“I wanted something completely different, to embrace change rather than run from it.”
Jasmin Landa, a senior Business and Management Leadership major from Reno, Nevada, saw in Portland State something exotic.
“It was just so different than anything I had ever experienced. The people are nice, the perspectives more diverse, and, I mean, the grass was literally greener. I can’t see myself living anywhere else anymore.”
Jasmin hit the ground running, spending almost her entire freshman year exploring campus and getting involved.
“I spent so little time in my dorm room. I wanted to see everything, to really get close to the community here. I spent a lot of time at Campus Rec and at the Smith Student Union just talking to people and finding out everything campus had to offer.”
She found quite a lot. Jasmin seems to have a part of almost every aspect of campus life. She plays club-level volleyball for PSU, works for both Portland State University Communications and PSU’s Center Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and sits on the student-run Organization Budget Council, which helps facilitate student clubs and events.
Jasmin is also the recipient of a Diversity Scholarship and other financial aid. “I knew that my mom couldn’t support me, and that I would be on my own as far as paying for college.” Nearly 70% of PSU students are using some sort of financial aid.
“At first I was hesitant to apply for a Diversity Scholarship, but eventually I decided that I needed to own my story, to be true to myself and my experiences. I’m very self-motivated in that way.”
That motivation has allowed her to expand her learning outside of the classroom. Her work with SHAC has helped her gain skills that can extend far beyond graduation.
“I do a lot of work with the food security initiatives on campus, things like Harvest Share and the Food Pantry, two amazing resources for students who may not have good access to healthy, fresh food.”
“I also help advocate for SHAC, and how it’s not just a wellness center. We have specialists, everyone from dentists to doctors to therapists. Our goal is healthy students, however that is achieved.”
As someone who wants to one day start her own business, the interpersonal and organizational skills she has gained from all of her campus activities are preparing her for life after graduation.
“I am making really good connections through all of the things I’m involved with, and people are able to turn me on to a lot of amazing potential opportunities, especially since I want to stay in Portland.”
Jasmin’s advice to students coming to campus for the first time this Fall?
“I think it’s all about exploring campus. Go into every building, read every flyer, talk to everyone you meet. There are so many things to get involved in that I promise you will find something to be passionate about as long as you get out and discover it.”