Alumni share notes of encouragement for new students

Navigating campus for the first time can be a lot! Thankfully there are tens of thousands of PSU graduates (now alumni) who have been in your shoes and have some wisdom to share.

“Pursuing higher education can be intimidating, it will be hard, but all the difficulty will be worth it in the long run. Your education is something no one can ever take from you. No matter the specifics of your degree, you will live an enriched life as a result. You’ll write better, you’ll work with others more effectively, and you’ll see art with more openness – life only gets better with education. Now, put yourself in stretch positions, learn to advocate for your needs, help your peers, spend as much time learning from your professors, and challenge your own beliefs. The journey of college is the beginning of your life education, never stop learning and challenging yourself daily. If I can do it, I know you can.”
– Andy Lex M.S. Ed ‘19

“It can be scary and nerve-racking to be in a new place. To be somewhere perhaps you never thought you could ever be. Maybe your road here was met with many challenges and doubts but you made it. You deserve it! If no one else has said it, I am proud of you! You belong here! You can do this! Most of all, believe in yourself and have some fun too.”
-Di Montgomery-Thompson ‘14, MSW ‘20

“Congratulations on the exciting journey you’re about to embark on. As a proud alum of this institution, I want to remind you that your time here will be a transformative experience. Embrace every challenge and cherish every triumph. You have the potential to achieve greatness, so believe in yourselves, lean on your professors and peers for support, and make the most of every opportunity. Your determination will lead to success, and the world is waiting to see your impact.”
-Forogh Foroghi ‘20

“Everyone from time to time feels imposter syndrome. Breathe. Talk to your fellow classmates and you will find you are not alone. Talk to your professors and you will find support and encouragement. They want you to succeed! Good luck and remember it’s okay to take a break when you need it.”

Jill Hult MS ’23
Jill Hult at commencement 2023

“After two weeks of classes at PSU, I realized I was home. I was so happy to have made friends, to be learning about a subject that I cared about, and because I knew my professors cared. Though my time there wasn’t easy, I learned everything I needed to learn to become a music teacher. I made incredible friends and have the best memories of my time in college. I am so grateful that I didn’t move away for college and honestly, that made it easier to find a job here in Portland due to networking locally. This is all to say PSU is a great school. If you work hard and find your people, I think you will be glad that you spent your time, money and sweat at PSU.”
-Haley Reviere ’15, MEd ’19

“Make the best of the time you have and make use of all the resources available to you! You may be looking at the finish line and just want to be done, but it’s a marathon — not a sprint. Take it one term, one class, and one week at a time. It may get overwhelming, but you are better than the hard days! Keep pushing and enjoy the moment as much as possible.”
-Haley Soller ‘21

“Your elective courses are an opportunity to explore something that you may not have the chance to in your major’s requirements. It’s how I found my graduate school program in CUPA. Take the extra five minutes to read the rubric/grading for each class assignment to understand your approach to the course material and take advantage of free resources like Basic Grammarly to help with your coursework. Lastly, communicate if you need help with your peers and professors. Four years flies by, so soak in the city and explore your passion!”
-Natalie Burke ’18

“You’ve got this! There’s a lot going on during your first term, so make sure that you get involved. If you live on campus, be a part of the excursions all year and be a part of the community. Do not wait until you graduate to be a part of the career path that you want to be a part of. Get into internships right away.”
-Nicole Wangler ’23

“My best advice is to get involved and to expand upon what you learn in the classroom. Join a club, run for student government, work on a research project, become a mentor or ambassador, get an on-campus job — whatever your passion is, make sure you aren’t just leaving that passion at the classroom door. It is these additional opportunities that can really open doors for you and expand your horizons!”

Madeline Frisk MS ’21
Madeline Frisk

“I am so excited for you all! You have a beautiful campus to explore, learn and try new things. Take advantage of the spaces that were made for you and pursue your interests passionately!”
-Taylor Nasim Stone ’21

“Take your time to see all that PSU offers. College is such a great time to find new things and explore new interests, make friends, and ultimately learn. Each day is an opportunity to learn something!”
-Angie Nguyen ’21, ‘23

“Set your long-term goals and then don’t worry about them! Just focus on doing the next right thing, one foot in front of the other. If you feel stuck or like you’re floundering, ask for help. There are people here who want to see you succeed— professors, tutors, career center coaches, and counselors. You have a whole team here for you!”
-Laura Ford ’23

Interested in learning more advice from alumni? Join the new platform PSU Works, where over 1,100 alumni are ready to mentor you and offer career advice.