By Monica Racicot

Hey Beavs!

I’m very excited to be back writing a blog article for you all! It’s been a whirlwind post-grad experience…to say the least. To those of you graduating this spring, get ready! Life after graduation will not be anything like you expect.

I started searching for jobs back home in San Diego a couple months before graduation, probably around April. The hardest part was knowing that I needed a full-time job but not knowing how long to wait to take something part-time. I applied, and applied, and applied some more with not a single bite until july…JULY! I sure wasn’t expecting to wait that long. I was soon hired for a part-time job with the YMCA of San Diego County. Yep, you heard me, part-time.

I’ve been working for the Y since September as a Youth Leader for the Youth & Family Services branch. I help middle school students with academics as well as their communication skills and creativity. What do I do with all my free-time you may be asking yourself? Well, I work close to 32 hours a week and over the holidays I worked a second job for Pottery Barn Kids. So for a while I didn’t actually have a whole lot of free time.

I continue to search and apply for full-time jobs all the time. But what’s cool about working with the YMCA is that they have TONS of opportunities to move up in the organization. I will be working full-time this summer with camps (right on the beach might I add) which will be a great opportunity for me to network and get a taste of a different side of the Y.

I LOVE what I do with these kids. I’ve always known that working with kids would be my path. But I plan to steer away from the education aspect and more towards events and marketing. I was recently asked to present at a conference here in San Diego called “STEM After School”. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. The conference is put on by the San Diego County Office of Education. I will be presenting a magazine project that I’ve created with my kids called “The Daily Fluff”. It’s a publication we make and publish monthly for students, parents and community members to read. It showcases the creativity and talents of our kids and they LOVE contributing to it!

*Huge milestone alert! I will be moving in to my first apartment (not counting on campus housing at OSU) with two roommates on March first here in San Diego! By the time you all read this, I will have signed my lease and popped some bubbly!

So as you can see, life after graduation was not what I had planned. But I made it work. Here are my suggestions to take-away:

  • Stay positive. Frowning only make things harder… and it gives you wrinkles.
  • If you aren’t happy with how things are going, then change it.
  • Stay organized and be on top of the job market.
  • Know that it’s okay to settle with a not-so-perfect job while you continue to search for your career. I left OSU thinking I’d find my career no problem…don’t be as naive as me! 🙂
  • Make the most out of your time at OSU! Stay active, do your best, and be prepared for some major change after graduation.

By Morgan Willer

Maybe you’ve seen a few crazily dressed groups of students singing songs out by Weniger on the weekends and you’ve been wondering if they’ve gone crazy since the beginning of midterms. Well the answer is they are training to be a Camp Adventure counselor. If you haven’t yet heard of Camp Adventure you are definitely missing out! Camp Adventure is a program created in Oregon that is now nation wide. It allows college age students to intern on US Military Bases working with the kids to create a fun and supportive summer camp. We aren’t just any camp though. Every Camp A counselor is trained over several months and held to strict standards because we believe that magic happens when reality exceeds your expectations, and we counselors are ALL about the MAGIC. I know it sounds cheesy singing songs, dressing up, and playing games, but we have fun and enjoy making a positive difference in a child’s life. To show you what we really do, I want to tell you a little about my past summer as an intern.

Cute uniforms, huh?

Last summer was my first time working as a Camp A intern, and it was also my first real summer away from home. I was placed in Vicenza, Italy which is a good sized city right between Verona and Venice in northern Italy. USAG Vicenza is a small Army post with a beautiful childcare center divided into two sections. I worked on the school age side where we ran camp from 6:30 am to 6 at night. The days were always packed with excitement. Usually it was a routine schedule that included clubs, activity time, and trip to the base’s pool or bowling alley. Every Wednesday was field trip day! We went zip-lining in Asiago (yes, that would be where they make the cheese), got to visit multiple amusement parks, and went on an incredible hike through the Italian mountains.

Every day came with its own challenge. These kids had it hard. Many of them had parents who were away and it was common to see those emotions come out. I came away with so much respect for all these children and their families, not to mention the regular center staff who dedicate their time to helping out. I learned so much about myself and about working with kids. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. BUT Camp Adventure isn’t all work! While we dedicate our time to being with the kids and creating magic during the week, we travel on the weekends. Camp Adventure allows you to grow your skills as a future teacher, but it also allows you to widen your understanding of the world. As interns we went on our own crazy adventures. One weekend we went canyoning in the mountains of Interlaken, Switzerland. That means we hiked up a canyon and worked our way down it by repelling down rocks, and jumping down waterfalls. Crazy? YES. Fun? Best time of my life! We made our way to Austria to see a German opera and take the Official Sound of Music Tour. Yes, they did play the soundtrack the whole time. And, YES, we did sing to every song. We saw Juliet’s home in Verona, experienced the great cities of Rome, Venice, and Florence. We made it to the island of Capri in the southernmost part of Italy and rented a boat for the day so we could swim through the grottos where the ocean floor glows neon blue. We saw the ruins of Italy’s beautiful past like the city of Pompeii and Palatine Hill. We hiked the 5 villages of Cinque Terre and we ate the most incredible food. I could go on and on (and on and on and on) but I think you get the idea. And I must say if you have not experienced a 4th of July celebration military style then you are missing out. I made friends that I will have for a lifetime and I miss them every day. I’ll never forget my colleagues and the children who made my summer the most incredible one of my life. The people I worked with put their all into their jobs and each of us benefited from this wonderful opportunity. I can’t say enough great things or even being to explain all the things I learned. I encourage anyone interested to look into the program. Camp Adventure usually begins recruitment in the Fall. You can find more information at the Oregon website here:


By Alison Blazer

This is a blog for all those OSU students out there who are just getting back from studying abroad, hope to someday study abroad or are just interested in the way we as humans make psychological adjustments in regards to travelling and cultural identity. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alison Blazer and I’m currently a 3rd year undergraduate majoring in Speech Communication with a minor in Spanish and pursuing the International Degree here at Oregon State. During this past Fall term, I participated in Oregon State’s Chillán Spanish program. This program allows students to complete the entire second year of Spanish language credit in just three months! For those of you looking to finish up your language requirement, it’s an easy and efficient way to accomplish that. Personally, I participated in the program because studying abroad has always been a goal of mine and this program facilitates a great experience abroad while also allowing students to come back with 16 or 19 credits completed. If you have any questions about the program feel free to contact the program director Lucia Robelo or myself. We’re both happy to answer any of your questions!

That being said, this blog is not about my program, but rather what study/travel abroad experts refer to as my “re-entry” into the United States. All Oregon State students that participate in an approved study abroad program have to complete a tutorial with questions relating to your preparedness both in terms of paperwork and on a psychological level before leaving the U.S. My particular program included a mandatory 1 credit class the Spring before departure in which we discussed everything from what to pack to how to acclimate to Chilean culture upon arrival. Culture shock, as I’m sure many of you know, can set you on an emotional roller coaster. Everyone experiences it to a different degree with things such as travel history, family history, poverty levels in destination country, time away, age etc. all playing a role.

Culture shock is essentially the transition you undergo when you arrive in a foreign country. Many times, it can be overwhelming, but it is also common for certain individuals to not even notice any culture shock. When I left for Chile in early September I was emotionally prepared to be away from my friends, family and home and embark on a new adventure. Having an open mind and positive attitude helped me to almost entirely avoid feeling any culture shock, but what I was not prepared for was my return. Everyone in my group flew back to the U.S. throughout the month of December. I myself flew home to California just 3 days before Christmas.

At first, I was mostly just experiencing exhaustion and excitement- a tough combo! I was endlessly tired from my three weeks of travel across Peru, but I was so incredibly happy to be back in my hometown safe and sound with my family. The comfort and bliss of being home lasted for a mere 10 days before I had to head up to Corvallis to set up my new house and get ready for the start of a new term. Seeing all of my Oregon friends, decorating a new house and getting re-acquainted with my second home helped to yet again postpone my re-entry side effects. It wasn’t until about Week 2 of Winter term that I really started to experience the reverse culture shock that people had told me about. Suddenly, all of my classes seemed to bury me in work and even my Spanish classes seemed hard just because they were such a time commitment! I began wishing I was back in the carefree world of studying abroad (for those of you who have been there- you know what I’m talking about, and for those of you who have yet to go- be excited!).

Reverse culture shock, just to be clear, isn’t necessarily similar to the shock you receive when visiting a foreign country for the first time. Rather than being unfamiliar with your surroundings, reverse culture shock is what people experience when they’re suddenly surrounded by everything they knew before they had their experience abroad. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, studying abroad is a life changing experience for many people. For me, it was my first time travelling long distances or long term without my family, and it exposed me to a new culture, new people and a new me. This is the key—the person you are before you study abroad is often not the same as the person you are once you return. I’m not saying that you’ll feel unhappy in your life as you left it, but you will feel a change, whether it be big or small! Take for example, one small aspect of my re-entry. I have a very close relationship to my mother and call her several times a week. While in Chile I had to communicate with her (and everyone back home) via Skype. I have been in the U.S. for almost 2 full months now and I still frequently forget that I can pick up my cell phone and call my mom! The simplest things make you realize how used to being away you may have gotten.

I never imagined that I would experience more of a challenging psychological process upon my return to the States than when I initially went abroad to Chile. I’m confident that the vast majority of students in my Chillán group have all experienced stronger reverse culture shock than culture shock. Adjusting back to the demanding and fast paced schedule of Winter term, while also returning to work, rejoining friend groups etc. are all challenging aspects of post-study abroad life. The best thing that you can do for yourself, or any of your friends that are experiencing reverse culture shock is to talk about it! Any difficult life transition can be helped by conversation. Talking about the adjustment with friends, family or even an advisor, professor or CAPS (Counseling & Psychological Services) employee can’t hurt!

Every day that I’m in Corvallis life seems to adjust back to “normal” a bit more. Another key thing to remember is that there are good days and there are bad- this isn’t a negative thing! People who have never left the states have bad and good days, you used to before you studied abroad, but now they’re just bad days because you feel out of place here or miss being there. Either way, keep your head up and remember that what you experienced abroad was worthwhile and work towards using that experience to better yourself each day!

By Angel Martinez

Hey everybody! We are well into the last half of winter term which means we’re approaching our last term of the academic year. It’s crazy how time is moving so fast. Since registration is around the corner I want to plant a seed in your head about potentially diversifying your academic experience here at OSU.

A little background about me; the original reason why I came to OSU was because they have an awesome veterinarian program. I was going to major in pre-vet med and minor in theater. It’s hilarious to me now, but at the time it was the most obvious choice for my life. When I figured out that I didn’t want to be a vet *hehe 5weeks after I started college* I had a little bit of a meltdown.

Winter term I took a bacc core class in Intro to Sociology, fell in love, and declared it as my major. Spring term rolled around, I took an intro class to Anthropology; fell in love and by my sophomore year I took it on as a second major. At some time point my sophomore year I decided to drop my theater minor. I still loved theater but a double major with a minor was a little too intimidating for me. By the time junior year rolled around I had toyed with the idea of picking up philosophy, ethnic studies, women studies, and writing and adding them to my program of study in some way. I never did, but I got a lot of enjoyment from those classes.

By the end of my junior year I was faced with having to graduate late because of my double major. I decided in order to graduate on time I would drop my anthropology into a minor and keep my sociology as my major. Here we are, almost a year later and I am truly satisfied with my decision. But it did take about three years to figure out and A LOT of exploring.

One thing I really want to encourage everyone to think about is that you shouldn’t be afraid to change your mind. If I stuck to my original plan I would not be content with my future after college. Some students get it right on the first pick, but most don’t, and that’s okay! Use this time to explore, add a major, try out a minor or two, and explore these cool interdisciplinary minors called certificates. Be careful to stay on track with graduation by checking in with your advisor, and don’t go too long with narrowing down to your passion, but do take some time to explore a little. It’s a great way to utilize your elective credits.

For those of you interested in second degrees. At OSU, you have the ability to get a secondary degree in Education that enables you to earn your teaching certification in the state of Oregon when you graduate.  Or, if you are interested in a more global perspective, maybe the International degree is right for you.  For the smarty pants folks in the crowd, joining the honors college might be the perfect choice.

Maybe diversifying your experience isn’t even about multiple majors or minors. Maybe it’s joining a student organization, giving back to your community or finding another way to make your educational experience so much more than what you are learning in the classroom.

For most of us, this is the only time we will be undergraduate students at a university. Don’t spend this time in a small box never knowing all that your college has to offer. Your passion may be right around the corner.

By Alison Blazer

During week six of Winter term it can be extremely daunting thinking more than a few days into the future. But with midterms, unwritten papers and dreary weather aside, there ARE things to be excited about! The time to look for that first college apartment or house that you’ve always dreamed of is fast approaching. Believe it or not, now is the time to start looking for off campus housing for the upcoming Fall. For many students who plan to leave the Residence Halls at the end of the school year, the housing search is a brand new process. When I was a Freshman I was clueless as to when to start the process or what the process itself entailed. I’m here to give you a few helpful tips. This is the information that every student planning to move off campus needs, but doesn’t know to ask for!

Tip #1: Start Early!

Starting your housing search early is the key to finding the right property for you, especially if you’re interested in living close to campus. The rule of thumb is that after spring break (although many students begin their searches even before winter term ends) is the time to start seriously looking into your housing options.

Tip #2: Find compatible roommates

Starting the search is easier said than done if you have yet to lock down roommates for next year. Consider those who are closest to you and who you can see yourself living with, but beware of drama! There’s always the possibility that you could run into points of disagreement, even when living with your best friends. Living with someone puts a new kind of stress on relationships/friendships so make sure to discuss some “house rules” and cleanliness preferences before committing!

Tip #3: Utilize property management companies

How do you go about finding a place to live? Unfortunately, “looking” for a place to live is not as simple as picking a place you like and figuring out who’s in charge of the property. However, Corvallis has dozens of property management companies designed to help you in this process! These companies are located all around town and can be found easily online (just Google “Corvallis property management” and your computer will be flooded with options). Each of these companies owns properties around Corvallis and can provide you with a comprehensive list of their currently vacant properties as well as explain the steps of their application process. From here on, it’s relatively smooth sailing.

Tip #4: Lock down a location

Once you’ve found an available apartment/house etc., the next step is locking down the space, guaranteeing that you’ll have a “home sweet home” to come back to in Corvallis after the summer. Once you’ve turned in an application for a property, and it has been accepted, there are just a few remaining steps. The majority of properties require: the signing of a lease (the housing contract), a co-signer agreement (for those who don’t plan on paying rent by themselves, but have help from their parents or another source etc.), a security deposit (to cover any possible damages that could occur during residency) and first and last months rent. The details of the requirements for specific properties can be found on the management company’s website.

Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Property management employees know that they’re renting to a lot of first time renters, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t feel like you’re signing a contract by walking into a management office—they’re there to help you! Give them a call with a simple question or drop into any office to get a walk through of the application process and see what properties are available. No one expects you to be an expert! Don’t hesitate to ask upperclassmen for help, and a quick phone call to the parents, the most experienced people of all, couldn’t hurt either.

Follow these tips and you will have a place to call home next Fall! Good look to each and every one of you on your search, and remember to celebrate. Moving into your own apartment/house is one step closer to adulthood and independence, embrace it!

By CLA Alum Amber Gomes

Hey Beavers!

It’s been a while since I said that; trust me, if you don’t know about OSU, using that term gets some weird reactions (I’ll let you use your imagination).

That’s just one of the things I’ve learned living life after college. Others? Yoga pants are not everyday attire no matter how comfy or flattering they may be. Qdoba, Dutch Brothers, and assorted breweries are not the only options for sustenance; turns out when I need to I can actually cook. It’s not always a bad idea to wake up before 10am on a weekend. College sports are not as entertaining when not watching them in the arena or a bar in your college town with your college friends (personal opinion). Pretty intuitive lessons right? Not so intuitive ones? How to work in a town with less people than my college, deal with tribal politics, juggle projects outside of my expertise and job description, and adjust to the following: a completely different sense of time, new and not always appetizing food (Goat Brains anyone?), sleeping under a mosquito net, walking everywhere or riding amazingly overcrowded buses that are never on schedule, SUPER-hot weather, giant bugs, poisonous snakes, electricity-less and running water-less but bat-filled living conditions, REALLY bad music (to the point that you prefer the static on the radio), strangely accented English, and living in a fishbowl.

You might be wondering what in the heck I’m doing that is making me learn all these lessons… believe me I ask myself the same question some days. Other days I revel in the adventure that my life has become as a US Peace Corps volunteer in a tiny town called Kalawa in the middle of Eastern Kenya.

I know a lot of college students don’t really know what they want to do after they graduate. I was lucky enough that I did. I read about Peace Corps in a National Geographic when I was 12 and decided that one day I would be a volunteer. As a junior at OSU I applied for the program (It’s generally a year long application process)… and nothing else. I didn’t take the GRE, apply for a ‘real’ job, or look at, much less apply to, a graduate studies program. I don’t recommend following that path. One other lesson learned? If you only have one plan for post-college-life while every other senior talks about what job they are accepting or grad program they are attending, you will start to panic every time someone asks about your plans and you have to say ‘Well. I’m not really sure’. Lesson = have a backup plan, it’ll save you some stress.

I left Oregon June 3rd (Yep 2 weeks before graduation which meant finishing my International Degree Thesis and all my other classes 3 weeks early) and arrived in Kenya June 6th. After 10 weeks of training in a place called Oloitokitok in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, I was inducted as an official volunteer and sent to my site, 10 years after I told myself I would become a volunteer. In Kalawa I work primarily with the Ministry of Public Health as a member of Kalawa Health Center’s Public Health Office. A pretty ambiguous sounding job right? I mean what does an office of public health actually do? That’s the biggest challenge I’ve faced here. Strangely it is sometimes easier to say what things I do not do than what I do do. People have asked me to help start a rock quarry, learn to build solar panels so I can teach community members how, fly them or their children to America, provide food, give them most of my belongings, marry them so they can have a green card, or just give them thousands of dollars or Kenyan Shillings. None of those is in my job description. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Other things have been more ambiguous. Can I help local chicken farmers? Can I help find funding to extend the local borehole (there is one building in town with running water, everyone else has to fetch theirs)? Can I assist in a literacy boost and the creation of libraries in 37 primary schools? I know absolutely nothing about chicken farming (is an egg fertilized in the chicken or after it is hatched?), but it can better the nutrition of the community; nutrition counts as public health. Borehole water is less likely to spread waterborne diseases than water from unprotected wells; that counts. Literacy and libraries? Can’t stretch to make that one work… but I have a geeky weakness for books so it is happening.

Fortunately some things were easy to say yes to. Do I want to teach health to the secondary schools in the immediate area? Yes. Do I want to start Scouts in local primary schools to use it as a vehicle for teaching First Aid, Health, Reproduction, Exercise, and Nutrition? Yes. How about helping local support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS by training them and helping them to do prevention outreach amongst their neighbors? Yes. Or training and shadowing Community Health Workers as they strive to provide Home Based Care in their communities? Yes.

Between the ‘no’s, stretches and ‘yes’s I’ve managed to find a balance that has made my life challenging and yet manageably fulfilling. That’s my last lesson learned during post-college life. Find a job, career, volunteer opportunity, what have you, that is challenging and satisfying. Finding a job post-college is tough, and ya sometimes you are going to have to take that desk job as a secretary (I did, shout out Psych Department); when that happens make the best of it. But if it doesn’t do it for you, and you know it won’t long term, keep looking for that opportunity to make your life what it should be. If it doesn’t challenge you eventually it will bore you. If it doesn’t satisfy you it’s just a job and it’s going to be hard to truly enjoy that the rest of your life.

Many of you reading this are probably Freshmen so you can go ahead and shelve my advice for now. Enjoy your college years, meet Benny, sleep in the MU lounge or the library, visit El Prez on your 21st, walk through the Quad, hang out in Dixon, join a club or Greek Life, make a fool of yourself on Western Wednesday, freeze during football games, get sunburned during baseball games and enjoy all the sports in the seasons between, have fun trying to find parking, meet new people, and all that jazz. But in three years when you are looking at leaving the dam (couldn’t resist), keep two things in mind.

  1. Have a backup plan. It never hurts.
  2. Find a job that will make you happy. No matter how hard that sounds it’ll be worth it.


By Morgan Willer

It’s getting close to that time when you get to register for your spring term classes. I can’t tell you exactly what classes to sign up for, but I can give you some good advice that I’ve collected over three years!

Don’t Stress!

So what if you don’t get the class you want? Avoid those feelings of frustration because you will get to take it eventually and it will be worth the wait. Talk to your advisor to find other alternatives that may work.

Make an Appointment with your Advisor:

The above comment leads me to this next piece of advice. I could have saved myself from many a panic attack if I had talked to my advisor beforehand. They have these jobs for a reason: because they know what they’re doing!! Ask them to help you plan out a schedule and request backups in case those classes are full. They’ll be happy to help.  If you are a freshmen, call 541-737-0561 to schedule an appointment with a College Advisor in Gilkey Hall. If you are a sophomore through senior, visit the CLA website to find your major advisor and their contact information.

Try Something New

I know it can be tempting to take classes from your favorite one or two departments, but if you do, you’re missing out on all kinds of cool stuff that you’ve never heard of before. Don’t be afraid to take a class from a strange and intriguing department. Some of my favorite classes have been ones that I’ve never heard of before!

Don’t Overload Yourself:

This is coming from someone who signs up for way too much every term. Don’t do it unless you absolutely HAVE TO. It is spring term and you will want to go out and enjoy your long awaited reunion with the sun that has been on vacation all winter term, not read hundreds of pages out of dry textbooks every week. That being said, if you must take a lot of courses make sure to sign up for one that you are really looking forward to, something that relieves stress. For me that’s a PAC class, most likely Ballet or Modern. For you that could be a philosophy class, to each their own.

Have A Plan:

Know when you have to register and be ready with a plan. I have my classes outlined in an Excel sheet so I can easily copy and paste the CRNs into the registration boxes. I also make sure to log in to online services a few minutes before my registration window opens so that once my time hits, I can just go in, enter the CRNs and be done in less than 3 minutes (as long as I get in to all of my classes).

Get Excited!! You get to start off a new term at OSU. For some, this may be your first spring term and for others it may be your last. Make the most of this new start!

By Angel Martinez

Hey everyone! So it is week five and I hope we’re all handling the onset of midterms and assignments coming our way. We’re almost half way to spring break w00t!

As an ambassador it has been a joy to write blogs and try to connect with all of you fellow students in the college of liberal arts. Unfortunately since I am a senior, I won’t be able to continue as an ambassador when I graduate in June. This is true for a couple of the CLA ambassadors, but as they say, one man’s pain is another man’s pleasure.

Since not everyone who is a current ambassador will be continuing in the fall there is a great opportunity for you all to apply now to become and CLA Ambassador! It’s a wonderful chance not only learn more about the college that you are in, but also to represent this great college to new and prospective students coming to OSU. As if that wasn’t enough, every CLA Ambassador will receive a $300 scholarship towards their tuition, and it doesn’t look bad on a resume either.

I became an ambassador because I wanted to be more involved with my college. After spending a major part of my sophomore year isolated from campus I decided my junior year that I was going to get reconnected. Being an ambassador has been a wonderful experience. I’ve met new faculty, made new friends, and interacted with some fantastic people that I may not have met otherwise. A couple of your other ambassadors have also written why they chose to apply and what they enjoy most from this experience.

Morgan Willer I chose to apply because I felt disconnected from Oregon State University. I loved our campus and all the things we stood for, and still do, so I knew I would be good at representing it. I love talking to new students and helping them out so I thought being an ambassador would be a good fit. My favorite thing is being able to talk to all the new students. The best feeling is when you meet a student who you share common interests with and you’re able to help them find their path at OSU

Katy Krieger Meeting students and talking them through the whole coming to OSU process has been really great. I’ve also enjoyed getting close to the ambassador group and bonding so that together we are a strong team. Another great experience is discussing unknown areas, like research or specific majors that excite students and get them into CLA or something new!

Applications are due February 22nd at 5pm. If you have any questions you can contact Kerry Thomas, the CLA Ambassador Coordinator,

You can find more information by clicking the link below.

Applying Info Link:

I’m excited to see you all in the spring, good luck!