Four years as a Viking

Portland State University was not my first choice for college after my high school graduation. However, the situation I was given by U of O left me with no choice but to enroll at PSU.

I was getting more money and having to deal with zero loans if I came to Portland State.

When I first got here, I hated the park blocks, the classes and everyone associated with this school. I was scared of a new big place and I was mad that I had to choose a school I didn’t even want to go to.

Nevertheless, my outlook changed in a hurry. I got the opportunity to walk on the tennis team my freshman year and my college experience skied from there.

I was able to meet all kinds of great people through sports and began to like this place more and more. In the next year I became involved with the basketball program as well. I no longer hated downtown as I once did; instead I started to love it. I began to love the different races and ethnicities I saw every day. I began to love my professors, classes, fellow students and the choice that I had made to stay in the Portland area.

It took me a while to realize that this school is different than most any college a student will attend.

There isn’t a noticeable Greek system here and therefore not a party every Friday and Saturday at the big frats on campus. Athletics are growing, but don’t rule the school like many other large college campuses.

Portland State has one of the most diverse mixes of people and cultures that I’ve come across in my life.

Aside from all this, everyone is extremely nice and friendly. Students here find all kinds of different ways to be busy and socialize. There is always hanging out in someone’s apartment or dorm just to chat or eat or watch movies, or even all three. Then there is the option of hanging out anywhere we want in downtown. On top of all that we can be involved with activities on campus, like sporting events and clubs.

I hate being a part of a typical setting anywhere I go. This school happens to shy away from pretty much every college norm and stereotype in one way or another. I couldn’t be happier to have gotten a degree here and be able to connect with all kinds of great people through tennis, basketball, jobs and the Vanguard Newspaper.

It was four years that I would do again in a heartbeat and now that I’ve graduated in less than four years I am, and will remain, proud to be a Viking for as long as I can.