Is it awkward when all the foodcart people know you?

foodcart

By: Zaira Carranza

On the PSU campus there is a food cart for every kind of food you can think of: Thai, Mexican, Mediterranean, Arabic, American and the list goes on. When I am sad I can just go to the nearest food cart and my frown will be turned upside down. When I walk out of the library, I can smell food. The hardest decision is deciding where to eat, because everything is delicious. Needless to say, I have gained 10 pounds my first term of college.

Some of the foodcart owners know my name. Even when they are not working they recognize me on the street. Like many students, I have two jobs and am a full-time student. Basically I’m always hungry and don’t have time to cook. Don’t you think there should be a section in the FAFSA for estimating how much money you will spend on food? It’s where my money goes.

Chelsea 2

Resources for Managing Stress at PSU

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By: Chelsea Ware

It’s only the second week into the term, so why are we all so stressed out already? From team projects, jobs, and internship applications, it can be hard to manage everything and remain sane. But no need to pull out your hair while on your way to grab your 5th Starbucks coffee because I have listed some tips and on-campus resources for battling stress.

1. Visit SHAC: In addition to counseling, SHAC has many services that can help during hectic times. Their Mind Spa allows students to relax and rejuvenate at no charge. Services include light therapy, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, or a massage. In addition, SHAC now offers low cost acupuncture. http://www.pdx.edu/shac/mind-spa

2. Break a Sweat: Working out has been a proven way to relieve stress and promote overall well-being. The PSU Rec Center offers an easy way for us to do this by providing weight and cardio machines, a track, a swimming pool and classes. It’s free to get in with your student I.D card. http://www.pdx.edu/recreation/home

For those of you who prefer to work out outside, there are many clubs that offer an outdoor setting. I personally love the PSU Running Club because it’s a great way to meet other students and enjoy some of the trails located near downtown Portland. My favorite is the Springwater Corridor near OMSI, offering 20 miles of lush trees and some pretty scenic views of the Willamette River.

3. Go to Campus Events: During midterms and finals, PSU often posts flyers with anxiety-relieving events such as ice cream socials and therapy dog sessions. While it can be easy to say no, I personally think that spending time with dogs is a great way give one’s mind a break from all of the chaos that comes with school and life. And trust me, the dogs are really cute!

4. Enjoy Your Food: Most Americans eat too fast. Eating slowly and mindfully enhances the pleasure of the dining experience. In addition, a recent Japanese study involving 1,700 young women concluded that eating more slowly resulted in feeling full sooner, and thus eating fewer calories at mealtime. To master the art of slow eating, put on some music or sit somewhere that gives you a view of the park blocks. Your stomach will thank you!

What are your tips for managing stress? Please add them in the comments section below!

Marilynn

Two jobs, 14 credits and no time

By: Marilynn Sandoval

Time, it seems to be one of those things you never have enough of – especially if you’re a full-time, out-of-state student with two jobs, like me.clock

College is definitely not cheap. I am taking 14 credits this term, and for an undergraduate Oregon resident, tuition is on average $2,030. For an out-of-state student, tuition is on average $6,860. That’s more than $4,800 of a difference I have to somehow pay. Thank you, financial aid!

Yes, I realize that I could have chosen a school closer to my hometown to save money. However, I wanted to explore different places, and I fell in love with Portland. It also doesn’t help that living in Portland is somewhat expensive.

So what is my solution to this problem? Work two different jobs before and after classes. That doesn’t really leave me with a whole lot of time to study and to just stop, breathe and relax. However, I am thankful one of my jobs is right on campus and I work with a staff that understands. They emphasize how important school is and want us to succeed.

I know I am not alone in feeling the struggle of working two or more jobs to help pay for school and other expenses. What are your tips for balancing your time between work and school?

Chelsea 2

How Rocks Taught Me about Happiness

Painted Hills By: Chelsea Ware

A little while ago I found out that I needed two more science credits to fulfill the requirements for that portion of my degree. My academic advisor told me about one-credit lab classes that consist of trips around Oregon where students learn about the natural environment. One of the one-credit classes I signed up for was a geology camping trip in central Oregon. As a business student, I didn’t expect this class to have a huge impact on my learning. I was very wrong.

During the day, a tour bus took us to different locations throughout rural Grant County, near John Day where we dug for fossils and hiked on scenic trails. At night, we cooked dinner by campfire and made s’mores. My favorite part of the trip was taking a two-mile hike through the Painted Hills. Listed as one of Oregon’s seven wonders, they get their name from the delicately colored yellow, gold, black and red stratifications in the soil.

As someone who grew up in the city, this trip had a vast influence on how I see the world. The residents of Grant County sometimes lived miles apart and many of the towns had populations under 200. There were no malls and no cell reception, yet the people were so content and happy. I think a lot of people base their happiness on material possessions, such as owning the latest IPhone. But maybe the reason we feel like we always need more is that once we’ve bought that thing, we quickly realize that it didn’t make us as happy after all. This leads people to get lost in an endless cycle of materialism that is difficult to escape. Through my trip, I learned that true happiness comes from the simple things, like a panoramic view of the mountains at dusk or cooking sausages over a fire with friends. True happiness comes from things that can’t be bought from a store.

The Seven Wonders of Oregon can be found at: http://traveloregon.com/7wonders/

Affordable camping gear for PSU students is available through the PSU Outdoor Program: http://www.pdx.edu/recreation/outdoor-program

Would you be willing to protest at the PSU campus?

mecha

By: Zaira Carranza

What kind of rights would you fight for? Would you be willing to protest at the PSU campus? Today as I was walking to class, and I stumbled upon a protest. My immediate reaction was confusion. I then realized it was for a good cause. The protesters were trying to send a message about the political problems going on in their home country. It impressed me because they have so many places to go in Portland and they came here. Everyone came together for one common cause. The diversity on campus made the protest fun and interesting.

Chronicles Grav

Under(grad) Pressure

Portland State University Graduation Ceremony 2012

By: Shezad K.

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!