I find myself envious, because I consider myself a hopeful musician as well. I play 12-string guitar, sing, write and record my own music, head to open mic-nights, and perform in venues around Portland when I have free time.  But what can you do when you feel you cannot make a living off these passions?

I’ve gone through the process of contemplating majoring and minoring in music, but I’ve learned that it is not the path that I’m meant for. I feel that music majors are most applicable to teaching or performing, but I am (unfortunately) terrible at teaching and do not see the point in majoring in music when I can perform as I please at the level I am already at.

That is why I am glad that I have found a healthy balance for myself. I’m going to school to pursue a degree in business advertising and graphic design, where I feel confident I’ll find a job in, and I have my passions there to enlighten me on the side. I will keep music close to the beat of my heart during this entire journey, and that keeps me a hopeful musician and person in general.

Does anyone else feel the pressure of balancing work, school and passions? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.


The Beginning of Sophomore Year

“Wow Haley! Haven’t seen you all summer. How’s it going?”

I had taken the long way home back to my dorm, holding a large stack of community posters to decorate my halls, when I ran into an old friend from my first year in the dorms. We held a quick/friendly conversation in the middle of the street.

“I’m doing just fine what about you?”

He and his girlfriend had just gotten back from a concert, all bubbly and tired from the show.

“So what’s new with you? Where are you living this year?” he asked.

“Oh, I became an RA. I live in Stephen Epler now.”

That’s when the conversation changed. The street suddenly became silent. I felt a tiny shiver from his spontaneous speechlessness. With TV-series-like drama, he uttered the words, “Oh, an RA? …We’re enemies now.” And simply walked off into the night. No goodbyes were given. His girlfriend gave me a heinous stare before whipping her head around to join him.

It never hit me till walking home that Wednesday night. This is now my life. My name is Haley Heynderickx, and I decided to become a Resident Assistant (RA). I live on campus and try to build community in our residence halls. I introduce students to other students, listen to their problems, and try to make a difference in their lives. I am a good person. I go to school full time, record and play music around Portland, make time for my friends and, to top this off, work.

How am I supposed to feel like a normal student, though, when I have this “RA Sticker” permanently stapled to my forehead? Every day I make an effort to prove to the world that RA’s have feelings and emotions like normal human beings. Our jobs are not to “go and get you in trouble” when the opportunity arises. Our jobs are to keep the peace! We do not seek for drama. We just fix it when it arises.

Please on-campus readers, if you have any space in that Portland-loving heart of yours, take this desperate plea to respect us RA’s. We put time into those posters, don’t rip them down. We make time to get to know you, not annoy you. RA’s are friends, not fiends.

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