Category Archives: Self-Improvement

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

Eggplant Portabella Pesto Wrap

step 7 (4)Amp up your typical lunchtime sandwich with a healthy and tasty veggie wrap. It’s easy to make and leaves you feeling full but not overstuffed. I used six different toppings that I enjoy but you can swap out or add in items as you please.




½ Eggplant
½ Portabella Mushroom Cap
½ Cup Spinach Leaves
2 Tablespoons Pesto Sauce
½ Tomato
A few Slices of Mozzarella Cheese
1 Flatbread Wrap
Non-Stick Cooking Spray or Olive Oil For Pan-Frying
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper to Taste

I used a toaster-oven to heat the wrap on the last step. If you don’t have access to a toaster-oven, preheat your real oven to 450 degrees before cooking your meal. Continue reading

Boys Aren’t All Bad

Florio.GuysAren'tBad“Don’t worry, there are plenty of fish in the sea!”

This cliché is used every day by anyone who is trying to reassure their friend that there are boys who are better than the last. Of course, they respond to this phrase with an eye-roll and then continue sitting in their blob of sorrows watching Netflix and eating Nutella out of the jar with a spoon.

But ladies, this phrase might be stupid to you because you have never met a boy that made you think otherwise. You might be the type of girl that thinks every single boy in the world is a jerk, and every time you get out of another crappy relationship you just want to scream.

But, believe it or not, not all boys are bad. It’s a matter of finding the right boy for you. Continue reading

Summer Break Plans That Don’t Involve Finding an Internship

Florio.AbroadNewsfeed2Finding the perfect internship to boost your resume and make yourself more marketable for the impeding senior year job search seems like a must. As Penn State students, we are trained to apply for internships each summer in order to land a dream job right out of college. But passing up an internship for a different summer experience might not be the most devastating life choice. There are other ways to enhance your professional skills other than in an official apprenticeship.

Travel Abroad

There is no person more marketable than someone who is well rounded. Traveling outside of the United States provides you with a different perspective on the world. Awareness of a diverse range of cultural norms and customs offers a unique perspective on life. Hiring employers love to see that you stepped out of the ‘Merica comfort zone and into an unknown environment. Traveling shows that you are flexible, adventurous and adaptable. You can sign up for group travel journeys, enroll in study abroad classes or simply jet set on your own to get that abroad experience. Continue reading

Redefining Your Parents’ Perspective

Parents_LaurenJohnson-1Transitioning into a young adult is a constant process in college, one that typically occurs with the absence of parents in your everyday life.  So what happens when your parents finally see you as the young professional you’ve worked so hard to become?

“He texted me and said ‘Mom, I took the car to get the oil changed,’” says Karen Buda, mother of Penn State junior Alex Buda. “I thought ‘Wow, he really is becoming an adult.’”

Whether college students realize it or not, there comes a moment of realization for parents when their child has suddenly grown up. As students are quickly whirled into a space of diversity, freedom and immeasurable knowledge, they are also subconsciously thrust into a competitive environment of individual change. Continue reading

100 Happy Days

Zucker_100happydaysIt starts with a simple question: can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

That is what the “100 Happy Days” Challenge is—a picture a day, captioned #100HappyDays. It is the hashtag that has begun to go viral. I can’t scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing it, but I am not complaining. The pictures are the best part of this challenge. They are not a bunch of heavily-filtered smiling-faced selfies—the challenge goes deeper than that. The photos submitted are meant to be snapshots of the everyday moments that make life a little better. It could be the fact that you finally figured out the perfect ingredients combo for your Mixed Greens salad or a screenshot of that text from your Grandma who went a little overboard with the emojis. Continue reading

Stages of an All-nighter

SabineC.Studying3Going to college comes with tons of awesome experiences: your first football game, your 21st birthday bar crawl, killer internships and (for Penn Staters) THON. But with the mad perks college gives you, come the cons along with it. The dreaded right of passage we all experience? The all-nighter. It’s unavoidable, and we can all connect through our shared suffering. No all-nighter is complete without the stages below – it’s a rough life, obviously. Don’t worry ya’ll – Valley is here for you. Stay strong. 


To start with, it’s all about the brain food. It’s an unspoken rule that you won’t get far without the appropriate sustenance to get you through. Sure, we try and keep it healthy with bananas or something (potassium is good for you, right?), but you don’t need to hide your habits from us. We all know you binge on Cheetos.

“My all-nighter diet usually varies from grapes to BBQ chips, frozen yogurt to vanilla pudding and Monsters to sweet tea,” says freshman Haley Britzky. “Although sweet tea hasn’t been scientifically proven to make someone more focused, I’d swear on my sweet grandmother’s soul that it does.” Continue reading