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.) Continue reading

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.


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.