Welcome Explorers!

Cover Photo by  Maria Perala
Cover Photo by Maria Perala

Congratulations, you’ve made it! You have found your way to Portland State University. For some of you, this is a dream come true: You’ve waited all your life to walk among this green, urban oasis. For the rest of you: Brown’s loss, right?

When I started applying for colleges in high school, I was iffy about PSU. A friend of mine had told me all about how awesome it is to attend college classes “in buildings downtown.” I imagine this sounds exciting to a lot of people, but something deep inside my soul felt amiss—was I denying myself a traditional college experience?

Fearing the prospect of an un-college-y college run, I applied to Oregon State; I thought, I’ll be a Beaver! I even went through the entire process of selecting a roommate and a class schedule. Sure, Corvallis is basically a cohort of bros awkwardly misplaced among farmland and cow pastures, but Beaver Nation! Am I right?!

Truth be told, I never did make it to OSU—nor to Arizona State, for that matter, despite having made it all the way through the processes yet again. ASU, like OSU, just wasn’t my bag—and I don’t think I could have made it my bag if I tried.

Right as I was beginning to question whether that traditional college experience was in the cards for me, I fell in love with the city of Portland. Somewhat reluctantly, I surrendered to the idea of attending college classes “in buildings downtown” and submitted my application to PSU.

Arriving on campus, I quickly learned that PSU is far more than a collection of downtown buildings hosting classes. This urban campus, rich with opportunity and diversity, is as community-oriented as it is beautiful. At this school, people ask questions; and beyond that, they seek justice.

I’m sure there are students who came to PSU in search of a traditional college experience, but something tells me that most of the people this university attracts are in search of something more. And something tells me that most of them find it, too.

Whatever it is you’re looking for, I hope you find it. I hope you explore this beautiful city and immerse yourself in this vibrant campus. And while you’re at it, I hope you keep a copy of this Orientation Guide handy. Inside you’ll find everything you need for a successful start at PSU—from studying tips to public transit information.

Our urban campus has much to offer, but don’t confine yourself to university grounds. You’re an explorer, so go have an adventure! Let your knowledge serve, not only this city, but the world.