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Posts by Kate Jensen

Graduate school worries

About three months ago I noticed a perpetual voice in the back in my head, always asking the same question: “What are you going to do after graduation?”

I have always considered myself an academic, and grad school seems to be the natural next step. But should I go right after completing my undergrad? That means that the next few months will be spent shopping around for schools, seeking out financial aid opportunities and scholarships, and studying for the GRE.
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Coffee obsession

Coffee in Portland means more than just a cup to wake you up in the morning, it’s an obsession. Campus has a few primary coffee shops frequently visited by students and faculty. From a barista’s perspective, here is where I go for what:
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A reaction to the Boston Marathon Bombing

I am a proud graduate of Columbine High School. I grew-up in Littleton, Colorado and remember the day of the shooting perfectly. I remember the way my parents held me after that day, and the grief that spread across the county, and country.

This week has turned into a time of grief in the United States. There have been numerous tragedies during this week in April: the Oklahoma City bombing, the shooting at Virginia Tech, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the shooting at Columbine High School, and now the Boston Marathon bombing. Read more

A Devastating Leak

Knock, knock, knock! “ResLife!”

I sat up in bed. The clock read 4:30 a.m.

Knock, knock, knock . . . “ResLife!”

“Just a minute!” I yelled back. I scrambled in the dark to find my phone and a
sweatshirt. My boyfriend was up and beat me to the door. The light from the
hallway was almost blinding as we opened the door to find an RA standing
outside. Read more

5 Ideas for Valentine’s Day

V-day cookiesStill stumped with what to do on Valentine’s Day?  Check out some of these ideas, single or taken:

  1. Make something chocolatey – This is one of the most common gifts for your sweetie, and can have fantastic results. Maybe get some fresh strawberries and dip them in chocolate yourself; don’t underestimate the power of some homemade dessert.
  2. Dinner for two – Busy schedules keeping you two apart? Try getting together and making dinner as a team at home. This gives you time to catch-up on each other’s lives in a more casual setting than dinner out. Plus you get to keep the leftovers.
  3. Date night dilemma – Stuck in a dating rut and on a budget? Make a jar of popsicle sticks with fun ideas for a night in or out. This gives you something tangible for your better half, it’s inexpensive, and can help you spice up the romance.
  4. The Single Mingle – Get your single friends together for games and dessert. Just because you don’t have a date doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun!
  5. A Night for yourself – If you’re feeling down about single life, today is a great opportunity for some rest and relaxation. School is stressful! Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse for a night of pampering and focusing on your own needs.

Higher Education Cushion

higher_edLast term I took two elective courses that made me question my choice of major and career. After two years of pursuing Economics, a class in Health and Health Systems was precisely my cup of tea. At the same time, I was taking a course on Nutrition, which inspired me to cook more often and in a much healthier way.

I noticed that while I was excited to get ahead on readings and homework for my health classes, my econ homework was often thrown by the wayside. I procrastinated more for those econ classes than any other in my entire life. All fall, my close friends had to endure my constant narrative about whether to change my major. And at the end of the term, I finally did. I’m now officially majoring in Health Studies.

Nearing the halfway mark of my junior year, I am thankful for the cushion that comes with still being in school. Changing my career after college would be even more difficult than changing my major in my junior year, which, trust me, was terrifying. My appreciation for the security and freedoms I have as a student have grown substantially, as well as my respect for those who have made a career change, returned to school, or enrolled for the first time in order to make a job transition later in life.

How many times have you changed your major? Are there any other “cushions” in higher education that you have grown to appreciate?

Learning From Alexis

Alexis PicIn 2013, my ambition is to become more like my friend Alexis. She is a senior at PSU and has seen her family only five times since starting school four and half years ago.

I just got back from seeing my family in Colorado at Christmas, and it was the most important thing I did all year. The opportunity to see my family is a rare treat; traveling to another state requires plenty of money and planning that restricts me to only two visits a year, three if I’m lucky.

It’s easy for me to feel sorry for myself when I compare to friends whose families live close by in Oregon, but not at all easy when I look at Alexis.

She was born on Saipan, an island you’ve probably never heard of, and is one of the most dedicated students I have ever met. Most students have their entire junior and senior years of high school to decide if and where to go to college; Alexis was given the duration of one phone call to commit to moving to Oregon and left the very next day.

Despite being far from home, I have never heard Alexis complain about attending PSU, only about how much she loves and misses her family. What I admire most about Alexis is her perseverance and gratitude; always thankful to be going to school and eager to give back to Saipan.

It is time to make gratitude a priority; I am thankful for my family, both in Colorado and Oregon, and for the new friends I’ve made who continue to inspire me.  Your turn!

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