Young and Restless

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

As I continue to push through my senior year, there are three things that can’t seem to escape my mind. First, graduating: walking down the stage and receiving my diploma. Second, my future career: where I’ll be applying post graduation and how I’ll get there. And third, traveling the world: having the ability to enjoy the cultures and cuisines and new sights of other countries before settling into a stable career.

My utmost desire is to travel. It is an energy that’s been burning inside of me since I took my first Spanish class in high school. Not only did I learn a new language, but it exposed me to a different way of life and a different way of thinking about the world.

Now that I have 44 weeks left of school, I feel that I’m in a now-or-never situation. I have one summer remaining before graduating; that means one step closer to transitioning into a career. I know most jobs don’t provide you with much paid time off or vacation days, especially for recent college grads. And I don’t want to be that adult who looks back and says, “Traveling is the one thing I wish I did.”

The clock it ticking, and I am proud to say that I have officially started planning for my first international trip projected for summer 2017. I plan to travel throughout Southeast Asia for two months, exploring Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

If you’re reading this right now, I encourage you to get outside of your comfort zone and see what else the world has to offer. In fact, PSU has a ton of resources to support you with international travel. In a rush like me? Campus Rec’s Outdoor Program is leading a week long, backpacking trip through Colombia this June!

Colombia Lost City Trekkinghttps://www.pdx.edu/recreation/international-trip

PSU Education Abroad Program: http://www.pdx.edu/ed-abroad/

Don’t allow yourself to become complacent to your day-to-day routine…travel!

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Learning From Alexis

Alexis PicIn 2013, my ambition is to become more like my friend Alexis. She is a senior at PSU and has seen her family only five times since starting school four and half years ago.

I just got back from seeing my family in Colorado at Christmas, and it was the most important thing I did all year. The opportunity to see my family is a rare treat; traveling to another state requires plenty of money and planning that restricts me to only two visits a year, three if I’m lucky.

It’s easy for me to feel sorry for myself when I compare to friends whose families live close by in Oregon, but not at all easy when I look at Alexis.

She was born on Saipan, an island you’ve probably never heard of, and is one of the most dedicated students I have ever met. Most students have their entire junior and senior years of high school to decide if and where to go to college; Alexis was given the duration of one phone call to commit to moving to Oregon and left the very next day.

Despite being far from home, I have never heard Alexis complain about attending PSU, only about how much she loves and misses her family. What I admire most about Alexis is her perseverance and gratitude; always thankful to be going to school and eager to give back to Saipan.

It is time to make gratitude a priority; I am thankful for my family, both in Colorado and Oregon, and for the new friends I’ve made who continue to inspire me.  Your turn!