Saturday, April 27, 2013

Living in the Resident Halls at PLU

Living the residence halls here at PLU is a great experience. I would definitely recommend all students to take advantage of the on campus housing options their first years at PLU.
T-stad at night!

The resident hall I currently live in, Tingelstad, is the largest residence hall out of the ten on campus, both in size and number of students, with about 360 residents distributed over nine floors.  

Balconies with spiral staircases join together every two floors and open into spacious lounges and kitchens, where residents enjoy hanging out with one another. It is also located directly across the street from the only fenced and gated parking lot on campus. 

T-stad is also the tallest building in Parkland and I have had a beautiful view of Mount Rainier outside my window all year. It looks different everyday!

I love that the people I live with on the 7th floor. We have become very close with each other and with the floor under us. I have created many meaningful relationships with many of the students on campus, but the deepest relationships have definitely formed in my hall. Living closely with fellow students is also really helpful when you are working on projects or want to have study sessions.
International Students helping each other with homework:)
Central Location
Living on campus lets you be in a close vicinity to everything on campus, your classes, the library, the University Commons, Old Main Market, the gym, the pool, the concert hall, your professors' offices and your fellow students. Not to mention that the campus is just gorgeous!

Harstad in the evening.

INside Mortved Library

Living with a roommate
My awesome roommate and lovely neighbors!
Sharing a small space with another person is definitely an experience. You might not always get along or agree on how things should be done, but you learn so much about each other through this experience. The best thing is to be open and talk to your roommate if problems do arise. One thing that I found important coming to PLU as an international student was to get in touch with your roommate early on. This way you can get to know each other before you actually live together. This way the awkward first few days of living on top of each other, will not be so bad.

Gender Neutral Housing
There has been a big debate this year about allowing Gender Neutral housing in certain halls and on certain floors of halls. This housing arrangement will be starting the Spring semester 2013. This means that if a student is uncomfortable living with a student of the same gender, he or she can apply to live in designated halls or floor where students of opposite gender can live together.

The Evolution of my Room
When I first got to campus I did not have a lot of stuff or decorations on the wall, but as the year has gone on my room has change a lot! Check it out!
Phase One: Getting used to the room and awaiting the arrival of my roommate.

Phase Two: Getting used to sharing the space. It was very "my side your side" at first.

Phase Three: We rearranged for my roommates birthday and decorated it like crazy!
Phase 4: Current room set-up. Most of the space is now shared as we dare more comfortable with each other.
Our room at night.
Getting to know others on campus
When you first arrive on campus try to get to know a lot of people the first few weeks of school. During the first weeks everyone is looking to meet new people. After this phase wears off it can get more difficult to get to know people because they have found a close group of friends and become very tight knit. Also remember to make friends outside of you current friend group, if something goes sour you then have a back up group for support. A rule I make for myself is to say hi to everyone I know on campus and try to say hi to someone I don’t know on campus every day. Don't be shy!
Out for dinner!
South Hall Event had a Photo-booth!
All the girls going swimming!

Upper vs. Lower Campus
There is a certain reputation for the two halves of the PLU campus, but if you look closely Upper and Lower campus are actually not so different. A lot of the music majors live on upper campus in close vicinity to Lagerquist Hall and the practice rooms. Lower campus is in close vicinity to the gym, track and other sport fields. Therefore it is not surprising that most of the athletes live on lower campus.
However, I have found that the two halves do not differ when it comes to friendliness or studiousness. This is a very diverse community of students that have many different interests. T-stad is often thought of as the noisy lower campus dorm, but I have found that it was not a noisy as I thought it would be, unless the Seahawks are playing that is. ;)

Events and Activities
Living on campus allows you to be close to all the action that happens around campus on a daily basis. I can assure you that there is little time to be bored with so much going on around you, such as sporting events, lectures by famous professors, concerts, dances and plays, as well as all of the clubs and organizations we have here at PLU! Each hall also arranges a bunch of fun activities for their residence and everyone else on campus. 

Party at President Krise's House!
We just had the Fordal Games last weekend. This was a joint Hall Event put on by Foss and Ordal, hence the name Fordal. There were Hamster Balls that you could run around in, bouncy houses and obstacle courses. There were Henna tattoos, slip n slides, basketball, volleyball, foursquare, loud music and a lot of good food! We had a bunch of cotton candy and snow cones.

Life on campus if really fun! I am so glad to have met all of the people that I now can call my friends and look forward to all of the adventures we will have together! I am ending this post by quoting my good friend and neighbor who said:

"Living in the dorms is a unique experience where education is fostered, but friendships are also created." - Jessika, '16, Tingelstad

- Madeleine

Want to know more about the resident halls? Visit:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dancing at PLU: Annual Dance Show

Dear friends,

I think I need to post more pictures for my future blog posts. More fun to read that way. What do you say?

Oh did I forget to mention that Dance Ensemble is taking place on April 26th at PLU? Dance ensemble is an annual dance event that showcases creative choreography, put together by our talented students.

This is the first time I have ever participated in this type of show, I am sure you can relate how exciting it is for me! We've been rehearsing every Friday since late March. I believe that it will turn out amazingly because everyone of us has put in a lot of effort. Last Friday's rehearsal was a little different and special. Carla, the only guest choreographer of this show, brought a group of little dances from the Elk Plain School of Choice to see our run thru. They also performed two dance compositions to us.

Are you ready to take a quick peek at what will be put on the show? Spoiler!

Denae McGaha, first year, major in public relations at PLU
I am done writing now:) Favorite quote time now:

"If you are happy, happiness will come to you because happiness wants to go where happiness is."

-Yogi bhajan

[Image caption] Enjoy life my friends <3

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hiking in Washington

So how was everyone's Spring Break?

I read those posts by Loana and Madeleine and I am super jealous.

I had to work for 4 days over the break so I couldn't go out of stage. I went on facebook and almost everyone posted about what they were doing for the break and everything seemed awesome. So I couldn't just go to work and go home. After all, it was my break, my Spring Break, and I had to do something fun.

So I went hiking twice within one week.

First I went to the Rattlesnake Ridge. It took us about an hour to get there and that place is beautiful. There was some snow and it was a little slushy. The snow actually helped cooling us down.
Look at that view

And I had a Vietnamese sandwich on the way up :)

Then our second hike was at Lake Serene. This place is a little further than Rattlesnake Ridge. It's about an hour and a half away from PLU. The trail is steeper and scarier than the first one.

It is about 4 miles to the Lake and we wanted to get there since everyone said that the lake is beautiful. We couldn't make it since there was too much snow and I am not even kidding, at one point, the trail looked like a giant slide covered with snow. We didn't have hiking shoes on, we wore running shoes and we could slip and fall easily so we decided to hike back. However, here's some picture of the Lake Serene trail for you guys.

On the way there

You can't see my face here but yup, that's me. We ended up having lunch here. The fresh air and the sound of the water falls made everything seem peaceful. I will definitely come back here in the summer

And just another selfie :)

I hope everyone had fun over the break. If you are into hiking, let me know. Maybe next time we can go together.

Last but not least

42 days till summer...

Best regards,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break in Vancouver

Relaxing at a park
Hi there! Midterms managed to creep up on me just like last semester. Before I knew it, I had exams, papers, and projects due for classes, so I was scrambling around trying to keep track of assignments. After having a couple of very busy weeks, the week that I have been waiting for arrived...SPRING BREAK!

A group of my friends and I drove up  to Vancouver, Canada to relax and celebrate my friend's 19th birthday. It was a really nice vacation: I walked around downtown Vancouver, finished a lot of reading (I'm one of those people who like to read for fun), read in a park by the bay, and shopped. I even got to meet up with some of my friends from high school who attend UBC (University of British Columbia). Since I did not have a big budget to spend on a trip, this was perfect. It was a 3 hour drive from PLU, so traveling didn't take up much time. Furthermore, I got to go to a different country, which was definitely a great experience.
Downtown Vancouver from my window
Meeting my friends from high school at UBC

So now that Spring Break is done, I'm back at PLU ready to finish off the last 2 months of my freshman year. I'm not going to lie...I'm feeling a little nervous of the end, but I'm also excited. While I'm going to be busy finishing off the school year, I'm also going to treasure the memories that I have made and am going to keep making with the wonderful people here at PLU. As spring comes and the weather gets better, I'm sure it's going to be beautiful here on campus! I'll definitely have some pictures of the campus in my next post, but for now I will leave you with this:
Cherry blossom tree on campus. 

With love,