Portland State happens to be the largest public university in the state by a mile but it’s far from well-known. That seems like a paradox, you might suggest, but it happens to be sucked into a dark pit of apathy stemming mainly from the city and overall attitude that it’s nestled in. I’ll be honest, I’m pretty apathetic about my school too but it actually seems like being an active participant in the usual ‘college’ activities at PSU is out of the ordinary. Pretty sad, actually. While most other colleges or universities are in ‘college towns’ we are plopped right in the middle of hustling, bustling downtown Portland where no one knows your name or cares to. We don’t own our own stadiums, of any kind as far as I know, and that cuts out the biggest amount of buzz that could be generated because no one cheers for us. I’m not a sports fan anyway but there’s no way I’m going to go to a 20 person tailgater and then watch our team lose in an empty stadium. The dorms, which usually signify the place to experience the real ‘college experience’ are far from it with dead hallways, bolted doors, and an extreme lack of connection. Greek life parties? Forget it – with a dismal Greek community and no houses there isn’t anything going on; or if there is, most people aren’t inclined to go. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that I do really like about my school but they are almost entirely tied into ‘school’ not ‘atmosphere’; aka. academics. I have some incredibly talented peers who inspire me, amazing faculty who have stretched me (with some bad apples thrown in, like anywhere else), and there have been a lot of opportunities that I’m pleased to have experienced. However, you won’t see me repping my one free PSU shirt and lanyard very often. I’ll get my degree, snag a rewarding job in my field, and move on in life thinking fondly of some memories but probably not hooting about my alma mater. Do I own a pair of viking horns, you ask? I’ll stop you right there.
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