College: Portland State University
When I was preparing myself for college, one thing I didn’t think about was housing. I worked on my grades, test scores, gaining experience, anything and everything I could do to make sure I excelled academically once I got here. What I didn’t consider was how much housing could affect my academics. My first year at PSU was a hard adjustment, and living in the dorms was a big part of that. I loved living on campus, but in the dorms I felt like I didn’t have a space that was mine—I was always sharing that space with one person or another. The first time I saw my apartment at CHNW I almost cried. This place was mine. It was mine to decorate as I pleased, it was mine to relax in, take comfort in, and to share with whomever I chose whenever I chose. Having this independence for the first time has meant more to me than I would’ve thought, and I don’t think that would’ve been nearly as possible if it weren’t for CHNW’s goal of providing affordable housing for students. Housing combined with job opportunities has given me the opportunity to experience more freedom. I have the benefit of living close to campus without feeling like my experiences are limited to life on a college campus. I’m also incredibly grateful to be a Community Assistant—living and working here has been an exciting source of growth for me personally, professionally, and academically.