Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Does It Matter Where You Go to College

Dear friends.

Recently, I have read an article published on Time.com, in which  Michael Bernick reminded us an important concept that is often forgotten. "It doesn't matter where you go to college," Bernick wrote.

"It just matters that you go."

Extremely true, but I found that not very many students or parents realize the logic behind this simple phrase.
Image from: http://janemcmaster.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/scolding.gif
I grew up in a traditional family that parents are used to be in control of their children's future. If I had not been abroad, I would have probably ended up going to a so called well-known university after graduating from high school. It has become a trend that all the hard work Chinese high schoolers put into is for obtaining an acceptance letter to get into a prestigious school; very few of them know what they want. Thus, going to a better school would never be a bad start.

Sooner or later in your life, you will figure out what personal or social values you are identified with, what your passions are, and what impacts you'd like to leave to the people around you, to your future job, and to your community. But this will only happen in a place where you get to try different things and where you are supported to try things you have never had and still feel comfortable about it. Depending on each individual's personality, the most prestigious school isn't just for anyone.

This year's Spring Visit Day, April 12, we welcomed 4 prospective international students from China, Vietnam, Senegal, and Japan. It was a small get together, but the group was very diverse. So when we sat down on the floor and played Apples to Apples, all kinds of hilarious matches were read out loud. People laughed and seemed to have a fun time.
Photo Credit: Shunying Wang
The reason why we have this event every year is to provide an opportunity for you to visit the campus and bring up questions you may have about PLU. Most importantly, this event also allows you to feel the vibe of the campus and see if you can find yourself studying and living here for at least two years. But PLU has a friendly community. You won't regret it if you visit.

Photo Credit: Taylor Capellaro

And in real life, people like him act exactly like how they look on pictures.
Photo Credit: Shunying Wang

Last semester, I had the privilege to interview Mahlon Meyer, a Chinese History Professor at PLU who was a Stanford University graduate and completed his Master's degree from Harvard University. I asked him about his experience studying in those high-ranking institutions during our interview.

If he had known, he looked deeply into my eyes, he said would have chosen a small institution like PLU that encourages a close-knit community for students to easily get more involved.

Hope you are enjoying WA's precious sunlight and have a spectaculous week!

Love always,

Shunying

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What is Spring Visit Day and Why you should join us?



Hi guys
I hope you guys are enjoying this awesome weather. Spring is finally here and PLU campus is so so so pretty. Make sure you read Madeleine's post to see some awesome photos around campus
So if you haven't heard, Spring Visit Day is coming up. It will be on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 and I think that if you live near campus, you should definitely join us.

Just so you know, this event is new to us. I still remember when I applied to PLU, there was no Spring Visit Day. I got accepted to PLU and I was so excited. Then I got accepted to the Nursing Program and boy, I could not sleep for days :)

I remember that at that time, I looked at PLU website everyday. I searched for housing information, class information, pictures on everything, and even youtube videos about PLU. I honestly was very very very excited and all I could think about was PLU because I wanted to be ready for Fall.

I wished we had this event back then.

Good news for you guys, we've been having Spring Visit Day for about 2 years now and I can promise you that you won't be disappointed.

Spring Visit Day is for International Students like you guys to visit PLU campus, hang out with current Student Leaders, and learn more about PLU. We do different things every year and this year, the theme is "Dance" so it will be awesome for sure. What we really want is for you to have the "PLU experience" to see what life at PLU is like and I am sure you will have fun.

For more information and to RSVP, make sure you visit our website here:
http://www.plu.edu/admission/international/calendar/home.php?details=spring-international-visit-day

Hope to see you guys here soon :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Break

Spring is just around the corner! Many flowers have started to bloom and everything is starting to look a little more cheerful because the sun is out. Many PLU students had different plans for the week. While many students who live around PLU went home, others stayed on-campus or went on trips with friends.
For my second Spring Break at PLU, I spent some time with my friend who lives in a city North of Seattle for a fews days to relax, came back to the Tacoma area to spend time with another friend, and went to Portland for the last weekend!
Overall, Spring Break was a great time to relax and start the last half of the semester with a fresh start! I'm really enjoying the sunshine in Tacoma right now, and I'm hoping to end the last half of the semester well.

Love,
Loana



Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring at PLU

Spring is back at Pacific Lutheran University and this means flowers blooming all over campus and lots of fun outdoor activities! Lutes are spending their days in the precious sun, slack-lining, playing frisbee and doing their homework outside.
Outdoor meets indoor!
Homework in the sun!
New flowers showed up almost overnight!
The PLU is gorgeous this time of year and walking though it on warm spring days and nights is great after winter. Everything is so green because of all the rain the rest of the year!

Students enjoying dinner in the evening sunshine!
Sunshine through the tree on upper campus!
This also means it is time for spring break! This is a great opportunity for international students to travel and visit different parts of North and South America! But even if you do not travel far from campus there are many fun opportunities as PLU is located perfectly for all kinds of adventures, with easy access to nature, city life and the Pacific Ocean.
Spring break 2013 in Bandon, OR.
Last year I drove down the coast to San Francisco, where I met some fellow lutes who had the same idea. Many international students are there this year!

This year will be spent in Santa Barbara, California. I am looking forward to getting some sun and visiting the beach! I will be doing culinary tours and cooking classes to try new foods and experience creative recipes.

You can find Lutes everywhere these days, Mexico, Canada, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, D.C. and more. I wonder if I'll meet any in Santa Barbara!

Madeleine

Friday, March 14, 2014

Nursing Preceptorship

So as you guys know, this is my very last semester here at PLU and boy, I am way too excited.

I've written many blog posts about my experience as a Nursing student along with tips and tricks to survive Nursing School and I hope you guys find those posts helpful. Here goes another one.

What is the last semester in Nursing like?

Well, it is definitely not easy nor relaxing. I have classes on Mondays and I am sort of required to have the rest of the week open so I can do preceptorship.

In order to keep my Provost's Scholarship, I needed two more credits (School of Nursing only offers 10 credits for your last semester), so I signed up for an art class. Good news is the Art class is on Mondays also but the bad news is that it's at 6pm so I usually have to spend the entire day at school (like 12 hours).

How are Classes this Semester?

To be honest, classes this semester are not as crazy as I expected. Like I mentioned in my previous posts, classes such as Patho and Med/Surg are overwhelming. Everything is sort of connected to something else since the human body is interconnected. One thing happens to one system can actually cause something else. And I was used to that so I thought that this semester would be about the same.

However, classes for this semester focus more on Policy, Politics, and Employment issues. In other words, classes this semester provide me a realistic image of the workplace. Therefore, there isn't anything that I need to memorize for but rather tons of group projects and meetings.

What is Preceptorship?

In nursing, we can't just learn everything in class. Clinical is very important but we only spend about 4 - 5 weeks for each clinical. Therefore, preceptorship is where you get to do extensive clinical hours on the field of nursing that we like.

Since there are limited spots for preceptorship, each of us had to fill out a request form last semester. First, we listed three things we want to do for preceptorship, for example, med/surg, oncology, emergency department. And then we choose three hospitals that we want to work at. Then our professors would work with the unit managers and the staff at the hospitals for our placements.

Luckily, I got exactly what I wanted. I love the heart and I love the Intensive Care Unit so I got Cardiovascular ICU.

Tell me more about Preceptorship

For preceptorship, I work whenever my preceptor works therefore, my schedule changes every week. It is tough to change my schedule around because I still have a job at PLU and I still have homework. Also, I do nightshifts so whenever I work, I have to sleep the whole day before to prepare and the day later to recover.

However, preceptorship is very fun. I get to provide direct care under an RN supervision. I get to learn about things I had never seen in school. And everything just starts to make sense and I feel a little more comfortable now.

So what's next?

Well, it's almost the end of March so Spring Break is next on the list.

Then, Order cap and gown. Have my birthday one week before graduation. Then Nursing Pinning ceremony. Then the Commencement.

But it's not the end yet. After graduation, I will have to study for the NCLEX. For those who are not familiar with the NCLEX, it's an exam that everyone has to take in order to become a registered nurse. Then after that, hopefully I will get a residency position somewhere.

If you guys have any questions about the nursing program or would like to know more tips and tricks, please feel free to comment down below.

Thank you

Monday, March 10, 2014

Is P.L.U Religious?

Dear friends,

When I first heard about Pacific Lutheran University, I had no idea what the deal was. My host family and professors at school kept telling me how prestigious PLU was and how I would end up really liking the school if I chose to go there. My only concern, however, was that I had no interest in attending a religious school.

I was not a Lutheran, and I didn't think I would ever be one. Growing up in China, I had never been formally introduced to Christianity. I consider myself as an individual free from religious traditions, and I would like to keep it that way.

So I proposed the question to the international admission counselor, Hiro Kuroiwa-Lewis,

"Do I have to be regious to attend PLU?"

"No. Not at all," Hiro said.

Believe it or not, questions about religions and beliefs are often asked by many international students, who come from all over the globe along with various backgrounds. If you are eager to find out how religious PLU is, here is my answer:

No one is required to have religious affiliation to attend PLU.
If you believe in Jesus, great. There are many ways to nurture your belief. Chapel service is provided every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is a special break PLU offers for you to reflect and appreciate your spiritual side of life.

For students of other faiths or of no faith, whatever you have is valued at PLU as well. The diversity of PLU and the appreciation of diversity are what make PLU unique. Every point of view matters here. At least no one has scolded at me yet for what I don't believe in.

However, you are required to take one to two religion courses.
The reason for that is to enrich your cultural experiences, which are in close relationships with religion's influence in our daily life. This requirement is to prepare you to get a better understanding of the impacts different religions have in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It is one of those things that you might not be interested in learning, but the learning outcome is often beneficial, and it gives you many Aha moment later on in life. If you are here to learn the culture, get ready to be open-minded and challenged, to engage in conversations, and to be comfortable of being uncomfortable.

Does this solve the concern that many of you have out there? Comment down below if you have more questions. I will be more than happy to answer them for you!

Happy Monday :)

Love always,

Shunying

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tunnel of Oppression: PLU taking part in social justice

Every year, PLU organizes an event called Tunnel of Oppression, where different clubs and organizations put together visual displays to show the different types of oppression people go through. Some topics included oppression of people with disabilities, gay men in prison, people who go through poverty, and even the community around PLU.

Though all the topics were very serious and sometimes really shocking, I was really glad that I participated in this event. I felt like I learned a lot about my privilege and how much resources I have available to me. One display that really caught my eye was a video where PLU students first held a banner that said "I'm a poor college student..." and a second slide was played after that which listed things that they had access to such as a roof over their head, $4 coffees, J-term trips, a good education, etc. It was really eye-opening to think about how many things I took for granted, and didn't really think about on a daily basis that a lot of people may not be able to do for different reasons.

Overall, it was a really educational experience. Even those who do not enjoy heavy topics should possibly take a look at it next year. A lot of the issues are everyday things that we might not particularly think about, but are still existent. I definitely learned a lot from it, and I'm sure other PLU students who attended the event did too!