Natural Hair Journey

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 3.26.49 PM By Danielle Emeka

I started my natural hair transition about three years ago. I put the straightener and blow dryer in storage and embarked on my own personal hair journey. Maybe it wasn’t the best time being a student taking 12-16 credits a term, working part time, and still trying to find time to eat and sleep, but there never is a perfect time.  

A black woman’s hair is her crown and I wanted to grow mine. Learning about my hair’s texture, porosity and what it loves and hates was a big challenge. But I’ve learned more about myself in the process.

In college, multitasking is a way of life, and my natural hair journey forced me to become better organized in that I had to schedule my wash days. Nothing is worse than having to decide between washing a two week old twist out and finishing that essay! After many discussions with myself over the bathroom mirror, detangling my hair with a wide-tooth comb. Tangles are all too very real. The longer one goes between washes, the longer it takes to get all the tangles out. I will never again wait too long to wash my hair. Learn to be more patient. It’s called wash day for a reason. You can’t expect perfect curls and healthy hair if you aren’t willing to put the work in. I love myself and my uniqueness. Yes, my hair is different than most. I couldn’t love it any more.

College is all about self exploration and discovery. We’re all here not just to get a degree but to learn about what kind of person we are. For the black students who are  pondering starting their journey, do it! If you’ve already taken the plunge, congrats! Don’t give up. It will get easier. I promise.

Changing Seasons

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 3.22.40 PM By Philip Hartman

Autumn is slowly changing into winter. The leaves that once shone brightly in the trees on those clear crisp fall days have long since faded into the ground. Walking across the Park Blocks to class and seeing those vivid colors become muck reminds me of the change of the seasons.

As I start my senior year at Portland State I become uneasy with what the future holds. Can I actually succeed in the career path that I worked so hard for? My insecurities slowly fade as I realize I’m not the only one who has these thoughts. I’m not alone. The seasons do change, but I’ve made a variety of friends on campus who lessened my fears and insecurities for the future.

It’s not selfish to think about these thoughts, but to keep moving forward without holding back.

With each passing season let’s not hold back from our dreams. Every day is a new day in which we can succeed.

Why do we fear change?

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 3.33.32 PM By Jasmin Landa

I ask myself this question every single day.

I have found that sometimes change can bring about new aspects in one’s life that are exposed as agents of growth. For example, my senior year has begun at PSU, and I know big changes are coming. This has forced me to decide: Do I fear these changes, or do I embrace them?

For example, this past year I was able to travel abroad to Japan — an opportunity that I was scared to embark on. I kept trying to convince myself that I couldn’t sustain myself in a foreign country with a foreign language. I scheduled a meeting with my international adviser, and I expressed my concerns about how nervous I was about the new challenge I was about to embark on — one that was going to bring about a new level of capacity, a new level of discomfort and adaptability. As I was explaining my fears, she stopped me, and asked, “Jasmin, life is about change, and I want you to know that you have a community of people that believe in your growth and in your journey. Japan is waiting for you.” A month later, I was on a plane headed to Japan to what has now been the best experience I have ever had.

So when I think of change, I realized that I can fear it or face it. I know that change occurs in all students, and we all reach a fork in the road where we must find the ways to embrace change. I encourage you to find the ways that make change a life changing experience.

 

Breaking the Habit of Not Creating

THUMBNIALS -5 By Emma Josephson

During my freshman year at Portland State, I struggled with adapting to the insane balancing act of school, work, social life, and just being able to take a break. It’s the middle of fall term of my sophomore year and things are a lot better. The entirety of last year, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough and committing to too much all at the same time. One of the only things that kept me motivated was knowing that other new students were trying to figure it all out as well.

As a film major and a creative person in general, there was an added level of imbalance in my life. I stopped creating just for the sake of creating, and I found myself feeling like my passion was being transformed into just a grade. I love being able to use my talent and love of film to work on these less creative projects, but my mistake was not prioritizing my own personal creative growth. Anytime I can spend focusing on a video that I have complete creative control over is so important and valuable to me. For months I felt stuck in a cycle of not having time and I didn’t want to feel that way for any longer. So I just started creating.

This video is 100% me. It’s the memories I’ve made with friends and family and some of the places I’ve been in the past months. I’m still trying to transition out of this “funk.” Hopefully, people can relate to this short film/compilation of my life this past year, even if their struggle is not the exact same as mine. I know it’s just difficult to balance your other passions in life with being a student and managing all the others things that come up.

The VideoBreaking the Habit of Not Creating

 

Tuition Cash for Clothes

By Emma Eberhart

Portland State students are facing a 5% or more increase in tution, and this is at least the third year in a row that we’ve seen tuition raised at the university. Most students already have a hard enough time paying tuition as it is and are likely to struggle further with this most recent increase.

In order to help pay for school in the fall, I’ve been trying every which way to earn money – my most successful venture has been cleaning out my closet. Since the majority of my work experience has been in retail and thrifting is a favorite pastime, I have accumulated quite the wardrobe. Keeping only the pieces I absolutely love and wear frequently and parting with the rest, I have been able to cut down on clutter and earn some extra cash.

IMG_3062

By making accounts on apps like Depop and Mercari and just posting my clothes on social media, I have had pretty good luck getting the most for my clothes! Both Depop
and Mercari let you upload pictures of your stuff, describe them, price them, and then let the other members all over the world shop from your closet! The picture to the right is what my page on Depop looks

 

like – super straightforward and easy to setup. It’s really simple and all are protected for safe selling and buying. These apps take only 10% of what you sell your items for. There are, of course, other options that are near campus where you can sell your gently used clothes. Stores like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange will pay you for your things. However, they take a much larger percentage – close to 70%.

I’m definitely not looking forward to paying more for college, but if the tuition hike has done anything for me it’s decluttered my apartment.

Long Distance Friends

When I chose to go out of state for college, I realized I would be pretty far from home – specifically 1,355.6 miles away. I was excited for the adventure of a new city, for finding my niche, and most of all for it not being in 115 degrees Fahrenheit on any given summer day. However, one aspect that I did not fully think through was just how far I would be from my best friend.13327342_10204472701376747_137003542457597024_n Vivian and I went to the same high school in Gilbert, Arizona, and our similar interests and love for Mac Demarco and Ezra Koenig brought us together. The rest is essentially history. Vivian stayed in Arizona after graduating while I moved to the great Pacific Northwest.

My first year away consisted of a lot of facetime calls complaining about my rain-soaked sneakers, texts about current happenings in our lives, and lengthy phone calls discussing details, no matter how small, of our everyday lives. The facetimes, texts, and phone calls made possible by modern technology definitely helped our friendship stay close despite the distance that keeps us apart.

Our friendship is still going strong, but being long-distance BFFs is definitely challenging at times. Those 1,355.6 miles don’t seem to exist while texting, but the IMG_1162birthdays and special occasions that are missed suck, but it does make the ones where we are able to be there for each other that much more special.

It’s now my second, almost third, year in Portland and being so far away from family and friends has not gotten any easier, but it has made my time away from school that much more exciting. (Also who doesn’t need a reason for vacation?)

Don’t Press Snooze on Summer

By Emma Eberhart

Last summer, I voluntarily chose to give up the ability to press snooze on my alarm, so I could instead spend my mornings in a classroom, and to be honest I would do it again.

The summer quarter at Portland State generally offers both the usual 10-week course and the occasional accelerated four-week course that condenses the curriculum to a shorter amount of time but meets more than the common two times a week. Courses are worth the same amount of credit hours regardless of whether they last 10 weeks or four, so you can pick a class that works best with your schedule, which is really great. The class I took was an accelerated course—a length I would choose again since it left a majority of my summer with no looming school deadlines.

Another positive aspect of taking summer courses, I found, is that the professors are teaching fewer classes, which means that they have fewer students to focus on. This is not to say that during the other quarters, professors care less, but they have given me more constructive help and have been more engaged during summer term.

The only downside is there are fewer courses offered because fewer students sign up.

If you can find a class that is offered in the summer that works with your schedule and is necessary for you to graduate, I would advise you to take it. Any and all opportunities that get you closer to graduating are worth it.