Melissa Salmeri Mel Salmeri

We are getting to that time of year when you should begin thinking about where you want to live next year. This is a big transition time, whether you are moving out of the dorms to your first place on your own, or if you’re looking for a change of venue. It is intimidating and by no means simple. On the other hand it seems scarier than it truly is, you just have to start. When I began house hunting for the first time last year I had no idea where to begin. I wish I had known about the resources Oregon State offers, and I want to make it easy for you to find those resources. Here is the link directly to the off-campus resources page. This would be a great starting point.

If the Oregon State resource page does not do it for you, the next step is to try Craigslist. You will find people looking to rent out  homes or find companies that rent out a number of locations. I will say, you will be making many phone calls. Most of the places listed will have the cost, location, number of bedrooms, and any extra amenities it is important for potential renters to know about, but you may find some that interest you that you need more information on. It is quick and easy to make that phone call and get the information you need. Eventually you may make trips to visit these places, often set up through the company or individual who listed the place. I will say I visited at least five or six places before I found the house I am currently living in. Another idea is to walk or drive around the areas you are looking to live in and look for names on the apartment or condo buildings. You can go online and find out more about each place that interests you. The internet will most likely be your best friend through this whole experience.

Take your time searching for the right place for you because for those of you who are first timers it’s a big jump from the dorms. If this is not your first time, my advice remains the same. I know I wouldn’t want to settle for a place I am not completely happy with. So it is a good idea to give yourself plenty of time so you are not rushing at the end to find a place. Consider the people you will be living with because now you are all paying bills and have shared space and responsibilities. You learn a lot about someone while living with them and in all honesty there is a chance that it’s not the best pairing but you can take it as a learning experience. On the other hand you may find the perfect place and people that you can keep living with for years. I just think it is important to know there are two ways it could go and to be mindful. This is the big leagues now, complete adult responsibility but it’s also a great growing opportunity. It is scary at times and stressful but it is a continuous learning experience. We are college students which means we are here to learn right? This is just one more thing college can teach you!

Holly Briggs Holly Briggs

Going to summer camp is a long-standing tradition. Camp is an opportunity for kids to gain social, outdoor, and community building skills. It also provides a chance for college-aged people to build important life and work place skills. As a camp counselor you can work with kids of all ages, in all walks of life, and at all types of camps. There are camps that focus on specific sports, only outdoor activities, some that take extended trips, and there are camps lasting the whole summer or ones that only last a day or two. One thing that all these different camps have in common is that they need to be staffed. I have been fortunate enough to work at day camps as a counselor, outdoor education camps as a teacher and cabin counselor and this past summer as a health aid treating illnesses and wounds sustained at camp. All of these positions have taught me a couple different things and they could teach you too.

I have learned first and foremost that I am valuable. Working with kids you must act as a role model and as a person who is there to build others confidence up. Guiding these children into their challenge zones is frightening but once they take the leap they will remember you, the one who gave them a safe place to be confident, for most of their lives. Another camp taught lesson is faking it till you make it, a skill that is irreplaceable. Camp has one of the tightest schedules that most people will ever work with and you must work and be positive 24hrs for 6 days a week, no matter how you actually feel. There are moments where you absolutely hate camp but when you see the kid who hadn’t made a friend all week talking to a new cabin mate, the pain in your throat is forgotten. Talking to these kids and helping them work through homesickness, lack of self worth, and a whole host of other issues will be the most rewarding process ever.

If you are interested in learning about yourself and how you work with others working at camp is a great start. If you are interested in gaining skills like public speaking and active listening working at camp is the perfect place. Consider your hopes and dreams for the future and the skills it may entail. Think about the skill set camp can provide and identify if it fits your dream. Working at a camp is a once in a lifetime. I encourage to you research some camps that interest you. Here are some links for camps that I know of, but if you’re looking for something else just Google it.

Jon Bosworth Jon Bosworth

As my last final ended on June 12, 2014, I knew that in two short days I would embark across the country on one of the scariest and exciting experiences in my life. Months earlier I secured an internship in Washington, D.C. with a U.S. Senator’s office and was anticipating this moment. When I finally landed in Washington, it hit me that I was alone in the foreign land inside the beltway. I arrived at my house, met all of my roommates, and got ready to go to work early Monday morning.

The first couple weeks were challenging, I was in a fast-paced and demanding environment surrounded by people who seemed like experts on everything. However I settled in and quickly gained an understanding of how the office was structured and the type of work I needed to complete. I gained an understanding of completing administrative tasks such as reading and sorting constituent emails, answering phones and communicating with constituents, giving Capitol tours, and seeking additional duties. Soon I began writing memorandums destined for the Senator, working on letters to constituents, and ended my internship doing press clips as well. I found that through perseverance, positivity, and hard work I could achieve anything.

While I might not have been the smartest or most-qualified person in the office, I knew I could make that up with hard work, professionalism, and positivity. The experience turned out to be the single greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life and my favorite co-curricular activity through Oregon State University. Not only was I living my dream in Washington, D.C. but also I was receiving credit for my work and research. I came back to Oregon State in the fall closer to graduating than when I left. The level of support and opportunity provided from Oregon State helped make my internship successful and created memories to last a lifetime.

When the nerves finally calmed down and I got to living my dream, things fell into place. No matter what you’re interested in as a college student, find a way to make your dream a reality and soon you’ll be able to write about it and unequivocally say that it was your favorite experiential learning opportunity.

Hannah Whitley Hannah Whitley

I was hit with an unexpected jolt of reality when grocers began setting up their Valentine’s Day displays two weeks ago. All of a sudden I was faced with dozens of sugary sweets and pink beverages calling my name, manipulating my basic human desire for heart-shaped chocolates and my realistic food budget. Having hid behind the hustle and bustle of midterm exams, research papers and student employment, I was unprepared to admit that candy, cards, flowers and gifts would soon be exchanged amongst current and potential lovers. As a college student, I understand the struggle which may come with the desire to express your love through material items while simultaneously staying under-budget. So whether you plan on celebrate “Galentine’s Day” with Leslie Knope and your besties, going out on the town with your S.O. or taking this February 14th solo – have no fear! Corvallis is abundant in local activities and events Oregon State students can take advantage to celebrate the day of love successfully and for a realistic price.

Hallmark cards not in your budget this Valentine’s day? Consider gifting your beloved a do-it-yourself declaration of love with a handmade card or letter- there’s nothing like getting a hand-written love note in the mail! Pinterest, Martha Stewart and Craft Zine are three great websites to visit for potential craft ideas. What about E-Cards? This year, Oregon State’s student organization Waste Watchers is providing OSU students with access to digital versions recycling-themed greeting cards which can be sent to loved ones via the web. E-Cards are located in OSU’s Campus Recycling Facebook page and can be found at this link:

What about for the main event, you ask? What’s more sophisticated and romantic than a night out at the theatre! Invite your beloved even a group of friends to OSU Theatre’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank at Withycombe Hall’s Main Stage Theatre at 7:30 pm on Valentine’s Day. Performances run February 12-14 (at 7:30 pm) and February 22 at 2 pm; OSU students can purchase a ticket for $5 with their student ID. For tickets or more information about the showing, contact the OSU Theatre Box Office at (541) 737-2784.

Not able to make it out on the 14th? The Crossroads International Film Festival will be screening movies each Sunday this February at the Darkside Cinema in downtown Corvallis. Admission is $6 per film and discounted festival Passports are also available! All proceeds to this event benefit Crossroads International Programs and an assortment of local community events.

Valentine’s Day on a college budget isn’t meant to be scary, it’s just another chance to be creative and take advantage of the many budget-friendly entertainment opportunities Oregon State and the Corvallis community has for students!