Sometimes a plan comes together in the shadow of uncertainty. For Hayley Pritchard, a first year School Health Education major from Nevada City, California, the decision to pursue college was never so clear. “College wasn’t really on my radar.”
It wasn’t until she visited Portland and learned that PSU had a degree that interested her, that college became a possibility in her mind. “I’ve been interested in health education ever since I started volunteering with health organizations in the seventh grade, so I was thrilled to learn that PSU had a School Health Education degree.”
Hayley is wasting no time in making her mark on campus. She is going to be an RA next year, and she sees a lot of potential to use what she is learning in her classes to help incoming students.
“What I’m learning in my Stress Management (PHE 275) and Community Health (PHE 446) classes I can apply to working with students living on my residence floor and help get them through their first year.”
Transitioning from living at home to living on campus in a big city can be a big change for some, but Hayley sees living in the heart of Portland to be an amazing chance to explore. “I love how connected all the student housing is with the city. It really allows you to explore and go everywhere. It’s unrestrictive.”
Hayley is exploring all that the city has to offer. “I feel like I’ve been all over Portland this year, tasting all the amazing food and experiencing all the amazing culture the city has to offer. I even found a place I can go blues dancing, a passion of mine.”
Getting around Portland from PSU is easy since the Max (light rail), streetcar, bus and BIKETOWN (bike share) all have a presence on campus. “You can even walk to most places you want to go.”
Don’t think that living downtown means you’ll be living in cramped spaces. PSU has a wide range of on-campus housing options, all of which, from the modern residence halls to the historic ones, include everything students need to thrive in their first year.
“Living in the dorms really helps create a community, too. You’ll get to meet a really diverse set of people.”
Hayley’s advice to students coming to campus this fall? “Make sure you are proactive. Not just in school, but to yourself as well. Make sure you take care of yourself and do what makes you comfortable. Surround yourself with everything you need to be successful, it makes all the difference.”