By Katy Krieger

It’s winter term, it’s rainy and cold, and it’s hard living with other people! Don’t worry, I feel your pain. I have some great tips for making it through to spring with a roommate without having a breakdown!

Make sure during exam times and finals that you come to an understanding with your roommate(s) about expectations. Don’t get upset when chores start slipping or everyone has different sleep schedules. It’s always best to hash out your finals/exam plans to know what is going to happen and to make a plan.

Allocate time to spend together without doing homework. Go to a movie, dinner, or bowling. Getting outside of the apartment you live in is refreshing and reminds you of why you are friends and live together.

Spend time away from each other. Everyone gets sick of their friends and roommates so don’t feel bad for spending time with other people or going into your room to get away. It may help you in the long run so you don’t blow up at your roommate(s).

Always ask permission to use or eat anything that isn’t yours. Never assume anything is okay without asking because that is a disaster waiting to strike!

Pay attention to their moods and behaviors. Sometimes people don’t realize they have bad habits going on or they may feel lost and alone (or perhaps something personal has happened). You are living with them so it’s always nice to have each other’s backs.

Communicate openly and honestly. Say what you are expecting of the other person and remind them of your plans/agreements. Remember to be nice, wait for the opportune moment, and butter them up with sugary products!

Discuss plans for living with each other next year. If you don’t want to, Google tips on how to “break up” with your roommate without it being weird for the next few months. If you are, plan on solidifying where you are living and what each one of you is doing over the summer.

Having a good roommate(s) is like having a good sibling you live with. You love each other but you may also want to scream from time to time. Think of how they may feel and approach situations with positivity and politeness. Don’t always feel obligated to hang out with them all the time but also spend time together and make some great memories!

By Kendra Kintz

I didn’t plan on studying abroad when I came to college; in fact, it wasn’t until my junior year that I realized how badly I wanted to travel and see the world. After reblogging hundreds of pictures of European architecture on my tumblr, it was time that I put my computer down and actually ventured out into the world and experienced these places for myself.

I ended up spending five weeks in Ireland last summer, where I took two classes on Irish culture and fell in love with the entire country. Ireland is every bit the fairytale-idyllic land it is made out to be, in my opinion.  Honestly, I could go on and on about the scenery, the live music, the pubs, the excursions, the classes, and my host family – all of which were equally outstanding and perfect, but I will save the Ireland Appreciation Blog for another time. I want to talk about how valuable it was to live out of a backpack for 5 weeks while traveling in countries I had only ever dreamed about visiting, which I did as soon as my time in Ireland came to an end. The first destination was Amsterdam, and then my only agenda was to fly home from London 5 weeks later (just over 10 weeks abroad total); everything else was planned on a weekly or daily basis, and my main concern was making sure I had a place to stay every night.

To say backpacking was educational would be a massive understatement. You don’t realize how much you can learn outside of a classroom until you’re immersed in another culture where you don’t speak the language, have to navigate from trains to hostels, manage finances in five different currencies, make sure you can feed yourself, and simultaneously realize that you are thousands of miles from home trying to take care of yourself in a place where no one knows who you are. It is such a vivid, invigorating experience waking up and having no agenda other than to explore places you have never been before and see the world from a completely new perspective.

I will spare you the details about the dozens of bed bug bites, the Pink Lady (self-titled) who only spoke French and was about 110 years old running a very, very shady hostel in Nice, France, and how finding a place with a functioning shower was like winning the lottery. You start to appreciate where you’re from when you are removed from everything you know. I learned how little I need to actually be happy, and how great it is to interact with people with vastly different backgrounds than me.

It is difficult to convey just how much I learned from traveling on my own in foreign countries. There are only so many blogs and articles you can read to prepare for international travel, and though there were a few great pieces of advice I received before I left, so much of what I learned was from my raw experience.

With that, I want to share something from my personal tumblr that I wrote while I was away. So many people encouraged me to go on this trip and were so happy that I was able to do this that I wanted to come up with a way to share my experiences with them. Again, trying to summarize everything from last summer and how wonderful it was is an impossible task, so here is just a little insight I came up with on my travels:

“I went bungee jumping last night for a final adrenaline rush on my last day in Interlaken. There ended up being a thunder and lightning storm in between jumps, but when it was my turn it was just drizzling until the bottom when I was pulled into a row boat. At that point it was pouring hard and I was in a t shirt and jean shorts but it was like an adrenaline filled version of the Notebook scene (row boat and pouring rain, minus the Ryan Gosling sadly). It was so surreal I couldn’t help laughing at the craziness. The jump was about 450 feet, over a lake so we jumped out of a cable car that went up some wire and hovered above the water. Soul Meets Body by Death Cab came on right before my jump and I wasn’t even surprised because the timing of things on this trip, especially songs, has just been eerie.

It is getting harder to formulate what I have learned because I just have a constant stream of thoughts flowing through my head every day but I am gonna try to sum up a couple for now:

Firstly, and this has been reinforced constantly by switching cultures and countries all the time, but simply do not judge anyone for any reason. What is socially acceptable literally changes from country to country, city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood… There is no correct way to do anything; only what is perceived as correct in your perspective based on your accumulation of morals, values, and what you deem appropriate behaviors in your own mind. What other people do is their business. It is completely acceptable to be curious, but don’t make negative assumptions about them. You have no idea what makes them happy! Also, celebrate the differences! I know it’s been said but where is the fun in a world where everyone is the same as you? People cannot actually want that. I don’t understand why we are all so critical when it comes to people being different than us when diversity is what makes everything so great anyway.

Sort of with that, I think it is unfair of anyone to expect anything from anyone else. You project your own version of someone when you interact with them – it is always biased to your world and your mindset. Live and let live. Let people be whoever they are without trying to change them. Find people you enjoy being around because you already love who they are. Do not be angry with someone for not presenting themselves as the way you have created them to be in your mind; remember that only you know yourself, others only know their projection of you, and you only know your projection of others.

Along with knowing yourself comes how you feel about yourself. I saw a quote recently about living in a way that makes you feel proud of yourself. I love that, and I feel like I have been doing things that just make me smile out of the blue because I am so glad I did it lately and it is an awesome feeling. I encourage anyone to do something that makes them uncomfortable, or just stop holding back – with anything, everything…these moments of feeling more alive than ever are so invigorating. It doesn’t have to be from bungee jumping or canyon jumping…I felt the same excitement on a roof top deck by myself looking at stars, so happy I had to laugh, because I let myself feel so free. Also, don’t be too harsh of a critic on yourself. Learn from mistakes, salute yourself for doing something that wasn’t playing it safe, and then make yourself better because of it. Appreciate everything that led you to the person you are now; the good, bad, and ugly contributed so as long as you accept who you are now you should accept everything that got you there!

An easy way to get the feeling of release and happiness is to do anything that makes you feel like a kid. We kicked a soccer ball around with a dog during a sunset in Ireland and I couldn’t breathe I was laughing so hard at times. A dog. A ball. Friends. That’s all it took. Also, when we went to the Aran Islands I started running around on some huge rocks that we were all hanging out on near the water, and I just started running and jumping like a 6 year old and it was so great to feel so much joy from such a simple activity. But I felt free, and that feeling…of letting go of obligations and worries and stresses that cloud up your youthful mindset, wow, letting go of those and being in the moment is unlike any other feeling. Find something that gets you there, please!

This is a nice lead into… Stop worrying. Everything is going to work out. If you are determined enough, you will consciously make decisions and you will go the extra mile to do so. It is more so in your control than you realize. In a moment of panic, say in the Genoa train station in Italy where no one speaks English, and you are trying to find your way but are completely lost and confused by the transit system and names of destinations… And check me out. Numerous train rides later, close to the end of my trip, and I am perfectly fine. Stressful situations are always temporary, and if you can realize that in the moment it will pass by a lot more quickly. If you need a reminder that a problem is temporary, go in nature for a while. There is no cure like staring at the ocean waves over and over and over and realizing that you are watching a pattern that never stops for anything. It is infinitely moving. Or sit by a mountain and realize how tiny you are, and then stretch that into how small you are in one city, in one country, in one continent… Etc. Things that seemed enormous start to look really small when compared to much more massive, concrete things. Nothing quiets my mind faster than flowing water or mountains, that is the truth.”

Hopefully some of this was beneficial to read, but as I mentioned, there is nothing like traveling and experiencing the world for yourself and learning these lessons firsthand. Whether it is through studying abroad, an international internship, or a backpacking extravaganza (or a combination of those!), if you have any inkling to travel, do not wait any longer. Start planning, and find a way to get out there! If you have any questions about traveling or want to know more about life abroad, feel free to contact me at

By Casey Colvin

I grew up in Bend with animals of all types, as small as a rabbit and as big as a horse. I have loved owning animals all my life and wasn’t sure how not having one at college would affect me, but I soon found out.

When I was a freshman, pets were not allowed at the townhouse I lived in, so I was out of luck, but looking back I know I would not have had the time or money to take care of a pet and myself. However, during sophomore year, I started to miss having the presence of a furry friend. As a result, I got a hedgehog. Yes, a hedgehog, so not furry at all. But, a pet nonetheless! She has been a joy to own and very low maintenance, which goes well with my busy school schedule. Then, during the summer before my senior year, I rescued a kitten. So, now I have a hedgehog and a cat, and they actually play together! I can’t explain how happy I am to come home to my pets, Koda and Nala (If you can’t tell, I like Disney movies).

As a moral of my story, if pets make your heart happy, find one (or two) that fits your student lifestyle. Owning a pet can be compared to having kids, so ensure you have the funds and the time to take care of them and yourself! Some animals, such as dogs, can be very time-consuming so take that into consideration if you are thinking of buying a pet. Because of my pets, I laugh everyday and have a dependable cuddle buddy every night – the cat, not the hedgehog, just to be clear. The hedgehog can be cuddly at times though. Owning a pet during college is not for everyone, and before you decide if it is right for you, remember that pets need time, love, food, water, and can live for many years!

By Katy Krieger

As we head into spring term we all have to start deciding what to do for summer. There are so many opportunities out there it’s hard to even know where to begin! I’m here to talk about a few that are beneficial in the long run along with being FUN!

  1. Study abroad- Many of us want to study abroad but with other things going on it’s hard to find the perfect term to go. Summer is a great time to study abroad and let’s be honest, summer in a foreign country sounds like a blast! Many countries are also in the summer months so you are sure to find warm weather and happy people. Talk to an advisor or go to a First Steps meeting at noon or at four on the first floor of Heckart Lodge.
  2. Camp Adventure- CLA ambassador Morgan has already spent one summer in this program in Italy and now has the opportunity to go to Germany this next summer to do it again. This is a good way to work with children, see the sights, and gain new friends from the States and internationally. Interviews and applications happen early so begin planning for future summers!
  3. Summer courses- These are a way to knock out requirements or get in on courses that usually fill up the first day each term. The class size is smaller, the programs are usually shorter, and you can choose how many credits to take. There is always the chance to study in the sun as well so don’t think class in the summer is all too horrible. Registration for summer classes is first come first served basis and begins on April 14th.
  4. Working- It doesn’t sound all that thrilling, but let’s be real, we all need the money. Find a fun summer job that pays well and start earning (and saving)! Working in the service industry can be a great networking tool and you may pick up some useful skills. Look into being a bartender, barista, summer camp counselor, babysitter, golf course attendant, farm hand, gym attendant, library worker, or grocery store clerk. If you’re staying in Corvallis, finding work during the summer can be tough, so start looking early before all the good jobs are taken!
  5. Volunteering- Look into a potential career field by volunteering. Many medical places and offices love to have interested students and it looks great on an application! Start asking during spring break or send out emails early to get the good positions.
  6. Road trip- Gather up a few friends and see the neighboring states.  A lot of your friends are probably from other states and would love to host you for a night or two so take the time to go see them and visit cheesy state landmarks.
  7. Concerts, plays, sporting events- Go out and see entertainment at its finest. There are always cheap seats that need to be filled and you never know what great things you will see or get into if you put yourself out there. Attend something exciting each week and don’t forget things like farmers markets, festivals, and local bands that are playing.

No matter what you choose I hope that you all start thinking about your summer adventures because the best times are always a little bit planned. Don’t forget that even if you do take courses or work, make time for friends, fun, and family because not everything is serious! Also, include others in your plans because everything is better when you can share the memories with those around you!