Lucy, I’m home!

As some of you may remember, my last blog entry was about finding an apartment and having to move. Well, it happened. In the span of 72 hours, my roommates and I found an apartment, signed papers, and moved – mostly because ResLife at Portland state required me to move out ridiculously quickly. Continue reading

It’s the great apartment hunt, Charlie Brown!

For-Rent-Sign-bigAs some of you know, I live in the dorms here on campus, and while they are wonderful, my best friend and I have decided to move in together summer term. Unfortunately for us, housing on campus does not have any two-bedroom options available (unless we live at University Pointe, which is too expensive for us) and we don’t want to share a one-bedroom place. Since there is a lack of two-bedroom housing on campus, we are forced to look elsewhere.

For us living downtown is too costly since we have a budget of around of $1,000-$1,100 in rent per month, while we like the convenience of living in Portland, square footage increases dramatically outside of downtown.  Portland is too costly for the average college student.

Thus far our search has included the Lake Oswego and Beaverton areas, where we’ve looked at apartments and townhouses. These areas are our preference and while we’ve had some luck, we are by no means finished looking. We have a couple months till we have to move, and plan to do plenty of visits and research to find the perfect place! I’ll miss the convenience of living on campus, but saving a couple hundred dollars a month on rent will more than make up for the extra commute time!

Keep Calm, and Blue Punch Buggy!

Blue Punch Buggy!Midterms are here and brought stress attacks with them. We’re going into crunch time for the term, and midterms, lab reports, papers are all starting to hit due dates. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be stressed and worried about grades and starting to spend less time with friends and loved ones, and more time in your books or notes trying to get that one extra question correct come test time.

We tend to forget, during this time of the year, that the world exists outside of our classes (or maybe you forget that the classes exist outside of the world, if you are doing poorly. Who knows?), but if you take a moment to relax (and everyone should!) what do you do to take a night off? For me, it’s watching movies with my guy. Our favorite is Lilo & Stitch.

So I say during the course of midterms and lab reports being due remember to take a night off and enjoy yourself. Or keep calm and Blue Punch Buggy! And remember… No punch back!

Hello, Heart? It’s me again.

t_460x0_gay_couplesWinter Break came and went, and for some of us it brought change moving into new apartments, getting pets, graduating from school, or passing or failing classes. For me, it was meeting someone new. This brings with it a challenge of balancing school and personal life – something which is always difficult for me.

I had recently given up on dating, having had a string of bad luck with flaky guys or just plain weird fellas. But it seems the old proverb about when you stop looking, you find what you are looking for, seems to be true. We even met in the weirdest and best possible way: through a friend, due to a flat tire of all things. For me, the chance encounter after being frustrated for so long has been a breath of fresh air, and one I feel I am ready to embrace.

Winter term arrived and brought with it a possibility of love! I am excited, and eager to take the steps with my guy. Next up, another date… My question for you readers out there: how do you balance school life, work, and your special someone?

When MAX introduced the neighbors

The MAX train.

About a week ago, my best friend and I were on the MAX riding back to Portland State. We had been in Milwaukie, and were coming back to get dinner at my place and then head to a concert that night at the Crystal Ballroom. We were excited to see Brandi Carlile live.

Sitting across from us on the MAX was a mother and two daughters. The youngest was fast asleep in her mom’s arms, but the other was busy asking questions and acting, shy as most little kids do. Eventually, she got up the courage to ask both us if we were Portland State students, since we were studying and talking about classes. We answered, and a conversation was born. The mother, my best friend and I all began talking and soon discovered that she too was a student. But more than that, she even lived in the same building as I do.

It struck me that night that we are all strangers passing each other by, and the community of Portland State is indeed wide stretching and very diverse. I think we take for granted doe faced youths as college students, and forget that we students come in all shapes and sizes and ages. So next time you are sitting on the MAX, keep in mind that maybe you are looking at your neighbor two floors down, or a future classmate. We don’t always have to be strangers on a train.

It’s a mad, mad world

We all know going to school is stressful and being on your own is too. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a psychiatric condition. I’m happy, healthy and stable due to my doctors, prescriptions – and most of all – due to the amazing support system I have in my family and my friends – my two best friends to be precise.

On the days when I am “off”, because of stress or being sick or meds mixing wrong, I lean more heavily on the people around me. I had one of these days recently, and I was not functioning well, if at all. Someone, whom I love dearly, stepped up without question to take care of me. While I knew before how valuable my friends are, and how much I love them, this instance only made me understand it better.

For some of us though, our support systems are far away – either in different states, or maybe in different countries. I say, be aware of the people in your life. Take notice of them, and when someone is having a bad day, be a little nicer. Because you never know, it might just make a difference to them. For those out there like me, be aware of your resources. Sometimes all you need to do is tell a friend, “I’m having a bad day.” But if you need more support, PSU’s Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC) can help.

Going into this academic year, I plan to stay healthy, and to have as much fun as I can. With the support and love of the people in my life, I know this is not only possible, but guaranteed.