Week 8: a satire

By Alexandrea Nedelcu

The lights are dim. There is a gold banner on the right wall that reads “HAPPY WEEK 8!” I am there, and so are my friends. We gather in a three-person circle (which is really a triangle, but whatever). We join hands and look at each other in the eyes. We begin to cry week-eight tears.

There are stress breakouts lining our otherwise flawless porcelain faces. We celebrate these with self pity. We drink glasses of stale tap water. You know, the ones that have been sitting on our bedside tables since week six. We gulp it down like thirsty travelers in the desert that is the academic quarter.

We begin chanting about professors assigning major assignments three weeks before the end of the quarter. Or about the job market. Or how some individuals play with gender roles like they’re frisbees. Alanis Morissette is playing somewhere in the background, and it sort of sounds like the noise is coming from the heater under my window, but I am too engaged in this chanting triangle to even turn it up.
A bell tolls somewhere from the hills, and a voice announces, “Happy week eight. May the odds be ever in your favor.”


Queen of My Life

Written by: Jasmin Landa

A combination of words can inspire not one’s life, but the life of others. And in such, the combination of words that have inspired my steps forward are:


Jasmin Landa

“One day she finally grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life. And with that, she realized the only control she had was how she choose to handle them.

So, she made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and grace. She was the Queen of her own life and the choice was hers.” ~ Queenism
The choice to move forward amongst the obstacles in life has empowered me. As cliche as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. A reason for today’s experiences-the days to come, and the months proceeding- I am unintentionally choosing to wake up and push past the emotions, feelings, and aching heart that life may bring. But simply, I am choosing to be happy.

I choose. And as the statement is possessive, it simply speaks to the control I have for my emotions and life. Because I am a person worth someone’s time. I am a woman who has built herself up from the bottom after being emotionally, mentally, and spiritually destroyed from the many pitfalls that life has brought. And as I choose to be happy, that also comes with choosing “to be”. To be what “I” want to be: happy, sad, angry, etc., but all in my decision, and not left up to the actions of another. I simply choose to be the Queen of my life.


It’s not just for college, but for life

Joining a student group can be a great way to enrich your college experience. One prominent organization that thousands have joined is Greek Life, an umbrella group for sororities and fraternities. There are 10 Greek organizations at PSU: sororities Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Kappa Delta Chi; and fraternities Kappa Sigma, Omega Psi Phi, Omega Delta Phi, Alpha Kappa Psi and Alpha Phi Alpha.

IMG_4229 (1).JPGPersonally, I have grown to appreciate Greek Life and my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. I have found a group of women who support me in my endeavors, are there to hang out with me, cry with me, laugh with me and make memories with me — all while building lifelong connections.

Now, Greek Life may not be for everyone, but being a part of a student organization is definitely something I hope every college student incorporates into his or her college experience.

College, which starts out confusing but gradually makes more sense, is a time to find who you truly are. Find the people and student organizations that can assist you in finding your true identity.


Four Ways to Keep Your Sanity

By Alexandra Nedelcu

Like most students at PSU, I know how rigorous the academic term can be. With 10 weeks of non-stop work, class, and other demands, it is difficult to keep a happy and healthy attitude. While it is difficult, it is not impossible to keep your health, both mental and physical, in tip-top shape. Following these four easy tips will have you remembering to appreciate your mind and body:

  1. Drink water!

This tip should go unmentioned, but a lot of times, lack of water can be the leading cause for fatigue and lack of motivation. Mayo Clinic suggests that a woman should drink close to nine cups of water a day, while men should commit to roughly 13 cups per day. However, and you should follow your body’s messages. I like to make “cleansing” water, using cucumber slices, lemon slices, and orange slices. Having a fun routine could jazz up your odorless, tasteless, colorless beverage.

  1. Give yourself breaks.

I cannot stress this one enough. I am a go-getter from the moment I wake up, to the moment I rest my head. I run on roughly two cups of black coffee a day. And while my routine guarantees completion of assignments in school and work, I do not always feel 100%. Giving yourself 15-20 minute breaks every hour makes your brain happy.

  1. If you’re sleepy and you know it, take a walk!

Portland is such a walk-friendly city, and I think a lot of us forget this fact when we are stuck in a dim classroom learning about Shakespeare’s motives or how bacteria are formed. Sitting can make you sleepy. If it is not possible (or appropriate) to get up and walk during your class, you may stand up and sit down for a refreshing boost.

  1. E-A-T!

I know, I know. We are COLLEGE STUDENTS. Often times, we treat food like an option, when it is actually a necessity. When your body is hungry, it will try to feed itself with sleep (hence you find yourself being sleepy in a morning class if you have not eaten breakfast). Packing small snacks, such as baby carrots, hummus and pita, or even potato chips can give your body the temporary energy it needs. However, keeping your meals consistent throughout the day is the key to your physical health.
It is true that no one is perfect when it comes to healthy habits. However, if we do everything we can to keep our brains and bodies happy, we will be thankful in the long run. Happy Winter Term.

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Find Your Why


By: Sam Bakkila

Now that the crunch time of the semester is upon us, I find myself repeating a piece of advice from PSU alum and motivational speaker Lou Radja.

He told Campus Rec employees, when we were starting our staff training at the beginning of the year: “When the why is strong, the how becomes easy.”

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Keynote Speaker Lou Radja

This piece of advice is simple yet profound. Our level of motivation, and how effectively we keep connected with that which inspires us, ultimately determines so much of our success. Now that the end of the term is here, and many of us are bogged down with exams and papers and projects that could have a substantial impact on our future, it’s time to take a step back, forget about the day-to-day frustrations, and reconnect with our ‘why’.

For me, I am a graduate student in English literature because I love reading and writing, and because I believe that a careful reading of texts will reveal the social and political stakes of writing. I exercise at Campus Rec, because I am happiest and healthiest when I have a chance to push myself to the limits. I work at Campus Rec because I want to help other students along in their path towards wellness. I teach in the Writing Department because I believe that helping students find their voice is among the most important things that a university can do.

I know that in ten years, I’m going to remember the days that I pushed myself and stayed connected with my ‘why’, the nights when I squeezed out two more pages of writing instead of putting on netflix, and the mornings when I woke up for a run in the freezing rain, not as the hardest days of graduate school, but as the best.


The Stresses of School

Written by: Jasmin Landa

Although K-12 prepares students for college academically, I don’t feel that it entirely prepares us for the transition from high school to college. I was deeply overwhelmed my first year of college. I had packed my bags and left home to enter a life that would require me to be more responsible, independent and self-supportive. But then I went through many sleepless nights, stressful days and frustrating moments before I could truly embrace this new life and continue forward.

Now that I am a sophomore, I have found a system that works for me that alleviates stress, organizes my days, and guides me through the winding road to completing my degree.

For one, I live by Google Calendar. I input all that I will be doing throughout the week, and throughout the term. It keeps me organized, so when I wake up every morning, I pull out my calendar and I see what the day holds for me.

Second, I involve myself in extracurricular activities because it allows me to network with my peers who are going through similar stressors. By being connected, we can go through it together. Also, giving some of my time to things that are outside of classroom settings allows me to relax and de-stress myself.

College is a time to appreciate, learn, and explore. How are you keeping the stresses of college organized?


A guide to Portland’s Best Halloween Haunts

Chelsea 2

By: Chelsea Ware

Cooler weather, crisp leaves, and pumpkin spice lattes are a few of the reasons that fall is great. But in my humble opinion, Halloween is what makes fall the finest season of the year. I mean really… who can say no to dressing up in an awesome costume and gorging oneself on candy? In honor of the greatest holiday ever and all things horror related, I have compiled a list of the best and scariest things to do in Portland this month.

  1. Visit a Haunted House

Portland boasts several haunted houses that are worth seeing. Set inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Fright Town offers 3 haunted attractions based off of witches, the novelist H.P Lovecraft, and a demonic cult. http://www.frighttown.com/

13th Door is one of Portland’s oldest haunted houses and presents dark dank hallways for you and your friends to escape in addition to decomposing zombies and other vile creatures. http://13thdoor.com/index.php

2. See a Free Scary Movie

Through the month of October the PSU student run movie theater, 5th Avenue Cinema, plays vintage scary movies on Saturdays and Sundays. And it’s free with your student ID! Some of my best college memories are at this theater. It’s a great atmosphere where the whole crowd cracks jokes together during the movie and revels in the campiness and gore of 80’s and 90’s horror cinema. For show times visit http://www.5thavecinema.com/.

3. Take a Stroll Through Haloweentown

Each October, the town of St. Helens, which was the filming site of the movie Halloweentown, hosts “The Spirit of Halloweentown.” It is a, family-friendly event in which the old town district is decorated with a plethora of jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows and other spooky decorations. Additionally, events such as tarot reading and pumpkin carving are held. http://www.thechronicleonline.com/out_about/spirit-of-halloweentown—schedule-of-events/article_4e14e578-51b6-11e5-9a62-a39167c7bbce.html