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Posts from the ‘Campus Life’ Category

Grass really is always greener

Grass is always greener
By: Teddi Faller

Since moving back to my hometown of Portland as a transfer student from UC San Diego, I’ve repeatedly asked myself where I was/am happier. Happiness cannot be measured quantifiably, but I try anyway. Usually it turns into a series of points and categories.

The city? I have a different answer depending on the weather, and on where I’m asking myself this question. I’m not thrilled about rain, but I like having a holiday season that actually feels like a holiday season. Plus, nothing beats the realization that I could spend my lunch break at Powell’s – the bookseller haven. I’ve switched out palm trees and an ocean view for high(er) levels of caffeine and a compulsive book buying problem.

The school? To be honest, I’ve cursed both schools’ names, and for pretty much the same reasons: I just do not want to do school sometimes.

Then come the harder questions.

The people? I spent so much of my time at UCSD missing my friends back home, and now I do the same thing about my southern California friends.

My job? The only question that gives UCSD a resounding POINT in its column. My job at the UCSD Bookstore came into my life at a most crucial time and I miss it like crazy. Technically I do the same thing at my new job, but it’s awkward because I don’t have the same base of support at my new job that I did at UCSD.

Yes I miss UCSD, and no PSU isn’t solving all my problems – which, of course, I believed it would at my height of homesickness. But I understand that different things don’t mean bad things, and simply replacing old things with comparable things does not mean it’s as good or better. But that’s okay. Some days it truly, in my bones, bothers me that I’m not 100 percent thrilled with the way my life is going, but if I was ecstatic all the time would it not get boring? On the flip side, when the bad days do come, is my discontent only amplified by the fact that a “normal” day is only a lesser level of discontent?

I guess my only options to solve this “problem” are a) smile and fake it, or b) get over it.

Nine Things I’ve Already Learned This Fall

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By Grace Carroll

1. Living in a single can be scary. I almost choked on a corn nut.

2. Shared restrooms are not so bad. Despite living on a floor with roughly 25 girls, I rarely run into other people in the bathroom.

3. Volunteering is a good way to get involved with PSU. Volunteering at the Women’s Resource Center gives me the chance to help do important work in a friendly environment.

4. Yes, I CAN put off all the homework for my 400-level Honors seminar until the night before it is due.

5. College sports can be super fun. On a whim, I joined rugby, and you could say I’m having a BALL.

6. If while studying in the library, someone irritates you by loudly talking on the phone, DO NOT passive-aggressively write “SHHHH, IT’S A LIBRARY” on their notebook while they’re at the water fountain. Go to the fourth, fifth floors or the basement, they are designated for silent study!

7. You can have small class sizes even at Oregon’s biggest university. Last year, my classes had 30 students. This fall, I’m in a class of ten 10 (and the rest aren’t much bigger).

8. Unlike the “cool kids” in my building, I still love my meal plan.

9. Nothing is more beautiful than the Park Blocks in autumn.

Tips for Living in the Dorms

By: Amanda Katz and Marilynn Sandoval

Ahh at last, the time when every incoming freshman student counts the days until they move out of their parents’ home and into a college dorm. Keeping in touch with their future roommates, who may be from other states and countries. Trying to figure out who will bring what and what their taste and preferences are.

Well, we have some tips for you incoming freshman. Having lived in the dorms for a combined three years at PSU, we have learned a few things.

1. Keep your doors open during Viking Days so you can meet new people!

2. Walk through each floor saying “hi” to others with their doors open. Hey, you could meet your new best friend!

3. Bring these essentials: cleaning supplies, laundry hamper, power strips and a side table.

4. Get involved with activities during Viking Days and throughout the school year. They are fun and there is free food at almost every single one! Here’s the schedule: http://bit.ly/ZaXCdy

5. Invite students you don’t know from your floor to hang out with you.

6. Be nice to your Resident Assistant; they are there to help you, not hurt you.

7. Don’t bring: toaster ovens (not allowed), extra clothes (if you don’t wear it often don’t bring it), gigantic stereos (leave them at home unless you’re a DJ), things that hang off a ceiling (not allowed).

8. Ondine students: Bring bed risers, so you can lift your bed off the floor. You can find these at your local stores such as Target, Walmart and TJMaxx

Broadway students: Save space by lifting your bed up from the lowest setting to the highest setting (ask your RA if you have questions on how) and putting drawers and other storage underneath.

9. Roll up t-shirts in your drawer to space save.

10. Lastly, bring posters, photos, and wall art to liven up your walls.

Hopefully these few quick tips will help all you freshman looking forward to the moment you have “freedom.”

So, our fellow dorm-life students, are there any other tips you would give to first-time students living in a dorm? Would you recommend living in a dorm or not?

Adventure Just Outside Your Door

Portland is a city surrounded by natural beauties, and now that the sunny weather is finally upon us, students may find themselves itching to reconnect with the great outdoors. No car? No problem! Here are six destinations guaranteed to ease your spring fever, no road trip required.

  • Mt. Tabor: Great for hiking, biking, and (my favorite) picnicking, Mt. Tabor is the crowned beauty of SE Portland, located at the top of the Hawthorne district.
  • Hoyt Arboretum: If you’re looking for a cool walk through the budding trees, the Arboretum is the place to go. It has tons of different trails to explore, including a walk to the Rose Garden.
  • Oaks Bottom: Take a walk on the wild side along the Crystal Springs Corridor and immerse yourself in the swamp-life of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.
  • Bishop’s Close, whose wonderful gardens are a must-see this time of year, is a gorgeous and historic property situated above Elk Rock and looking out to the majestic Cascade Mountains. Take a stroll through the labyrinth of shrubbery or along the stream. Watch out for newts!
  • Tryon Creek State Park: Oregon’s only state park within a major metropolitan area, Tryon spans 645 acres of hiking, biking and horse riding trails that stretch through Multnomah and Clackamas counties.
  • Forest Park in the Tualatin Mountains is one of the largest urban forest reserves in the country. I would recommend the Balch Creek Canyon trail and a visit to the Audubon Society. The park encompasses the best of Portland’s natural areas, so there’s really no wrong way to go.

An open letter to the Registrar’s Office, or rather what it represents

By: Emily Skeen

Dear Registrar’s Office,

I’m not graduating yet. Now, I’ve never met you, so I’d like to begin this by saying I’m sure you are probably a lovely group of people. Please know that none of this is actually directed at the specific individuals sending these emails to possibly-soon-to-be-graduates, but rather the university they are writing on behalf of, the society who says I should be in a different place than I am, and all the things that these emails represent. You get the gist, right? Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, graduating. I’m not graduating yet! And while I appreciate the 5, yes 5, emails I have received from you letting me know that I should probably be getting up and out of here and on with my life, I’m not. I will, I don’t plan to stay at PSU forever, $40,000 of debt is enough for me, I’m just not done yet. And that doesn’t mean I’ve been fooling around, or going part time, or anything else, it just means that my degree doesn’t really fit in with that fancy new “4 year guarantee” the university seems to be rolling out now. And not just because I transferred, it just isn’t possible for a student to come take classes full time, be involved in all the things you need to be involved in to have any shot at getting in to a good grad school, work 20 hours a week, be in a relationship, have a social life, and sometimes even eat, sleep, and if I’m really lucky, shower. So thank you for the reminders, I’m sure I will appreciate them when that happy time of my graduation does happen upon me, but until then kindly take your emails away and stop reminding me that I’m a little bit behind the “average student”. I’ve never been average, why would I start now?

Sincerely

A slightly hectic super-senior

You Don’t Know What You Got . . .

Student Insurance . . . plus SHAC is available, too.

Student Insurance . . . plus SHAC is available, too.

By: Theo Burke

As I graduate, besides memories and friends, I am leaving behind the awesome Portland State student health insurance. I’ve written about this before, now I’m experiencing the difference.

Since I don’t know what job is coming down the pike or what kind of health insurance it might carry, I’ve applied for individual insurance through Cover Oregon, the state exchange that sells private health plans (with federal subsidies to help pay the premiums) under the Affordable Care Act, or “ObamaCare.” The state exchange will alternatively sign you up automatically for the state’s Medicaid program (the Oregon Health Plan) if you qualify.

In the real world, I will have to think more about the deductible. A deductible is an amount you pay each year (usually $250 – $1000 or higher) before any benefits are paid by your health insurer.

At PSU, the deductible was $0.00.

My present doctors might not be covered by a new insurance company. At PSU, the Aetna provider network was vast.

I will have to worry more about whether alternative care is covered. At PSU, naturopathic doctors are treated the same as primary care doctors, and chiropractors are covered up to twelve visits per year.

Weirdly enough, when I heard from Cover Oregon recently, they put me in the Oregon Health Plan, even though I reported enough income to disqualify me from that program. Now I will have to figure out the Medicaid ”world,” which works much differently than the private insurers’ system, or else contest my placement in that program with Cover Oregon.

Students, the PSU plan won’t throw you such curve balls. You have an awesome, generous health plan, and you should take advantage of it before you graduate. As I’ve said before, you don’t know what you’ve got, until you lose it.

| Spring |

| Spring |

by Sierra Pruitt

Spring time always make people giddy and it’s one of the best things I get to witness during this season. Being in Portland, I absolutely love the days of sunshine because people are outside enjoying what we don’t get enough of.

But I have also came to the conclusion that we need to love the season we are in and not dwell because “summer isn’t here yet” or “school hasn’t ended.”

We all need to make the most of each day and become content with the present.

Here’s to spring, the blossoming flowers, and living in the present!

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