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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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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A guide to Portland’s Best Halloween Haunts

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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

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What a Wonderful Year

meBy: Sharon Nellist

This upcoming year at Portland State is the one I have been waiting for.

Not only is it my last undergraduate year (hoping to stay for graduate studies!), but I am comfortably involved in various ways to ensure that quintessential college experience that I have been pining for all of my young adult life – and I am elated!

I WRITE – for the PSU Chronicles, and I love it. This is my voice and I intend to use it. I hope to flourish my opinion on controversial issues not only on campus but within my community. This is the only option for change.

I PLAY – or rather dabble in various Rec clubs from swing dancing, to Dragon Boat racing, and rowing. I am taking advantage of all that our unique urban campus has to offer like the week-long community celebration Portland State of Mind, FREE movies at the student-run 5th Avenue Cinema, and the privilege of listening to generous amounts of brilliant minds at PSU hosted events.

I SERVE – as a Student Leader for Service through the Student Community Engagement Center. Stepping a bit out my box and yearning for growth as a leader, I am a liaison between PSU and Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives’ Healthy Food Access Program. I also am tending community gardens at low-income properties, working with residents and hosting workshops on garden eating, helping organize community service projects and getting PSU students involved! It cannot get any more GREEN or PORTLAND than this.

My only advice to all of the new students – live these years to the fullest, PSU is simply handing it to you.

Fight and have faith

10373989_844446705612551_3373063601715068845_nWritten by: Jasmin Landa

I have no words, but I am still typing. I have failed, but I still have my strength to lift me back up.

Time and time again I have so much to be grateful for, but at times of weakness I find myself complaining or crying for something that might have been, was just right or was all that I ever wanted. But then I sit back and think, am I willing to fight for what I want? Yes. Will I fail again? Of course! And finally, how much am I willing to work for what I want?

Life isn’t easy, nor are the decision that we make. But just as time heals, repairs and builds a stronger self-portrait, it can only do that when you fight and have faith that all things meant to be will be. You cannot resist it, force it, nor make it be, but rather let it be.

So I am ready to fight, love and be a part of this journey we call life, because I have been given another day to appreciate the little things and love all those who enter my life just as they are. Are you ready for what this day will hold for you, your future and the dreams you strive for? Because I am!