TITLE OF ARTICle Put the Subtitle Here WRITER: PHOTOGRAPER:
Letter From The Editor Valentine’s Day brings up a lot of feelings from some people. Whether the stance is it’s a commercial holiday or a day for love, it garners up strong feelings for everyone. But for me, it has always been a day for love. Even when I was single and felt lonely in high school, my parents would buy me a little chocolate and remind me they love me, just as they did every other day of the year. But that’s the funny thing. “Love” isn’t a holiday. Love also isn’t just in a relationship. Think of your family. Your friends. Your community. Relationships are all around us and are more than just between ourselves and our partners. Love is in the way we treat each other, the way we value our individualities and perspectives. Love is the feeling we have when we see our humanity together, regardless of how, and find joy in it. This issue is titled “Real Relationships” and explores a variety of relationships--from loving yourself to families and parenthood--all with the goal of exploring how love is around us in our lives. Coming out on the heels of Valentine’s Day, I want this issue to be abounding in hope and joy at every stage in life, with all the relationships that come along with it. I encouraged our writers to think about the relationships in their lives that they value with answers ranging from roommates to parents to close friends. In doing so, I thought about my own relationship that I value with my boyfriend, Kobe, and how we’ve spent several Valentine’s Days together full of love. Every year, I am reminded and thankful to have so much love in my life with him by my side, and I wanted to inspire others to think about all the love in their lives with this winter issue. Find the love you need--whether for yourself, from your friends, or with a partner--in these pages.
Best, Alex Luther Beaver’s Digest Editor in Chief
Contents Treating Yourself In Tough Times Taking care of yourself through it all
5 Things to Know Before Your First Relationship Tips for your first serious relationship
Maximize Your Potential 6 Potential First Dates
The U-Haul Theory Column on “U-Haul joke” in LGBTQ+ relationships
Guide to be Being Strong, Single and You Tips to being single and loving it
The Four Letter Word in Our Relationships In-depth view of healthy and unhealthy relationships
Living in LDRs Tips and tricks for long distance relationships
Perfecting the Profile Swipe-Worthy Tips
The Pandemic Through the Eyes of OSU Parents OSU student and faculty parents react to the pandemic
The Right Gift Tips for finding the right gift for your partner
Stranger in a Strange Land How to find a mentor in a new workplace
The Birds and the Bees and All the In-Betweens Everything you need to know about safe sex habits
All We Need is Love in Our Own Ways Working out love languages in your relationships
Small Talk and Society Social Anxiety in Relationships
Playlists for Every Stage in a Relationship Songs for every vibe in your relationship
My Boo, My Background Perspectives in interidentity relationships
Relationship Index Glossary of all terms relating to relationships
Meet The Staff
(TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT) * Alex Luther - Beaver’s Digest Editor in Chief * Zoe Sandvigen - Beaver’s Digest Assistant Editor * Kyle Switzer - Orange Media Network Photo Chief * Jennifer Moody - Orange Media Network Journalism Adviser (MIDDLE, LEFT TO RIGHT) * Jeremiah Estrada - Beaver’s Digest Contributor
* Jessica Li - Beaver’s Digest Contributor * James Fleck - Beaver’s Digest Contributor * Sarah Exner - Beaver’s Digest Contributor (BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT) * Teresita Guzman Nader - Beaver’s Digest Reporter * Aaron Sanchese - Orange Media Network Photographer * Ramzy Al-Mulla - Orange Media Network Photographer * Yuxi Zhu - NMC Practicum Student
Meet The Staff
OTHER STAFF (NOT PICTURED): * David Ngo - Beaver’s Digest Contributor * Adriana Gutierrez - Barometer City News Editor * Angela Tam - Barometer News Contributor * Jess Hume-Pantuso - Orange Media Network Photographer * Ridwana Rahman - Orange Media Network Photographer * Cyan Perry - Orange Media Network Illustrator, Cover Designer * Claire Nelson - Orange Media Network Photographer
* Jacob Lagmay - Orange Media Network Photographer * Owen Preece - Orange Media Network Photographer * Alex Reich - Orange Media Network Photographer * Jacob Le - Orange Media Network Photographer * Hailey Thomas - Orange Media Network Creative Team * Velyn Scarborough - Orange Media Network Assistant Director of Advertising, Marketing & Creative
Treating Yourself In Tough Times WRITER: David Ngo PHOTOGRAPER: Jess Hume-Pantuso
In a competitive society where we have to manage complex networks of professional and intimate relationships, it can be hard to spend some time and think about how we are treating ourselves. So, how are you treating yourself today? Have you been treating yourself fairly? Under normal circumstances, perhaps we treat ourselves alright. But how about when we fail at
I was able to explore this topic with Dr. Scott Mcfee, a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at Oregon State University. Dr. Scott shared with me that oftentimes society sets up unrealistic targets that simply can’t be hit. So when people inevitably fail, they are left stranded with unresolved feelings of shame and humiliation. “Lack of compassion towards self is one of the core features of what I’ve seen in my work. People will have these really critical thoughts of themselves and then they’ll maintain a cycle of
something we know we could have easily accomplished? How does society influence how we cope with that failure, and how can we identify what a healthy relationship with ourselves looks like? As individuals in a society, we are often set up with a series of expectations that can stem from multiple fields of life. Whether this is from the workplace, family, romantic relationships or academics, these expectations can be stressful and sometimes impossible to satisfy. So, with failure constantly knocking at the front door, do we have the necessary tools to confront itt and overcome it?
feeling bad about those things,” Dr. Scott explained.
come too difficult to manage with the unraveling of our support structures. Due to COVID-19, many relationships are physically blocked off, These feelings of shame are often elevated and and therefore, starve us of a way to manage our maintained when we try to cope with them using issues. self-destructive behaviors. Self-harm, substance use and self-depreciation, to name a few. In In an interview with two highschoolers, Shaun truth, these behaviors are a response to shame. Le and Chay Casas, they both independently They’re often behaviors that people may not mentioned a crucial part in how they managed want to talk about or even feel uncomfortable failure–talking about it. They emphasized that doing in the first place. communicating what happened and having a safe environment to do so helped tremendously This becomes very clear within the context of the in how they dealt with these feelings of shame. pandemic and recent social unrest. All of these factors contribute to demands that already fill In relation to what I discussed with Dr. Scott, it our daily platter of expectations, and can bemade sense.
CREATE “The only way to deal with shame is to talk about it. Oftentimes when we fail or feel bad about something we fear appearing weak and so it takes a particular type of strength to be vulnerable with people you care about.”
the world without a mask (no pun intended). It is a level of authenticity that can be “hard to nail down”, as described by Dr. Scott. But perhaps it’s not something that needs to be nailed down in the first place.
Being vulnerable in any circumstance is risky because it can make way for more hurt. However, this state of vulnerability is when the most value can also be derived. We are able to see ourselves at our most basic level, and interact with
Reaching that point of authenticity towards self is a lifelong journey, and as long as we are traveling on its path, we will reap its benefits. We live in a fast-paced society with many points of instant gratification, and quick fixes for our issues. We need to understand there isn’t a fit-all when it comes to dealing with failure.
An interesting point that Dr. Scott mentioned to me was about the numerous types of therapies (over 500) and how the evidence points to them being equally effective. However, a definitive factor in determining if the treatment is successful is based on whether or not the client and therapist have a healthy relationship. It also means
CREATE that there is a shared faith in the success of the treatment plan and that both believe in each other’s motives, as well as intentions. This may sound far fetched, but sustaining the hope that we will one day climb from our pitfall is critical to recovery. It communicates our intent and allows us to understand if we are taking actions because we choose to or because we are forced to. To sustain that faith in overcoming failure, forgiveness and moving closer to self-kindness is
paramount. It can be difficult to be kind when we constantly trick ourselves into believing that we deserve the pain that we feel. It can also be hard to forgive yourself, especially when we are left alone with our flaws for a long time. But perhaps we have a misshapen understanding of what forgiveness is. Dr. Scott suggests that forgiveness is more akin to acceptance than a form of forget-
fulness. “Forgiveness is not wanting the past to be different, nor is it condoning it. It is saying that failure is in the past and it cannot be changed.” No matter what we do, the failures that live in our past will never go away. So, what use is it in worrying about something that can no longer be controlled? What we can do, however, is sow better seeds for the future, and that starts with being more kind and compassionate to ourselves, and then the world around us.
5 Things To Know Before Your First Relationship WRITER: Teresita Guzman Nader PHOTOGRAPHER: Ridwana Rahman Falling in love and getting into a relationship can be one of the most rewarding feelings in life. You have the opportunity to make precious, life-long memories with someone important to you. Maybe you’re looking for that someone special, or maybe you already have someone in mind. Either way, getting into your first serious relationship can be both daunting and exciting. With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of five tips to consider before taking the leap into love. 1. OPPOSITES MIGHT ATTRACT, BUT DON’T MAKE THE BEST PARTNERS IN THE LONG-TERM You might have heard about the saying “opposites attract,” and while it might be very exciting to date someone that has different interests or personality than your own, it might not be the best decision for you in the long-run. Kristen Yax, an Instructor of Psychology at Oregon State University, said she recommends people thinking about getting in their first relationship should look for a partner with similar interests and values. “While we like to think that opposites attract (differences might always be fun and exciting in the beginning of a new relationship), research shows that similarities and sharing common values and interests predicts more satisfying, long-term relationships,” Dr. Yax said via email.
2. DO NOT SPEND 24/7 WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER Dr. Yax said a common issue she has witnessed in college romantic relationships is that some couples communicate and spend too much time around each other, which does not allow them to maintain a sense of self. “A common issue I have witnessed is the need to communicate or be around each other 24/7. Given the access we have via technology, many couples develop unrealistic expectations about how often they should communicate, whether in person or via mobile devices,” Dr.Yax said via email. ”It is important for each partner to maintain some sense of identity and individuality outside of the relationship, whereby they have their own hobbies, interests and friends. My recommendation is to always be open and honest about expectations, and set boundaries about communication early on so both partners are on the same page.” 3. NO ONE IS A BAD KISSER, YOU JUST NEED PRACTICE Katelin Vandehey, a third- year Civil Engineering student at OSU, said she wishes she knew that everyone’s first kiss sucks. “I was so scared leading up to it that I constantly pushed off obvious moves. It’s one of those things that you’ll get better at it and it’s okay,” Vandehey said.
4. GO ON CASUAL DATES TO LEARN WHAT YOU LIKE
Vandehey said she went through a phase where she went o learn more about herself and the things she likes in a partn
“I went through my phase of hitting up many different datin citing and it helps you come up with even more date ideas and don’t be scared to try something they enjoy. I have an friend took me skiing last winter and now I love it.”
Vandehey also said it’s important to have icebreakers ready sports or movies is a great place to begin.
E AND DON’T LIKE
on several dates using dating apps, and this helped her to ner.
ng apps and I met a lot of different people which was exs,” Vandehey said via email. “Find your common interests incredible fear of heights but I sucked it up and my boy-
y to start up conversation. Asking about their favorite
5. IGNORE THE PEER PRESSURE TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP AND DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU Abby Aof, graduate student in Computer Science at OSU, said she got into her first relationship when she was 19-years-old. “I had my first romantic relationship when I was 19, very late compared to my fellow friends since I was busy trying to be admitted to a university with a full or partial funded fellowship,” Aof said via email. “My partner was in his 30’s, kind, caring, educated, and supportive. He was not my sugar daddy, but he was definitely the grown man who falls in love with a teenager (or at least that’s how he looked at me).” Aof said her partner sent her red roses and “good morning texts,” but regardless of all the romantic affection he showed her, he did not show interest in taking the relationship more seriously, and eventually they broke up. “My advice to others is to take the time to choose carefully and [do not] rush getting into a relationship just because others are. I believe most (if not all) people are good, but we need to choose the ones who are good for us. The ones who support and truly care for us. The ones that we can be vulnerable with,” Aof said via email. “Because it was my first relationship I learned my self worth and weaknesses which made me stronger and more confident now.”
Maximize Your Potential 6 POTENTIAL FIRST DATES WRITER: James Fleck PHOTOGRAPHER: Cyan Perry
There’s a concept in physics called potential energy in which an object is in a position to release a larger amount of energy than normal. Water gathering behind a dam, a book at the edge of a table, a kid about to go down a slide, all of these are filled with potential energy. This concept doesn’t just apply to physics, it also applies to every day of our lives. Think about it, you’re spending the day in online classes and not going anywhere? That day has little potential energy, there’s only so many things that could come out of online class. Your first day of work, on the other hand? Filled with potential energy, you might meet your business partner for the next 20 years. One occasion with some of the highest potential energy is a first date. If you play your cards right, a total stranger could become the love of your life. That sounds like potential to me. To maximize your potential energy, you’ve got to make a strong first impression, so here are six potential first dates ideas.
DINNER AND A SHOW: A classic combination, sharing a meal gives you a solid block of time to get to know each other while a movie or show takes a bit of the pressure off and gives you something to talk about afterwards. Though this one might be tougher due to restaurants and theaters being closed, you could replicate it at home easily enough, plus you could turn cooking together into another first date activity. TRIVIA NIGHT: Lots of bars host the occasional trivia night, which is the perfect place for some quick cooperation. Most places do general trivia, but if there’s a specific topic you and your date are both into, it could be worth finding a place that does themed trivia. Whether it’s sports, entertainment, fashion, history, science--a good trivia night is sure to be anything but boring.
VOLUNTEER AT AN ANIMAL SHELTER: Who doesn’t love dogs and cats? Animal shelters around the world provide temporary homes for animals, and they’re always looking for volunteers to walk and play with the furry friends living there. I don’t know about you, but I see spending an afternoon on a date with a bunch of paws running around as an absolute win.
CREATE KARAOKE NIGHT: First dates can be awkward, nobody’s denying that, but sometimes getting out of your comfort zone is the perfect way to break the ice. After getting over the initial embarrassment of singing in front of strangers, karaoke is a ton of fun and a great way to show your date your fun side.
TAKE A HIKE: Don’t want to spend a bunch of money on dinner and a movie? Take your date on your favorite hiking trail, if that’s something they’re into. This activity allows time to get to know each other, and ideally, a great view at the top. Plus if either of you have dogs, this first date is pet friendly.
Take a Swing Dance Class Taking a dance class with a total stranger? Wouldn’t that be super awkward? Maybe at first, but like karaoke, once you get past the initial awkwardness, swing dancing is tons of fun! The basics are easy enough to learn and, if the date goes well, dancing could be something you and your date do together all the time.
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Sandvigen : The U-Haul Theory WRITER: Zoe Sandvigen PHOTOGRAPHER: Claire Nelson I’m just going to start this one out with a bang here. Women’s emotions are valid!
Question: What does a lesbian bring on a second date?
Now that I have your attention wondering what’s got me so fired up, I’ll tell you. A lot of things, actually. But for the purpose of having your eyes here, I want to talk about a few specific things.
Answer: A U-Haul.
There are plenty of boxes we place each other in to make us feel more separate than we are. Our cultures, sexuality, gender. We make fun of each other and make up offensive stereotypes. A few you might have heard before include that women are bad drivers, people of Asian descent have to be academic, men can’t cry and women act like U-Haul trucks. Did that last one seem random? It may appear that way, but that’s also what I want to talk about. Let me introduce you to the U-Haul Theory. Yes, it is a thing, and as harmless as it seems to compare someone to a convenient, reasonably priced moving vehicle–don’t let it trick you. The U-Haul Theory arose out of a joke that emerged from the gay community. According to the comment, lesbian women like to take it from the first day to a first appartment really quick. Hence, needing a U-Haul. Obviously this “joke” could be considered offensive because most couples, regardless of sexual orientation, take moving-in as a serious step that follows a prolonged time of dating. I came across this joke on Urban Dictionary that really hammers the point home.
Besides being offensive to lesbian women, I was curious to see what was behind the curtains here. As much as stereotypes can hurt us, oftentimes they stem from a sliver of truth. So I did some research. Turns out this iconic joke was coined by Lea DeLaria, an openly gay comedian, actress and singer. During one of her sets, she pitched the joke, and from then on it became a staple in the gay community. DeLaria, as an open lesbian, leads me to think she has the authority and know-how to make such a joke. But still, what experiences prompted her to make that joke? Do women really rush commitment? A few articles later and I found some common veins that describe whether or not U-Hauling exists, and why. My consensus? Depends on the person. I know that’s a bad answer but it’s true. Some scientists say U-Hauling is a response to trauma growing up in an anti-gay world. In early years when teenagers start to form their first relationships, some still in the closet, and some not even realizing they’re gay, they may experience the inability to really connect and move the relationship forward. I mean, if you like oranges but you’re trying to choke down an apple, chances are you’re not going to be super into it.
When young women get older and realize their sexuality, they’re faced with the next big obstacle: navigating a world where being gay isn’t always accepted. To be more specific, enduring lesbianphobia. All this discomfort trying to navigate an alternative dating scene in a very straight world can lead women to really grasp onto the relationship they’ve found, hoping they don’t have to go back out there and swim through the sea of fish all over again. The Atlantic wrote an informative article about this theory as well since it’s climbing popularity. Within their article, they introduced a similar pun
related to lesbian’s over-zealous habits. Practically the same as the U-Haul theory is the urge to merge saying. This saying came about in the 60’s and 70’s when gay couples had to hide from the public eye. Back then marriage was safety, but for the gay community, monogamy was as close as they could get which was as good as it could get. More than just cultural reasons though, do women actually feel the need to merge quicker than men? Yes, they do. One of the articles on Bustle. com I read was by a lesbian woman who wrote about her opinions on the U-Haul theory. Apparently, women’s brains and bodies are different. According to science, women produce a lot of Oxytocin, a hormone associated with sex, falling in love, breastfeeding and attachment. Women produce more of this than men so if there are two women who are both high off Oxytocin, maybe moving in doesn’t seem too soon? Maybe. Since this whole article here is based on stereotypes I don’t feel bad bringing in another one. Women are often portrayed as over-emotional, insecure, needy. Combine that with the trauma of being rejected because of your sexulity and it’s no wonder lesbian women find a person who seems to accept them and they never want to let go. As much as this U-Hauling is meant as a joke, it actually represents a much bigger issue regarding the traumatizing experiences the gay community endures right under all the straight noses out there. So to reiterate– women’s emotions are valid. I’m not here to point fingers at everyone who’s ever poked fun at someone, but I think there is always something to be learned from stereotypes and stigmas. The U-Haul theory is kind of funny in certain contexts, but it’s only one brush stroke of a much larger painting depicting female sexuality.
Guide To Being Strong, Single, and You WRITER: Jessica Li PHOTOGRAPHER: Aaron Sanchez
What are the chances of falling in love? To be honest, I couldn’t really give you an exact number. But being single can be just as fulfilling as being in a relationship. With that being said, until true love comes your way, here are 10 reasons to enjoy being single while it lasts! 1. You have time for yourself. People in a relationship have to set aside time for their partner, whereas being single means that you have more time to prioritize yourself and focus on self-care and self-love. These are not only important for your wellbeing, but will also prepare you for a future relationship by putting you into a stable mindset. Loving and caring for yourself should be done regardless of whether or not you’re in a relationship. Remember, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. 2. You save money. Relationships can be costly, especially with going out on dates and gift-giving. Luckily, when you’re single, you can spend that money to your own will and desires. 3. You are your own best friend. Just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Some self-date ideas are to go on a nature walk, pamper yourself on a spa night, go shopping and treat yourself, order food, read a book or just watch Netflix and chill.
WELLNESS 4. You are more independent. When people are in a relationship, their love for one another can sometimes make them inseparable, which can end up making them feel lonely when they’re away from each other. On the other hand, you don’t mind being alone as much when you’re single. In fact, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely; being alone teaches one to reflect, be mindful and find peace in solitude, whereas being lonely leads to feelings of sadness and isolation. For those of us who are single, we come to appreciate the beauty of being alone and not having to rely on others. 5. You still have potential to find The One. Unlike those who are already in a relationship, you remain on the expedition in search of true love, kindled by endless possibilities and a thrill for excitement. Rather than being bound by loyalty to one partner, you have the freedom to meet new people, any of whom could end up being the right fit for you. In the process, you expand your social network as well.
6. You maintain friendships. For those in a relationship, it can be challenging to find enough time to spend with friends. But when you don’t have a partner, your friends become the people you go to and have fun with, making it easier to catch up and check in with them regularly, and strengthening those friendships as a result. 7. You agree with yourself. Conflict and arguments are inevitable in a relationship, but being with a partner means being with all of them, the perfect and the flawed. But you don’t have to worry about this if you’re single, because you don’t have a partner to bicker with in the first place. 8. Pick up new hobbies. As we’ve established earlier, being single means that you have more time, and what better time than now to learn a new hobby, maybe even one you’ve always wanted to try? This could range anywhere from gardening to crafting a new art project to playing an instrument or sport. No matter what you decide on, go have fun with it!
8. Pick up new hobbies. As we’ve established earlier, being single means that you have more time, and what better time than now to learn a new hobby, maybe even one you’ve always wanted to try? This could range anywhere from gardening to crafting a new art project to playing an instrument or sport. No matter what you decide on, go have fun with it! 9. Focus on career goals. Of course, when we’re in college, pursuing education and career goals are some of many priorities. With the time that’s not committed towards being in a relationship, you can work hard and study or participate in extracurriculars to your own heart’s desire. Throughout the process, you’ll find yourself stepping closer and closer to achieving your dreams. Remember to make learning fun for yourself and don’t stress too much.
10. Find your best self. You are a unique and worthy individual, and you can let yourself shine even if you’re not in a relationship. Nowadays, society can sometimes have an unfavorable view towards those who are single, but don’t let that ruin your mood and discourage you from being your best self. Maybe you hadn’t thought that being single actually comes with some advantages. But being single and being in a relationship are two different lifestyles, and it’s important to acknowledge and respect that the timing and preference can be different for everyone.
The Four Letter Word In Our Relationships WRITER: Sarah Exner PHOTOGRAPER: Jess Hume-Pantuso Four letter words come in all shapes and sizes. Now, before your mind starts to wander, I want to draw your attention to one of the most powerful yet confusing four letter words: love. Not what you were expecting? Society has done a great job of placing a positive connotation on the word love– but that isn’t always the case. Throughout television shows, movies and even social media, love is shown as a euphoric feeling of happiness combined with a whole lot of passion. Kids are taught growing up that love is supposed to be the most magical feeling to ever exist, and that having a healthy marriage is the key to happiness. But what happens when those assertions start to become more of a fantasy and less of a reality?
Relationships are hard, and not always perfect, but how far off from perfection can a relationship be before it turns toxic? Let’s take a look at what makes a relationship healthy, unhealthy and everything in between. For starters, I want you to take a deep breath, clear the mind and take these next five minutes as a chance to forget about anyone or anything that may be bothering you right now. Love can be an intense topic to speak about. Over the last couple months I’ve done some research on relationships, here’s what I’ve learned. This is a judgement free zone, and I welcome you with open arms. Now that you and I have built some trust between us, from reader to writer, we’ve formed a steady foundation. Much like what you’ll need in
WELLNESS every other relationship in your life. I had the honor of speaking with Sahana Prasad, the Coordinator of Interpersonal Violence Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services located at Oregon State University, and she spoke about what characteristics and signs of a healthy relationship are. “One of the most important things is open and honest communication, and that means people feel comfortable talking about their emotions and their needs,” Prasad said. She goes on to explain that your significant other should fulfill those needs, however they should recognize that it is not reasonable for just one person to meet every single one of your needs. What she means by this, is that one of the major signs that your relationship might be turning unhealthy is isolation. If your partner feels they are the one and only person you will ever need in your life, it might be smart to take a step back. Realize that there are other people in your life too who are just as important that you don’t want to lose. It’s very easy to get entangled with your significant other’s life feeling as if it’s only you and them against the world. There is a degree at which this is normal. You should feel a sense of security with your partner. But, when your partner starts to get angry and upset that you hangout with people other than them, they may be showing signs of manipulation. Someone should never feel stuck. With any relationship in one’s life, they should feel good most of the time and have a sense of self-worth and individuality. Although there are no step-by-step instructions on how to prevent toxic, intimate relationships from occurring, there are ways to make them less likely to transpire. One way to make that happen is through learning about relationships. By learning about them, you can start to make decisions based on how they make you feel, and what you want out of them as a partner. In an interview with Michelle Huillet, an Interpersonal Communication Instructor at OSU, she spoke on this topic and talked about how to notice when a relation-
ship is toxic, and why it is that people may stay in those relationships. When it comes to noticing an unhealthy relationship, the first thing Huillet pointed out was patterns. Those patterns included: passive-aggression, a negative impact on self-esteem, not being honest, withholding information, using
WELLNESS silence as a punishment, frequent criticism and as talked about earlier, manipulation. She made it clear that everyone has their bad days, and maybe someone is just not feeling well so they act out. However, when that “acting out” becomes a regular thing followed with an apology, that is when those patterns of toxicity start. For those of you reading this, and thinking to yourself “well why would anyone stay in a relationship that makes them feel poorly?” Thankfully, Huillet had some more great advice on a few theories as to why people might stay in certain relationships. The first one she described was sunk cost bias, which she explains as the reason people stay in relationships because they’ve already put in so much time and effort. Even if someone may know it’s time to break up, after you’ve been with someone for awhile it may appear easier just to stay with them. “It’s really poor logic,” she says. Another theory is the comparison level of alternatives. Going back to what society has taught us, being single means that you are alone and, as humans, no one wants to be alone. So this theory explains that people stay together because they would rather be unhappy than single, as Huillet describes.
better support system because even if they don’t admit it, they need you. Love and relationship are one of the topics that even our world’s greatest philosophers haven’t figured out, so don’t feel bad about being confused. Above all, it’s your decision what style of relationship you enjoy the most. Nobody chooses to be in unhealthy relationships. You may wish the best, but sometimes two people just simply aren’t meant to be. Whether they start out healthy and then transform into something different, make sure to always be open and honest with both your partner and yourself. Love and relationships are one of the topics that even our world’s greatest philosophers haven’t figured out yet. Find what makes you happy, notice the toxic signs early, and trust your instinct. So, let me ask you, what does this four letter word resemble in your eyes?
From the outside looking in on someone’s relationship, maybe your roommate or your close friend, it is hard to realize these things and why someone you care so much about would be with someone who treats them poorly. In an email with Becca Williams, Director of Survivor Advocacy & Resource Center, “If someone you know is contemplating leaving their toxic or abusive relationship, it’s important to be supportive, loving, caring and respectful of their decisions, as well as their right to change their mind.” The best thing you could do for your loved one is show you care about them and you support them through everything. If you push them to make a hard decision, you may just be pushing them away. Be a good listener, and an even
Living in LDRs WRITER: Zoe Sandvigen PHOTOGRAPER: Jacob Lagmay
So you’re in a long distance relationship and you miss each other. It’s confusing, hard, takes a lot of time and maybe sometimes you look yourself in the mirror and say is this really worth it? The truth is, only you can make that decision, but a lot of people are in long distance relationships meaning there are millions of people trying to navigate the same experience you are. So, with a deep dive into looking at some of the do’s and don’ts, here’s what I found. According to our trusty psychologytoday.com–which I read frequently–they listed what seemed common in relationships in general. But then again, maybe not. We all could use a refresh.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE SAME LONGTERM GOALS: If you’re in a long distance relationship, you have to know your partner’s endgame. Not everything needs to be decided upon but if you want to go to graduate school in Missouri and your partner wants to spend the next year traveling, chances are there could be some issues. So, have those realistic conversations and decide if your relationship can stand the tests that lay in front of you before being reunited. FOCUS ON THE SMALL THINGS: When you’re physically around someone a lot, you both naturally share menial anecdotes of your day. A funny comment a coworker made, a new coffee shop that has great bagels, a funny hat you saw on the bus. Being away from your significant other can make it harder to keep up on the small things–but those are the ones that keep you close. When you have those anticipated phone calls, don’t just focus on the big picture. Make sure those details remain part of your daily conversation. You don’t want to look back in six months and realize you’ve lost touch with who your partner has become after all the time apart.
YOUR TIME SPENT FACE-TO-FACE SHOULDN’T BE AN ITINERARY: Maybe your SO is coming to visit you in the new city you’ve been living in for a few months. It may initially seem like you have to plan jampacked days of sightseeing, visiting all your new favorite restaurants, meeting all your new friends, but take a step back. You might wake up together and want to have a lazy morning, drink coffee and watch a movie. Maybe you just want to enjoy each other’s company and order a pizza rather than go out. Leave your time together up in the air and decide in the moment what feels right for the both of you. I then turned my attention to lifehacks.org which seemed promising to help guide me through this little research experiment. Turns out they also had some good advice–so here goes.
AVOID SITUATIONS THAT MAKE YOUR PARTNER UNCOMFORTABLE: This is a tricky one because there is a fine line between respecting your partner and letting your partner control you. If you know your partner doesn’t like it when you go out clubbing with your friends until 3:00am, but you love going out, find a compromise. Relationships should never feel suffocating but they also only work if both parties feel respected and valued. Regularly check in with each other’s comfort zones so you can plan accordingly.every now and again? SET SOME GROUND RULES: This one may not be as fun as fantasizing about your trip to Mexico together in July, but news flash, it’s February and you’ve got four months left. Take a moment to ask yourself what you need out of your partner to make it work. What do they need? In what areas do both of you need your own space, or more support? Clearing these big questions out of the way can make the coming months much easier having already limited the chances of surprises. Not to say surprises won’t still arise– because they will. But then again, doesn’t everyone like a good surprise every now and again?
ENJOY TIME ALONE: As much as couples in long distance relationships fixate on their next visit, it’s just as important to cherish time by yourself as well. Not even just by yourself, go out with your best friends and be present with them and not on your phone. Call your parents. Enjoy the life you’ve created for yourself outside of that person you’re always longing for. We come into this world alone and we die alone, but the connections and love we share along the way make it worth it. Be comfortable with yourself through all of it and don’t forget that you’re an individual before you’re somebody’s other half. So there you go. Six little tid-bits of advice for those of you who are without your loved ones. It can be assumed that COVID-19 has kept even more couples apart so we truly all are in this together. Next time you pick up the phone or give a hug, remember to enjoy it for the privilege that it is.
Perfecting the Profile Swipe-Worthy Tips WRITER: Jeremiah Estrada PHOTOGRAPER: Ramzy Al-Mulla In the modern age, it’s becoming more common for people to meet and talk to others virtually through various dating apps available. With this in mind, we’ve curated a guide to building the best dating profile for your glowing, authentic self. With different apps for you to download from Tinder to Bumble, meeting new people is now easier than it ever has been. There is much to consider when putting together your dating profile: the photos, information you should include about yourself, hobbies. So, how do you create the ideal image of yourself? THE PHOTOS To catch the attention of those swiping by, it’s important to think about what photos you decide to display on your profile. These can vary from portrait shots, to selfies, to group photos (just as long as your profile doesn’t have just group photos). What you choose can represent the type of personality you have, along with your overall appearance. Having around five to seven photos on your profile is a good middle ground. If you are feeling bold, you can use the maximum amount of photos aloud, and even include silly pictures of yourself or your favorite meme in the mix. It’s also best to use photos of yourself that are recent so others can see what you currently look like. THE MUSIC A common feature on these apps is the option to sync your music. Doing this shows people your favorite song and a few of your favorite artists. This is typically done through your Spotify, and is a great addition to the rest of your profile. On Tinder, you can set a specific song as your “anthem.” This song selection can send a certain message to those who interact with you. What
an easy conversation starter by bonding on your shared music taste. THE BIO When putting into words what you’re all about, there are different ways you can go when writing your bio. Being honest by listing information such as what university you might attend, what city you live in and your hobbies is a simple way of giving future matches some insight to what you’re all about. This can make people more curious and prompt them to want to match with you. Having fun with your bio and using a snarky riddle or a humorous quote can also be a good option. Doing this shows potentially interested people the substance you have in your personality. What to avoid in your bio is oversharing about yourself and making it too long. This could drive people away, no one wants to read a book about you at first glance. ADDITIONAL TIPS To make the most of your online dating experience, here are some extra tips to follow. Part of dating is being safe. Luckily, apps now have some sort of verification process to make sure profiles are real. No one likes a catfish. Another feature offered on Bumble are the questions you can choose to answer about yourself. These are displayed on your profile such as if you actively work out, if you use alcohol regularly and what your zodiac sign is. Including these attributes can provide people who browse your profile with more insight about the type of person you’re looking for, and your beliefs. Following these simple steps can help your online dating profile stand out on these apps. Writing the perfect bio and picking the best pictures can guide you to finding the right person. The most important advice when using a dating app is to have fun and stay positive.
The Pandemic Through the Eyes of OSU Parents WRITER: Adriana Gutierrez PHOTOGRAPER: Aaron Sanchez
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic it’s this: everyone is experiencing it differently. Yes, we all have to wear masks in the grocery store, carry hand sanitizer and have become masters at all things zoom. But, what if while acclimating to this new way of life, you were also caring for a child? For many Oregon State University students, faculty and staff, the acclimation is still ongoing. I spoke to a variety of different parents to see what aspects of parenting during quarantine they’ve mastered, and what parts of a remote lifestyle still find themselves working through every day. Like many parents, Olga Loza, salesforce developer and analyst programmer for OSU E-Campus, said she found the initial transition to remote schooling for her nine-year-old son the first and most important issue her family had to tackle last spring. “My husband made him a desk that he uses for school in the living room, and I get the office and there’s a door in between, so that helps,” Loza said. “Also, my work pays for noise cancelling headphones which I’m late to the party for… I’m actually able to really block out all of the kids in his zoom and focus on my own zoom really well. We don’t interfere with each other.” Loza’s son is currently a third grader at Adams Elementary and has worked remotely since the pandemic began last spring. She explains the transition period as “chaotic” but was grateful for the summer off in order to recuperate and set a steady game plan for the upcoming school year. Now, he is able to handle the difficulties of online schooling, and even likes the remote methods 1 of learning more than in-person activities.
“I would be fine staying at home this whole year because I also realize how hard it would be for [teachers] to teach a classroom where 10 kids are in person and 10 kids are on zoom,” Loza said. “They’ve figured out a system now, and it’s working and all of the sudden for the last two, three months they’re going to have to reconfigure the system, and I just don’t see that working.”
But, for parents in large households, their kids returning to school may be the only opportunity for normalcy again. As a single mother of six and communications student at OSU, Kelly Skaer’s outlook on the past year has and will continue to be a struggle of trying to constantly stay positive. “[The pandemic] has taken more than it’s given,” Skaer said. “Maybe if I had a provider, a husband, or two adults in the family, I would feel more supported but I’m not.”
PhD student, graduate instructor and mother, Terese Jones, feels the same. Although her 10 year-old-son does not necessarily thrive in remote learning, he has acclimated well enough so that when it comes to sending him back to school, she’d rather give the opportunity to other students in need. “When I think about equity, and who is going to need those spots in the class and what’s our responsibility as a community to create the safest possible schoolbased learning environment that we can, I think my son is not someone who should occupy one of those seats because his learning needs are able to be met in our home,” said Jones.
With Skaer’s oldest son in high school and youngest daughter in pre-school, there is a constant bustle of zoom conferencing happening within her home throughout the day. In the midst, Skaer has continued to juggle coursework and working two part-time jobs. While her job requirements as a court transcriber are assignment-based and not hourly, Skaer’s days start before the rest of her family’s does or ends hours after they’ve gone to bed for the night. “It means sacrificing sleep, which means I’m more on edge and then the kids are more on edge and then it’s just a vicious circle where
Jones described several moments over the past year in which she was able to bond with her son over their shared interest in a subject he was learning, and the ways in which she used alternative methods to help her son better understand his class material. “Counting baking cookies as math class some days because you need him to do some math and a worksheet is not going to happen, so ‘You measure everything, you add it up [and] to make it harder we’ll double the recipe’” Jones recalls telling her son. “I’m calling [that] a win for the day.”
EXPERIENCE we’re kind of deprived of having a balance right now,” Skaer said. “It’s like my whole world has changed and I’m told to just make stuff happen. One adult, six kids, as a student and pay the bills? That’s crazy.” Due to COVID-19, Skaer’s opportunity for job assignments dwindled, leading her to get another job to make ends meet. As of now, the second job has provided the extra support that Skaer and her family needed, but doesn’t necessarily make things easier on her as a student. “I think of [my situation] as a browser with 10 tabs open when I’m doing school at home,” Skaer said. “Yes I’m trying to do school at home, but I also have to be aware of all these children [that] I’m immediately in charge of. I don’t get to just put my student hat on.” On the other side of the spectrum, professors and faculty with children are experiencing their own set of obstacles.
my bedroom which of course, right outside the door is where my children are doing their school on zoom,” Clements said. “It was just this mess trying to keep work and school with that many people all in the same household.” Clements was able to file for an exception to work on campus in order to get his work done efficiently. He looks forward to a time when he is able to return back to work as an instructor and connect with students in a way that is not through the screen. Until then, he finds some comfort in the familiarity of working on the OSU campus. As far as a silver lining goes, there seems to be a consensus all around. “I’ve been saying for years that the school gets the time with my son and I don’t,” Loza said. “I only [used to] see him in the evening for a couple of hours before bedtime. All of the sudden, everything changed and, I don’t know, we’re really close now. We even have inside jokes.”
Whereas the traditional college student might be looking forward to the time when study abroad is available again or football games reopen to the public, these families are enjoying the uniqueness within the lockdown and might even remember this era with fondness. “I don’t know a better time in my son’s life when we can have to be holed up in a space together than right now where he is able, so able, to do so many things on his own but still so willing to “Most of my work can be done remotely… how- need us,” Jones said. “I feel very fortunate that I ever, at my house, I don’t have a dedicated office get, almost, this extra year of time with him.” that’s secluded, so I was kind of working out of Prior to the shutdown of OSU’s main campus, Mark Clements was working as both a part-time instructor in the College of Business and a manager for OSU’s software development and quality assurance department. His wife lost her part-time job working at a flower shop around the same time that Clements was laid off from his duties as an instructor, and since then has stayed home with their six children.
The Right Gift WRITER: David Ngo PHOTOGRAPER: Cyan Perry The art of gift-giving has been an integral part of human relationships across many different cultures throughout the world and its history. Legend has it that King Nebuchadnezzar II made the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon as a gift to his wife, Queen Amytis. With a gift so grand
and pricey, it would make any recipient of the gift happy, right? Well, as college students we don’t really have the riches to build something like the king did. So, what are some steps to make sure your gift is, well, a good gift? Before deciding on what necklace or earring we
CREATE should get, let’s look at what we intend with the gift. Is it to bring recognition for ourselves, or to bring the other person joy and happiness? Of course, the prospect of recognition will cross our minds, but should it be the final goal? By putting the joy of the other person ahead of your own desire for recognition, it shows them that you care and that they are a priority in your life. Similarly, a common insight that was shared among the people I talked to brought up consideration and thoughtfulness as a core aspect of gift-giving. For example, Austin Peng, a sophomore at Oregon State University, expressed that “It’s nice when they say something about an item and your partner remembers to get that gift for you.” This not only helps you get a gift that is practical for the person in mind, but it also shows that you paid attention and understood them. In some instances, that recognition can be a better gift than the gift itself. This of course is going to require some attention and focus beforehand, so take notes! Keeping notes of shared experiences is also a good foundation for a gift. If you’ve spent enough time with your target person, then
you’ve probably been through some notable experiences with each other. Using that shared experience as a foundation, the gift can be added as a sort of reminder to that event. It allows both the giver and recipient to reminisce about the past while reveling in shared nostalgia. Of course, nostalgia is not the only feeling that can be shared through the exchange of gifts. Other feelings can also be achieved as long as the gift and the shared memory or experience make sense being paired together. Take for example, my friend JuJu Amath, who shares with me that “you can get me whatever you want, you could give me a piece of string and I would wear it around my wrist. It’s the thought that counts.” Let’s face it, there will always be another person like King Nebuchadnezzar out there with a bigger and shinier gift than you. But that isn’t the end game. A gift is the manifestation of affection into a physical form, and it helps us communicate that affection across space and time. So when we are selecting a gift, take time to pick the right gift and not the shiniest. Not yet anyway.
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Stranger in a Strange Land Building Mentor Relationships in a New Workplace WRITER: James Fleck PHOTOGRAPER: Owen Preece
Picture this: you’ve just graduated, gotten a new job, moved to a new town and it’s the first day of the rest of your life.
to know people, step two is choosing someone who you’re going to want to spend a lot of time with, which can be an intimidating task.
Only one problem: you don’t know anybody and you have no idea what you’re doing, you don’t even know who to go to for advice. It sounds like a daunting reality, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the first steps to success in a new workplace is finding a decent mentor.
“When I look for a mentor, I look for someone who is going to understand me on a professional and personal level,” said OSU professional development professor Lauren Caruso. “Someone who understands my goals.”
“For a person going into a new environment, a new job or a new industry, there are two questions you want to address,” said Oregon State professional development professor Dan Ziriax. “What do you want to learn and what kind of position do you want to have? That’s a great place to begin thinking about what kind of people you want to connect with to help obtain both of those goals.” That sounds easy enough, you’ve got to know your role and where you want to be, but then what? “As the new person, asking someone to coffee or lunch and immersing yourself in things that are going on is going to help develop relationships with your colleagues that could lead to mentorship,” said OSU professional development professor Jennifer Villalobos. Why would you even want a mentor? After all, you’ve just graduated, you’ve been listening to mentor after mentor for years and years now. “Most of the time, students wander,” said Ziriax. “That’s why, in part, most people end up doing something completely different from what they initially planned.” So if step one is charting a course and getting
Now that you’re more familiar with your workplace and have found someone you want to learn from, where do you go from here? “Ask,” said Caruso. “We’re so hesitant to ask people for their help, but honestly I think people are pretty flattered.” Sometimes asking is the hardest part, as individuals we can get so caught up in our own perspectives that we forget our coworkers are usually ready and willing to help out. “Most of the time individuals are super excited about helping someone climb the ranks,” said Ziriax. “It’s just a matter of making that connection, whether it’s through Linkedin, Zoom, a phone call, or email.” That mentorship you’re seeking though likely won’t come immediately. It can take time and repetition. “People will find that mentorship comes informally, when you continue to ask the same person for advice,” said Villalobos. “When you’re starting to really build on that relationship with them and it becomes more consistent. If you’re a business major in a new job with a more rigid structure, your workplace might have a mentorship program where you have a men-
EXPERIENCE tor assigned to you. Those can be effective and simple if you navigate it properly. “[A formalized program] is a little more forced,” said Villalobos. “It’s still really effective and really important, but you’re gonna be told ‘here’s the person who’s going to mentor you,’ so maybe it takes a little more time for that relationship to build because it isn’t being organically formed.” Now let me paint you a new scenario: you’ve met someone above you and you’ve hit it off, you think they’d be a great mentor figure. The problem? You’re not the only one. Your coworkers have noticed this person too and also want to be mentored. Now what? “From a mentor’s perspective, if you’re going to mentor well, you can’t mentor everyone,” said Caruso. “You’re going to pour a lot of time and energy into [your mentee] so you have to be smart about who you say yes to.” When you’ve got competition for something, there are a few ways you can make yourself stand out. “In a new organization, it’s about working hard,” said Villalobos. “Putting in the hours, really learning, asking questions, staying past the time you’re supposed to be there, coming in early, all those kinds of things trigger how you’re going to interact with that company and the value you’re going to bring.” In the end it all comes down to the opportunities you can make for yourself. Mentorship is something that simply won’t work if it’s forced. The best kind of menthorships are going to be the ones you build over time. “Most of the time the best mentors you have in life are the ones you would have never expected,” said Villalobos. “So being genuine in any interaction you have in the workplace or in life… getting rid of some of those preconceived notions and going into any situation with an open mind can really help.”
The Birds and the Bees and All the In-betweens WRITER: Zoe Sandvigen PHOTOGRAPER: Jess Hume-Pantuso
Let’s talk about sex. There are people who either are or aren’t comfortable talking about it. Luckily for you, I have no problem, so I’m going to lay it all out there for you. For a lot of people, college is the time where you start to experiment with sex, and things of a similar nature. So whether you’re thinking about having sex, already having sex or just want a little refresh, it’s always good be informed. THE BASICS As fun and as freeing as sex can be, it can also be dangerous. Sexually transmitted diseases are more common than you’d think. In 2018 alone 2,457,188 cases of STDs were reported, many more go untreated. Though some are curable, including syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis, some aren’t. Diseases such as hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, HIV and human papillomavirus don’t currently have a cure. This isn’t an all inclusive list, but has some of the most common STDs. So how do you get a STD and what do you do if it happens? They are often transmitted through skin-on-skin contact, semen, blood, vaginal fluids and sometimes even saliva. If you suspect you’ve contracted something, contact a healthcare provider immediately and abstain from having any intercourse until the issue is resolved. You can even get tested at OSU’s Student Health Services right on campus. Once you get your results, you and your healthcare worker will come up with a plan of action to protect you and others you’ve been in sexual contact with. The best way to prevent the spread of a STD is to use condoms, both male or female, and regularly get tested. Even with a condom, some skinto-skin transmitted diseases can still be passed, such as herpes. So having open, clear communication with your partner about your safety and boundaries should always come first.
The CDC offers a really informative page regarding all types of STDs for all sexual orientations, treatments, symptoms, facts and more. Check out https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm. Don’t be scared to click around! Knowing how to protect yourself will make sex so much more fun and relaxing. CONTRACEPTIVES Alright ladies and my fellow vagina-bearing bodies, as much as by 2020 you’d think technology would adapt for those who have the actual sperm to take more of a responsibility in contraceptive care–they don’t. So it’s all up to you. Luckily, in our society today it’s easy to get access to various kinds of contraceptives. You’ve probably all heard of just taking a daily hormonal pill, but there are so many other opinions that may be more fitting. Granted, the hormones in the pill make a lot of us feel crazy or emotional. To start, there are different variants of the pill you can try out to find one that makes you feel the most normal. Before I get too far into this, know you don’t need a guardian to get birth control! I know a huge reason why some of us birthing-bodies don’t go on birth control is because they don’t want their parents to know. Planned Parenthood is an exceptional resource that offers free contraceptive options, medical attention, planning and simple advice. You can always call to make an appointment at the nearest location and just go
from there. Back to birth control. Sometimes a more intrusive style of birth control can seem daunting, or at least it did for me, so starting out on the pill can be an easy introduction to contraceptive care. You can also try getting the depo shot (AKA Depo-Provera), a shot you get every three months that prevents pregnancy. You can wear a patch that releases hormones, similar to a bandaid, that you change periodically. Or, you can get a ring that you place up your vaginal canal and change about every month. If you’re open to a procedure, you can get a Nexplanon, an implant that goes in your upper arm that prevents pregnancy for up to three years. Or, my favorite, you can get an IUD placed snug in your cervix. There are three variants, one that last for three years, five years and ten years. The IUD can arguably be the least maintenance and last the longest. Though like any chemical/ hormonal change in the body, complications can occur. IUDs can become dislodged and pregnancy can occur, and many women report having an increase in ovarian cysts that can be quite painful.
And of course, condoms. Even if you’re on birth control, using a condom as well is even more effective. There are tons of options for birth control, so with enough tries, most women can find a method that works for them and their bodies. All of these options are offered at Planned Parenthood and their website gives even more information on your options. Amazingly, a lot of them are free as well! Besides the very medical/technical side of sex we’re all taught, sex is so much more than that. A huge piece of sexual education is missing from the curriculum–the sexual part. GETTING IT ON This is the part that might make you uncomfortable, but that’s only because our society has taught us that sex isn’t something to be shared or talked about. Weird that everyone does it though, so why shouldn’t we talk about it? Let’s think about where we all first learn about sex. TV shows, movies, books, straight up porn. The issue with this is that most media platforms don’t portray sex in a realistic light. The porn in-
WELLNESS dustry is especially notorious for showcasing sex in a male-centric light where women are objects to be railed and put on a show for the man. In 2017, 28.5 billion people visited PornHub, that’s 81 million a day. So obviously people are watching, there’s already an audience waiting to see the change that’s coming. Porn where women are goddesses of pleasure! I’d like to note, this is my opinion, some may not agree with what I’m saying. So, why is it in a society made up of equal shares men and women, men get to control sex? Well they don’t, but our society has made it seem that way–but us younger generations can take back the bedroom. The point I’m making here is that our society doesn’t have a great base for teaching young individuals about sex. Men, excuse me for a moment here, but our world plays into a reality where women are sexual objects designed to please men. Women become accustom to sex that is painful or doesn’t feel good because as long as the man enjoys it, that’s all that matters. I am taking a moment here to affirm you I don’t have a vendetta, men and those on the penis-side of things have equal problems behind closed doors. This whole thing I’m describing has a name actually: the Male Gaze. Psycholoy Today defines it as “a term coined by film critic Laura Mulvey to describe the cinematic angle of a heterosexual male on a female character.” It’s also stated this treatment can lead to “significant and pervasive psychological costs for women that they might not even be aware of.” So, this isn’t just me making something up to support my own feminest agenda. The Male Gaze is an issue within our society that we should all be aware of. Women’s bodies and women’s pleasure isn’t talked about enough. In fact, it’s almost completely exempt from most conversations about sex. Even if we take away the sexual nature of it, an article by The Guardian states that there had been 5 times more research and funding into erectile dysfunction, only affecting 19% of men,
than premenstrual syndrome which affects 90% of women. If that doesn’t show where priorities lay then I don’t know what will. It’s up to the coming generations to change this. No, we aren’t going to blame men, it’s not their fault they’ve been groomed to perceive and act out sex in a way less fitting to women. It’s what our world teaches. And in all honesty, the female genitalia is much more difficult to navigate than the male’s, so it’s no wonder we often feel underwhelmed. The world just isn’t accustomed to pleasuring women the way it is to men. If you’re getting tired of my rant I’m almost done. What I’m trying to say is sex is more than just the act itself. You can have sex without having sex. It’s about the emotional connection, pleasure, the exploration of your body as well as your partner’s. If something doesn’t feel good, stop. Communicate. Explore your body on your own time to figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Sex should always be for fun, not just to do it. In college, sex can just be a status symbol, but start to tell yourself a different story. Sex should be liberating, freeing, and above all, it should feel good. As a finishing note, I’d like to say that men can be equally taken advantage of during sexual acts, it’s just more common for women at this age which is why I chose to shine a light on it. Having sex as young adults is already awkward, but we owe it to ourselves to at least try to make it as safe and as sexy as we can. If you ever feel lost, talking to a friend, consoler or trusted adult can be a great place to start. Sex is weird and confusing, so it’s no wonder a lot people get off to a rocky start. Just try to remember why people have sex in the first place. So there you go. Sex 101. This is a really condensed depiction of sex, so do some of your own research as well. Find something that works for you–and remember, be safe. There are dozens of resources available for any emotional or physical altercations that come along with sharing your body.
All We Need is Love in Our Own Ways WRITER: Teresita Guzman Nader PHOTOGRAPER: Claire Nelson Having a healthy relationship takes the work of two, and even when both are working on it, it might be difficult to know where to start. We asked some people that are in healthy happy relationships and experts in psychology to give us some feedback on how to have the healthiest relationship possible. Amanda Blaisdell is a mathematics instructor at Oregon State University, and she has been happily married for two and a half years. Blaisdell said she and her husband took the five love languages quiz early on in their relationship. “We’re both aware of each other’s love languages and try to show our affection in those ways. Overall, I think these can be a positive tool for relationships (both romantic and non-romantic),” Blaisdell said via email. The five love language quiz is a quiz based upon Dr. Gary Chapman’s book series where he talks about his theory that people have five different ways in which they express and experience love. These five love languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. Chapman is a marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars. His book has sold over twelve million copies and has been on the New York Times best-sellers list since 2007. The five languages series has a website where people can take a quiz to learn which are their top love languages.
there is a lot of practical information that couples can use to identify their needs in a relationship. While I am not aware of the empirical science behind these five love languages, I believe this book can inspire couples to open up in a fun, playful manner by completing the questionnaire and learning about their love styles,” Dr. Yax said via email. ”Any tool that opens up a dialogue for couples to learn more about their priorities and needs, and allows them to learn more about one another, is a win in my book.” Blaisdell said her and her husband appreciate words of encouragement, so they try to say positive things to each other often, such as thanking each other for picking up a chore around the house, encouraging each other before a difficult task and reminding each other what they love about one another. “We also both enjoy quality time together, and usually spend at least part of our evening hanging out together, such as playing a board game, watching a TV show, or going on a run,” Blaisdell said via email. Outside of learning about the ways your partner perceives love, and how can you show affection to them using the five love languages, it is also important to learn how to communicate better with your partner in order to have a healthier relationship.
Kristen Yax, an instructor of psychology at OSU, said that she does not know of any empirical scientific evidence behind the five love languages, but the book series can help couples.
Dr. Yax said it is important to understand that communication is not going to be perfect all of the time, as each person in a relationship has their own communication style and needs. It can take time and effort for couples to develop a healthy way of communicating that best suits their relationship.
“I have read The 5 Love Languages and feel
“A great way to improve communication is to
WELLNESS practice listening to and validating your partner’s needs, as this helps foster a safe environment to share important thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, and leads to more self-disclosure,” Dr. Yax said via email. “Over time, both the breadth (variety of topics discussed) and depth (intimate details that are shared) of self-disclosure should increase in a gradual manner. As a result, intimacy and relationship satisfaction should increase as well. It is important to be responsive and validating during these moments of disclosure, as it demonstrates acceptance and care.” Dr. Yax said to improve communication another thing people should do is to communicate without distractions. For example, placing cell phones away, turning off the tv and simply spending some time together without interruptions from our busy world.
“Taking the time to share interests and experiences, show affection, and engage in active listening will not only improve communication, it will support relationship growth as well,” Dr. Yax said via email. Another part of a healthy relationship is knowing how to deal with conflict in the relationship. Dr. Yax said conflict tends to occur more after the “honeymoon” stage has ended, once couples start to invest more time, commitment and become more interdependent sharing their lives. The manner in which a couple manages their conflict and how one reacts when dissatisfied about an issue in the relationship can make a relationship even stronger, or gradually break the relationship apart over time. Yax referred to research done by Caryl Rusbult and her colleagues where they examined how people react to conflict and discovered four different types of responses to conflict and dissatisfaction in a relationship. The four are Exit, Loyalty, Voice and Neglect. Dr. Yax said these responses are based on whether a person is active or passive in how they deal with conflict, and whether they approach conflict in a constructive or destructive manner. “When disagreements are approached in a more constructive manner (Voice, Loyalty) couples typically report greater relationship satisfaction. Destructive responses (Exit, Neglect) put the relationship more at risk for future conflict, hurtful behaviors and eventual termination,” Dr. Yax said via email. “Knowing your own conflict style and learning how it can impact your partner can ultimately provide a structure that supports proactive conversations and allows couples to manage conflict in a healthy manner.” In order to improve your relationship with your significant other, you and your partner should start investing time to learn how each other show affection, communicate and deal with conflict.
Small Talk and Society Social Anxiety in Relationshsips WRITER: Jessica Li PHOTOGRAPER: Alex Reich
Having stayed mute for half a year in kindergarten, and growing up awkward and shy, it wasn’t until the age of 19 that Lia Swan, a senior studying Horticulture, had found out that social anxiety had been the root cause of it all.
they have “safety” people alongside them whom they interact with comfortably. Likewise, Swan admits that she feels panicked when left alone, so she steers clear of social events unless she has someone to go with her.
According to Judith Rickard, a Counseling & Psychological Services counselor, social anxiety is primarily characterized by a strong fear of judgment by others. People with social anxiety end up becoming trapped in a negative cycle; they avoid social situations that trigger their anxiety in the first place, and although they feel protected by avoiding, this prevents them from adapting to social situations, and having positive experiences to counter the anxiety. Similarly, Swan relates to this.
Another type of relationship that social anxiety can affect is that of a romantic one. Kleronomos says that people who aren’t outgoing are perceived as being less attractive.
“People made fun of me for being quiet, and that made me fear social interaction even more,” said Swan via email. The development of social anxiety arises in different ways, and Dr. Misha Kleronomos, a psychology instructor and psychotherapist at Integrated Psychotherapy, gives examples such as being bullied, criticized by parents or having experienced an embarrassingly traumatic event. To demonstrate this, Kleronomos shares the story of a teen agoraphobic client of hers who had refused to return to school after having been ridiculed by classmates for having her period in class with white pants on. In addition, social anxiety can significantly impact one’s relationships with others. According to Kleronomos, it can limit social activities and events, even with those close to them. And sometimes, the only way for people with social anxiety to step out of their comfort zone and socialize is if
“Someone who is socially anxious is often seen as lacking confidence, could be seen as being a snob, withdrawn, depressed or unlikable, when really they are fearful,” said Kleronomos via email. Not to mention that being in a relationship can be challenging for one who has social anxiety, because that person will feel protective of their partner, but will limit themselves and step away to not make their partner feel bad. Overthinking also comprises social anxiety. For instance, Swan brings up a simple case on the timeliness of responding to text messages and the effects that it has on her. “If I forget to answer a message from someone, my anxiety will keep me delaying my response in fear that they hate me for not answering early enough initially,” said Swan via email. “This cycle lasts until I finally answer way later, and feel terrible that I let my friends down, even though I know rationally that they care about me.” Although Swan hasn’t been able to overcome social anxiety completely, she has discovered methods of coping with her anxiety. She uses a visual titled “Self-Talk to Help End Obsessions”
in order to convince herself to think rationally and dismiss thoughts that are irrelevant on the basis of time. Having a support system of trustworthy friends and family helps to ease her anxiety as well by talking to them about her worries, and for this Swan is grateful. Kleronomos also offers insights on treating social anxiety. She discusses cognitive behavioral therapy, which is the idea that instead of situations controlling our feelings and behaviors, rather, it is our own beliefs about those situations that govern how we feel and behave.
Systematic desensitization is also suggested by Kleronomos to treat social anxiety. It involves coaching people to relax, then asking them to create an anxiety hierarchy that rates the things that cause them anxiety on a scale of 1-100. From here, the patient repeatedly alternates between thinking about the lowest element on the scale and relaxing until that item no longer induces anxiety, then they move up to further levels until they can overcome all of them without feeling anxious anymore. This works because it associates relaxation with social situations.
“Fixing those faulty thoughts by providing evidence to the contrary, a different way to perceive things, reality checking and recognizing logical and intellectual realities are all part of CBT,” said Kleronomos.
Fortunately, Kleronomos assures that all anxiety disorders can be treated relatively quickly, with a success rate of almost 100%. And it starts by finding the right therapist, one who specializes in CBT and treating social anxiety.
“It is also important for the patient to understand that therapy will not be fun,” said Kleronomos. “It is uncomfortable and hard and scary, but it works, and if they will just stick with it for 4-6 months they will be exponentially better, and can be actually cured in 1 year, if not less. But, they have to do the work, withstand the discomfort and trust the process.” At the university level, CAPS has forged a social anxiety group over Zoom this term, which is facilitated by Rickard. Individual and group therapy are both available for support, but feedback from students revealed that they benefited the most from group sessions. “It is very helpful for students to realize that they are not alone with this type of anxiety, and group work can be very meaningful for students,” said Rickard via email. “They support each other a lot in a group. Socially anxious people are kind, caring, empathetic people who ironically have great social skills.” Although the severity of social anxiety ranges among students, CAPS helps them practice small talk by getting to know each other. Witnessing their progress and growth makes Rickard feel proud and happy for them. “It is wonderful to see someone actually be able to say they enjoyed themselves and were able to comfortably talk to others without harshly judging themselves later on for saying the wrong thing,” said Rickard. From these stories, we learn that people who have social anxiety shouldn’t be judged, because, oftentimes, it is their social anxiety that inhibits them from talking to and socializing with others. And that shouldn’t be used to define them. Rather, by understanding their condition, we can instead choose to express kindness, and help them confront and overcome their fears.
Playlists for Every Stage in a Relationship WRITER: Sarah Exner PHOTOGRAPER: Jacob Lagmay Whether you’re falling in love the hardest you’ve ever fallen before, or you are so heartbroken that you feel as though you cannot even breath, there’s a not-so-secret remedy to help… music. Music does wonders to the brain. It can help heal pain, relieve stress, and even improve memory. We know this to be true, because how many times have you heard a song and it takes you back to an exact moment in time
EUPHORIC & IN LOVE: “Let’s Fall in Love for the Night” By FINNEAS “Affection” BETWEEN FRIENDS “You & Me - Tadashi Remix” By Hello Harry, Mahrah, Tadashi, Thomas Garcia “I Think I’m In Love” By Kat Dahlia “Perfect” By Ed Sheeran Link for more: https://beav.es/ JsS
with all of those feelings rushing back along with it. No matter what stage you are in with your relationship, there will always be a song to support you through. Down below there are three different playlists, and I’ve pulled five of my favorites from each to showcase. For when you’re single and finally over them, when you’re in love and couldn’t be happier and for when you’re heartbroken and miss them.
SAD & MISSING YOU: “you broke me first” By Tate McRae “I Can’t Fall in Love Without You” By Zara Larsson “what if it’s not” Jackson Guthy “Shrike”By Hozier “Unsteady” By X Ambassadors
SINGLE & HAPPY ABOUT IT: “Fallingwater” By Maggie Rogers “Liar” By LEON “Fuck Feelings” By Olivia O’Brien “Better Luck Next Time” By Kelsea Ballerini “Bitter” By FLETCHER, Kito
Link for more: https://beav.es/ JsT
Link for more: https://beav.es/ Js5
My Boo, My Background WRITER: Jeremiah Estrada PHOTOGRAPER: Jacob Le As our society progresses, it’s becoming more common to see all kinds of couples together, coming from different cultures, ethnicities and religious beliefs.. Oregon State University second-year students Julia Lising and Tyler Thompson share the experiences they’ve had together as a couple, and how their own backgrounds come into play in their relationship. Lising is half Filipino and half Caucasian while Thompson is Jewish, Eastern European and Norwegian. Instead of pushing them apart, their differences have brought them closer. “I’ve definitely learned a lot of cool new things with Tyler that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise, like Hanukkah and about his Jewish heritage,” Lising said. The couple has been dating for over a year and since then they have been able to try new things and learn more about each other’s cultures. A main difference between them being their distinct religions. Thompson is Jewish and Lising is Christian. “Because I’m Jewish I celebrate different holidays from Julia like Hanukkah and Yom Kippur,” Thompson said. “Sometimes for food I have latkes which are like potato pancakes.”
Coming from an Asian background, Lising said she grew up on traditional cultural food, and still eats them on a daily basis. She was also able to teach her boyfriend about different Asian dishes that he didn’t know of before. “Yeah, I didn’t know what spam musubi was before dating Julia, but now I do,” Thompson said. This past December, Lising was able to spend time with Thompson and his family during the winter holidays that they celebrated. “We said the little prayer that we say each time before we light the candles,” Thompson said. “We ate some food and we also gave her gifts.” The two enjoy learning more about each other’s culture whether it’s about bar mitzvahs or different types of Asian food to eat. Regan Gurung, OSU’s General Psychology Program Director, gives more insight on some statistics behind interracial couples from research he’s done. He said the percentage of interracial dating is especially higher in more diverse states and big cities like California and New York. Although there are many positives about these types of couples, there are also negative stigmas that can surround them. Gurung said that it depends on the races that are mixed because of
how most races are paired with some good and bad stereotypes. “One common stereotype is that people are in interracial pairings to ‘go against their people’ or because they feel unworthy of their own or because they feel they gain status from dating a person from another race,” Gurung said. People can tend to date outside their race for the wrong reasons based on evidence provided by Gurung. He said that sometimes dating another race is seen as exciting or novel (a sense of the exotic). These couples also often face discrimination. “Interracial pairings often bring the challenge of resistance from the own race and a sense that you are being a traitor to your own people,” Gurung said. These couples may face challenges due to issues from racism from their own culture, but love is love. There are many more positives than negatives when dating someone who is different from
you. “I think it’s kind of essential to be dating someone different that’s somewhat different from you because if you’re dating someone that’s identical to you it’s probably going to be kind of boring,” Lising said. Whether they come from another religion or ethnicity from each other, these kinds of couples get to have unique experiences together. These couples are also growing, and being able to be seen more. Being with someone from another background allows for many new opportunities. The differences between you and your significant other should be celebrated rather than looked down upon. Couples like that are continuing to be more accepted in their own cultures and in society as a whole. That allows barriers between different ethnicities and religions to be overcome when many types of people come together.
Relationship Index WRITER: Angela Tam PHOTOGRAPER: Aaron Sanchez
GENDER: Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men and gender diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact, and the distribution of power and resources in society. Gender identity is not confined to a binary (girl/woman, boy/man) nor is it static; it exists along a continuum and can change over time. There is considerable diversity in how individuals and groups understand, experience and express gender through the roles they take on, the expectations placed on them, relations with others and the complex ways that gender is institutionalized in society.
SEX: Sex refers to a set of biological attributes in humans and animals. It is primarily associated with physical and physiological features including chromosomes, gene expression, hormone levels and function, and reproductive/sexual anatomy. Sex is usually categorized as female or male but there is variation in the biological attributes that comprise sex and how those attributes are expressed. This binary way of categorizing biological sex is primarily rooted in Western cultures and may not apply to all cultures around the world.
GENDER IDENTITY: A person’s inner sense of their gender. For example, identifying as girl/woman/female, boy/man/male, something else, or having no gender.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: How a person characterizes their emotional and sexual attraction to others.
AGENDER — A person who identifies as having no gender, or who does not experience gender as a primary identity component.
or no sexual attraction to others. Asexual people may still engage in sexual activity because libido does not equal attraction.
ALLY — A person who actively supports the rights of a marginalized community even though that person is not a member of that community; for example, a heterosexual person who campaigns for the rights of gay people.
BIGENDER — A person whose identity consists of two distinct genders.
AROMANTIC — A person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Aromantic people may still choose to have intimate relationships.
BISEXUAL — A sexual orientation that describes a person who is emotionally and physically attracted to those of the same or different gender.
ASEXUAL — A person who experiences little
CISGENDER — A person whose
EXPERIENCE gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth; for example, a person assigned female sex at birth whose gender identity is woman/female. The term cisgender comes from the Latin prefix cis, meaning “on the same side of.” DEMISEXUAL, GREY SEXUAL — A person who does not experience sexual attraction before forming a strong emotional connection with a potential partner. This identity falls on the asexual spectrum. GAY — A sexual orientation describing people who are primarily emotionally and physically attracted to people of the same sex and/or gender as themselves. Commonly used to describe men who are primarily attracted to men, but can also describe women attracted to women.
GENDERFLUID – A person whose gender identity is not fixed and exists on a spectrum. A person who is gender fluid may feel like a mix of more than one gender, but may feel more aligned with a certain gender some of the time, another gender at other times, both genders sometimes, and sometimes no gender at all. GENDERQUEER — An umbrella term that describes a person whose gender identity falls outside the traditional gender binary of male and female. GENDER DYSPHORIA — Distress experienced by some people whose gender identity does not correspond with their sex assigned at birth. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) includes gender dysphoria as a diagnosis for people whose distress is clinically
significant and impairs social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The degree and severity of gender dysphoria is highly variable among transgender and gender-diverse people. INTERSEX — Umbrella term describing people born with reproductive or sexual anatomy and/ or a chromosome pattern that can’t be classified as typically male or female. The medical community sometimes uses the term differences of sex development (DSD); however, the term intersex is recommended by several intersex community members and groups. LESBIAN — A sexual orientation that
describes a woman who is primarily emotionally and physically attracted to other women. NON-BINARY –- A person whose gender identity falls outside of the traditional gender binary structure of girl/woman and boy/man. Sometimes abbreviated as NB or enby. PANGENDER — A person whose gender identity consists of all genders available to them within their cultural and life experiences. PANSEXUAL — A sexual orientation that describes a person
EXPERIENCE who is emotionally and physically attracted to people of all gender identities, or whose attractions are not related to other people’s gender. POLYAMOROUS — A person in a sexual and/or romantic relationship comprising three or more people. Can also describe a polyamorous relationship; sometimes abbreviated as poly. QUEER — An umbrella term describing people who think of their sexual orientation or gender identity as not heterosexual or cisgender. Some people view the term queer as more fluid and inclu-
TRANSGENDER — An umbrella term that refers to people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth; for example, a person assigned female sex at birth who identifies as a man; or a person assigned male sex at birth who identifies as a woman. Transgender can also include people with gender identities outside the girl/woman and boy/man gender binary structure; for example, people who are gender fluid or non-binary. Sometimes abbreviated as trans. TRANS MAN/TRANSGENDER MAN — A transgender person whose gender identity is boy/man/male may use these terms to describe themselves. Some will use the term man. TRANS WOMAN/TRANSGENDER WOMAN — A transgender person whose gender
sive than traditional categories for sexual orientation and gender identity. Although queer was historically used as a slur, it has been reclaimed by many as a term of empowerment. QUESTIONING — A person who is exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. SAME-GENDER-LOVING (SGL) — An alternative term for gay and lesbian. SGL is more commonly used by African-American/Black communities.
identity is girl/ woman/female may use these terms to describe themselves. Some will use the term woman. TWO-SPIRIT — A person who embodies both a masculine and a feminine spirit. This is a culture-specific term used among some Native American, American Indian, and First Nations people.
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