Category Archives: Self-Improvement

Call Me Christopher: How Valley Found its Newest Male Writer

Mom1996Serendipity: the phenomenon of finding value in something without intending to search for it.

If I had to rest my finger on a single reason that I am a part of Valley today, I suppose I’d have to point to serendipity. It was that all-too-delayed spring heat, those beams that filtered through glass panes of the classroom windows as the light passed between some of my peers, ones who either slept through lecture or winced in pain as their hands cramped from overly-aggressive note taking. It was that very same sunshine that illuminated the stack of Valley Magazines on the front desk.

I picked up an idle copy of Valley and read it cover to cover, every word. It was a good day.

But the pages of the magazine I had yet to read eventually dwindled down to nil, and I was left with a hunger for more; perhaps a craving. Continue reading

First World Problems: Packing Edition

IMG_7266There’s nothing in this world we resent more, but can completely relate to on an extremely shallow, yet intimate level. Yep, we’re talking about first world problems.

In light of finals and the inevitable chore of packing up everything you somehow managed to haul all the way here in the first place, you’re probably going to be hearing your fair share of first world problems being voiced this week and will most likely let a few slip yourself, and Valley wants to be there to say we told you so.

So, without further adieu, we bring you our comprehensive list of first world packing problems: Continue reading

College Crisis: Grinding Scares Me

Our college years are full of dramatic “I’m not a grown up!” moments- mostly unexpected, and typically unwanted. Anonymous Valley writers discuss it all, from avoiding basic responsibilities to dealing with the big, bad future. Let’s talk about it.

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I absolutely love to dance. It’s not good dancing, but whenever I hear one of my favorite songs playing I am the first one to bust a move. You’ll see me trying to doing any type of dance move from “screwing the light bulb,” to “moving the lawn,” to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” or Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies.”

But the one type of dancing I simply cannot deal with happens to be the most popular type in college: grinding.

Even the word itself gives me the chills. Grinding is basically like, “Hey! I don’t know you and I probably never will get to know you, but let’s intimately rub our body parts together while listening to House Music.”

My fear of grinding goes back to 8th grade, when the high school I was going to attend hosted a dance for the incoming freshman. During the dance, the boy who I had a crush on during middle school (who was obviously the main topic of my diary) asked me to dance. What I didn’t know is that boys in my grade were experimenting with this dance move called “Grinding.” Continue reading

How to Properly Not Care

notcare.ponte1-1You don’t care. Well, maybe a little bit but it’s hard to care about some things with less than a month left. But there are ways to properly not care without hurting someone’s feelings or hurting your chances to keep up with schoolwork.

If you’re graduating, it’s easy to not care, especially if you’re just finishing up those last credits or already know you’re going to graduate school or have a job waiting for you. The future is secure so the present is a tad irrelevant right now. Especially that group project. That is something you really have to force yourself to care about. But remember that the last thing you need is to tank your graduation requirements by coming up short. This is the home stretch so hold in your joy about moving on to the next stage in your life and handle business. Otherwise you could come off as a cocky slacker and that’s not a cute look.

Even if you have more time left to enjoy Happy Valley, your mind may already be on a beach or at home or anywhere but in Thomas, listening to a lecture. But those final grades are necessary to cement your path for next year. Continue reading

The Taboo of Cursing

CursingEveryone does it. Well, a lot of people do it.

Cursing is something we are taught from a very young age not to do, but so many of us do it in our older age anyway. For some of us, it just feels good. It feels good to release our emotions in the form of these words. For others, it’s just second nature. Some of us have been exposed to it for so long that we barely consider them choice words anymore. These words just become another part of our everyday vocabulary.

Many girls, despite valiant efforts to uphold a ladylike appearance, sometimes just have to let out a curse word. It’s human nature. But, does this (at times) uncontrollable urge to let loose turn off guys? Continue reading

College Crisis: When Sexism Starts with a Job Offer

kimberlybartner.ladylikepdaI was ecstatic when I received my first job offer from the company of my dreams. It’s not just any company – it’s a Fortune 500 car manufacturer. The position was more than any mechanical major could ask for. I was the happiest girl in the world until I talked to Kevin*.

I told my family and my close friends about the offer, including Kevin who, it turns out, also applied and got an offer for the exact same position at the same company. We chatted excitedly over lunch about our possible new job, about getting apartments and about going out on the night of our graduation ceremony.

Time seemed to freeze when Kevin mentioned how much he was being offered from the company. I found out that I was getting paid $4,000 less. I was offered less as my starting salary, not because I have a lower GPA than him (mine is higher than his), I have less work experience (we are about the same) or speak fewer languages than he does (I’m trilingual, are you kidding me?). On top of work experience and academic prowess, I competed in a car design contest in Germany one summer. Continue reading

State of Emergency

skoglund.helpinemergencies.5It’s scary to think about, but a medical emergency can happen to anybody at any time.

While some of us had to take health classes in high school where we learned CPR and how to stop someone from choking, would you be able to do that now? What about in another health crisis? You should always call 911 in a medical emergency, but we’re here to help you figure out what to do until the EMS shows up.

Valley chatted with Theo Waksmunski, a registered nurse and clinical educator at Mount Nittany Medical Hospital, to help you get in the know. Continue reading

Job Search Curveballs

Yilmaz.JobSearchFinds-2You’ve already heard the same thing from the Career Services office: have your resume and cover letter drafts ready so you can zip through job applications. But every once in a while, a curveballs that you didn’t expect to find during the job search hits you.

Curveballs can be anything from a pop test to a recorded video interview. All of them are just as scary and nausea-inducing. Jeff Garris, the director of Career Services, says the number one thing applicants may find surprising is how important patience is in the job search.

“Students are surprised by how slow the application process can be,” Garris says. “It can be a while before they hear anything. But the important thing is to follow up if you haven’t heard anything back in two weeks.” Continue reading

Best Friends: Why Going to Different Schools is a Good Thing

Zucker_friendsatotherschoolsThey conquered the awkwardness of middle school with you. They held your hand while you cried endlessly over your first high school heartbreak. They will be standing up with you on your wedding day.

They’re your best friend.

Our best friends are absolutely irreplaceable people in our lives who have seen us through the ups and downs. They know all our secrets and quirks, and we know theirs. We can’t imagine spending long periods of time away from them, but for many best friends, college gets in the way of that.

When it comes time to select a college, the perfect school for you might not be the perfect school for your best friend, so you end up going your separate ways. At first, it seems sad and you worry you’ll grow apart, but sometimes time away can be the very best thing for your friendship. Continue reading

Sexual Violence: Addressing the Fear

Korch_DealingwithAbuseNo one should have to walk around in fear.  However, one in three women will.  According to the Women Organized Against Rape, that’s how many women will be sexually abused during their lifetime.

“We are groomed to say that women are at fault and that is our first problem,” says media studies professor Michelle Rodino-Colocino. “There is this preconceived notion that women are not trustworthy and that they are to blame.”

The first thing we must address is that if you are the victim of a sexual assault, you are not to blame. The only person that is to blame is the person who did to you, and for that we are truly sorry.

Unfortunately, sexual violence will never end. But we can start making steps today that will greatly decrease it in the future.

One major problem that contributes to sexual violence is the lack of education.

What is the number or rapes that occur every year? The truth is, there is not a clear answer as 85 percent of sexual violence indents go unreported.  Continue reading