An “Honor”able Legacy

img_7471.jpg By Naomi Kolb

Every time that I see the Simon Benson House in the park blocks I’m reminded that graduation draws closer with each passing day. Today the sign on the building reads “53 days until you are alumni,” and that number will only continue to dwindle until the day comes that we don our caps and gowns. Amidst all of the other chaos of senior year, I’m currently in the throes of writing my senior thesis as I’m a member of the University Honors College. Instead of doing a senior capstone in the university studies program, I’ve gotten to pick a research topic of my choice and craft an entire thesis about it, a task that is as daunting as it will hopefully be rewarding.

Writing a thesis can be a lonely process, especially when the honors college has felt so separate from the rest of the university in many ways. When my peers who aren’t in the honors college ask about my capstone and I say that I’m actually writing a thesis instead, the conversation oftentimes comes to a screeching halt. I’ve noticed an air of misconception surrounding the honors college, one that unfortunately leads many of my peers to think that those who participate in honors are in some way elitist or exclusionary.

In my last term at PSU, I’d actively like to push back against that stereotype through both my thesis about queerness and veganism as well as in my everyday interactions with my peers. At its core, the honors college is about a hunger for knowledge, learning to conduct research, and preparing students for life after PSU. These are things that should be accessible to all of us as PSU students, and that’s what I want people to think of when they hear about the honors college, rather than a reputation that’s elitist or exclusionary. In the 53 days that I have left to leave my mark on PSU before I’m an alumni, this is the legacy that I’m hoping to establish as an honors student.

Grand Master Jenna: From graduation to job applications

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by Jenna Rae Tucker

Well here we go again, graduation time. This time it is with a master’s degree.

You know what that means? JOB APPLICATIONS! Hooray. That was sarcasm. If you didn’t read it snarkily in your head, go back and read it again. Filling out applications is the worst. How awesome should I say I am? How do I appear super confident but moldable at the same time? Is there a way to convey that I know everything but also need, and am open to, learning new skills? Filling out applications is on par with networking. If you need a refresher on why networking is evil, please click here:

Now, I have a whole application process. First, I think about the time I just spent getting a degree and only apply for jobs that I REALLY want. I am about to be a Master, people should be elated to even RECEIVE my application. Then, when I don’t hear back from anyone, I start applying for anything that is full time and could be considered related to communication. When that also fails, I get super anxious and apply for anything that will throw money at me in exchange for a service…okay, not ANYTHING and also not throwing, but you get the point.

What makes this whole thing even worse is that I am applying for jobs in LA since my dumb boyfriend lives there. EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK IN LA! Not only that, but applying out of state is the pits. Grrr. I hope this whole getting-a-master’s thing wasn’t a mistake. Come on future, go ahead and get brighter.

To do list: Be happy

I expected the second year of grad school to be easier. Half the program is under my belt, I have the pattern down, I know what the expectations are…cake walk, right? WRONG. In fact, I feel more overwhelmed than I did this time last year. Perhaps it is because I also have this GIANT 60-100 page paper looming over my head that I have to continually work on. Whenever I have free time (which is either after a long work or school day) I feel guilty if I don’t have some form of homework or thesis work in front of me.

But you know what I always forget? To do stuff that makes me happy. I think it is impossible to stay sane and do quality work if you feel guilty or completely overwhelmed. It is important to take time to do something for yourself. It is kind of surprising how cathartic and refreshing it can be to the scholastic process. I went to see the band Atlas Genius earlier this month (they are freaking great live by the way) and it put some pep in my step. While I constantly worry about being able to get all of my work done, I need to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a time (hopefully in the near future) where academic papers are behind me and I can do fun stuff all the time.

So, in short, always find a way to take time for yourself. Whether it be a happy hour, ice cream, concerts, etc. You deserve it.