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Pursue one’s dreams and become a business owner

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer

One of the greatest attractions Oregon has to offer is its large variety of unique, locally owned, creative businesses. These include businesses like food trucks, soap companies, haunted tours, bake shops, handmade items like clothes, jewelry and so much more. With a little bit of incentive and a lot of determination, one can turn their biggest passions into a career. Who wouldn’t want to be their own boss? 

One of the benefits of starting one’s own business is having full creative freedom and connecting with the community through that creativity. In recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for those who have a passion for arts and handmade crafts. 

Though one may not have their own store or permanent location to sell their products, there are numerous options to put oneself out there. Oregon has many seasonal/holiday markets, sporting events, local events and festivals that are open to local artists that allow them to get a chance to sell their wares. 

Getting a business on its feet can be a daunting task and renting out a spot in these types of events may not be accessible to all; don’t worry, there are ways to get one’s business out there without worrying about the starting costs. For example, the Oregon State Fair offers various types of competitions that do not require an entry fee and can provide an opportunity to get one’s name out there. Competitions like these create an opportunity for the public to learn how businesses are made and how they work — it can even give one an opportunity to sell their products to locals. 

Arts and crafts are not the only self-made business that is popular right now. Food trucks have also been increasingly popular throughout the years. It’s not necessary to go to culinary school or train under a star chef to be an amazing cook with creative ideas. 

Again, with a little initiative and determination one can take their favorite cuisine to the next level in their own food cart. As someone who personally works for an artisan grilled cheese truck, believe me when I say it is possible to do anything one loves to do. 

Regardless of what business one would like to pursue, there are many opportunities and benefits that come with all of them. Being one’s own boss means having the ability to create a schedule that is flexible and caters to one’s needs. If additional funds are needed, one can book more events; if one needs a break, they can give themselves a grace period that won’t affect any fiscal earnings. Overall, running a local business has so many positives for the owner and those working for the business, as well as the people in the community. 

Don’t just take it from me— hear some insight from the real self-made business owner of SoCheesy food truck, Gary Cooper. 

Cooper created his food truck business, So Cheesy, in 2016 and it has done nothing but grow since then. The best part, Cooper says, is “…putting a smile on customers’ faces – with the abundance of negativity in today’s society being able to provide a moment of comfort, peace and joy is rewarding.” 

Cooper gave the Howl some valuable tips to share with those wanting to start their own business. He admits it can be scary and, “You never know what tomorrow will bring (so) move forward with courage.” 

Cooper also recommends that it’s helpful to maintain a traditional job to cover financial needs — a young business has financial pressures so having another source of income in the beginning will be beneficial in the long run. His final tip was a simple but important one:

“Constant reinvestment is a key to growing your business.” 

The longer one has a business the more changes will come related to trends, increasing demand, increased opportunities as well as learning what customers preferences are. Reinvestment to cater to changes like these will guarantee your business to grow. 

Cooper encourages students to pursue their own businesses after college and says it’s a “…wonderful opportunity to exercise your potential.” 

The ability to create a career of one’s own, based on individual creativity and passions, is something most desire in life, and it may not be as impossible as one may think. 

Figuring out what to do after college is extremely intimidating and many students have an innate fear that they’ll be stuck in a job they hate for the rest of their lives. Starting a self-owned business has many responsibilities but the benefits are all worth it. Doing something that’s easy to love every day, creating connections with others, and having the freedom to make all the decisions sounds pretty awesome to me. 

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Life lesson from Libby and Lucie

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor

Growing up, I always lent my mom out to my friends like a blockbuster movie. I remember saying something along the lines of “She can adopt you, she’s the best. She’ll cook you lots of good food and tell you what you need to hear.” 

In my eyes, that was the recipe for a loving household. To this day, I think the cure to any tough situation is a home-cooked meal and a stern talk from the legend herself. Even though I roll my eyes and huff and puff about how she’s too hard on me, she gives her advice for a reason.

Present day, my mom is subject to my constant barrage of calls and debriefs on disastrous situations — not once has she let me down. 

So, in honor of putting my mom in the print edition of the Howl, I’m going to share some of the best advice I’ve received from her and some of my best advice as well. The premise: how to be a young adult in a world that makes young adulting nearly impossible. 

Having a hard time adjusting to new circumstances, a hard job, a stressful workload or just people? Here’s what Lucie says to me: see it through, when one commits to something, it looks the best for that individual to see it through and do their best work. That way, coming out of a tough situation, they can still be confident in the fact that they did their best, did the right thing and overcame that challenge. 

So in the many times I came across a hurdle or situation that seemed unsolvable, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and made it work somehow. This has helped me instill confidence in my ability to do hard things. Thanks, Mom. 

Unsatisfied with current employment or looking to pursue a different and more advanced career? Transferring schools or majors? Here’s what Lucie has to say about that: ONLY make lateral or upward movements. Pertaining specifically to jobs, either find a job that has equal pay and higher satisfaction or a job that pays more in a more advanced position.

This is what climbing the ladder is all about. Concerning the advice about seeing things through, it is smart, professionally, to stay at a job and do well for about 3 years, and then seek better opportunities in the future once established at the current position. 

In a committed relationship as a young adult? Learning to balance life and fun in college? Here is the best advice I’ve been given regarding that. Lucie says, first and foremost, to establish oneself as a woman/individual in the workforce before relying on someone else emotionally or financially. My mom worked and supported herself for years in Texas in the retail industry. It had its challenges, yes, but it also highlights the importance of independence and responsibility.

Asking for help from family and supporting/being supported by friends is crucial, of course, but asking for that type of support from a romantic partner ultimately doesn’t end well in a lot of cases. It’s best to have ownership of work, pride and savings to fall back on when disaster strikes. 

Speaking of family, ultimately, the best advice has been demonstrated by my mom, not just verbalized. In my culture, specifically because my mom’s side of the family is Hispanic, family is everything to us. Family will drive us insane; get on every last nerve humanly possible; argue and fight; family will also support us; help out financially; raise us; listen to us; spend Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter with us; and watch us grow up year after year. Family is there when there is nothing else left.

The best advice my mom gave to me was to value family over everything. There was a time in my life when romantic partners and friends took priority. They took my time and attention, but when all was said and done and those people eventually left, I had a family, a village to fall back on for unconditional love and support. 

There have been several situations where I’ve had to choose between family and others who wanted priority, and I’ve been steadfast in my decisions to choose my family and have been monumentally happier as a result. Whether you have close relatives or a found family, cherish them. 

Finally, the part where I share my advice. My mother raised a top-tier rebel, original thinker and troublemaker despite her best guidance, which means I have learned more life lessons the hard way than your average Joe. Therefore, all of my readers are now subject to my life-philosophy soliloquy, honed by years of making the worst decisions and somehow still ending up okay. 

How I survive life is by being honest with myself and staying true to my values. I try my best to live life authentically every day and set aside time to be quiet and practice gratitude. I forge ahead and do the things I’m terrified to do because the worst thing that can happen is rejection, which is a feeling that becomes less damaging the more I condition myself to it. I find my close friends and stick with them. I don’t change myself to fit other’s expectations or standards of what I should be and act like. I put a lot of effort into the things I care about.

When I make a mistake, I use it as an opportunity to grow and do something different. When I see an immovable wall, I find a way to crush it. I seize chances to make something that matters even when I don’t believe in myself. I have faith that everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

My words of advice are: life is too fleeting to let feelings like anxiety and fear stop someone from achieving great things. 

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Online dating safety tips

Written by: Taylor Duff | Freelancer

In today’s modern world, finding love is more than difficult as everyone can, in a millisecond, reject a profile they see while scrolling the many dating apps. By chance, scrolling through these apps, one might find someone who intrigues them. This person is perfect. They are funny and their values align with yours. The future looks bright! Now there reaches a point when a suitor is acquired and both participants feel things are going well enough to meet. When it comes to online dating, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind. 

Creating a profile — When creating a dating profile it is best to avoid using photos or videos of oneself in places that can be traced or reveal personal information.

Displaying interest — When it comes to displaying one’s interests and facts about oneself, keep it clear and subtle. Be clear about what one expects from the app; this helps others determine the difference between a real and fake account. 

Discretion — Be discreet: use only a first name or nickname on one’s profile, and refrain from displaying anything like a phone number or any other personal identification. 

Scams — Be aware of scammers. The internet can be a dangerous place and that includes dating apps. People might ask for money, personal favors or more personal information than what one should be willing to give. If this occurs, it’s best to unmatch and block the user. 

Getting to know someone — If one is matched with someone they like, talk to them as much as possible and get to know them as they will reciprocate interest. This also ensures the person one is speaking to is real and of course, is interested. 

Video chat — Video chat and talking over the phone is not only a great way to communicate with a suitor but also to feel safe. 

Meeting up — If one chooses to meet a person through a dating app, it’s best to meet in a public setting during the day where other people are around.

Have a means of escape — Driving oneself ensures a safe way out if things go awry.

Share, share, share — Share the name of the person as well as their profile and location one intends on meeting.

Now with all these tips in mind, online dating can be safe and secure as we watch out for our well-being and potentially find our person. Love can begin and the swiping is over. Just remember that dating in this modern world can be a fairytale.   

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Whole bean coffee makes you whole

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor

Listen while you read: Tom’s Diner by AnnenMayKantereit, Giant Rooks

Go sit in a coffee shop. Any college student — or college newspaper reader — with a busy schedule would ask what the value is in going to a coffee shop and sitting down without doing something productive. However, the plague in our society is our incessant need to be on the go — accomplishing herculean feats in every nanosecond of the day. 

In reality, sometimes the more productive thing to do is to sit in silence. Our world is full of sensory information, such as smells, tastes and sights. The environment we place ourselves in dictates the contents of our informational input. 

An employee can’t truly experience an island resort if they are simply drinking a margarita at nine in the morning from the confines of their office cubicle. They have to feel the ocean air, hear the birds and THEN drink a margarita. We must find places where we can feel at peace in the bustle and action of our everyday lives. Ergo, the coffee shop.

What about cafes brings people so much joy? They were created for joy. Community, conversation, comfortability — cafes. Every local sit-in coffee shop has some sort of theme and most likely some sort of artwork lining the walls, plants in every corner as well as comfortable seating and lots of windows. They were designed for people to sit down and enjoy what suits their tastes. 

Now, it may be in the innate marketing nature of these cafes that they would want to be the ideal environment to inhabit, but many times it’s much more than that — the people create the culture. So, when stressed, overwhelmed, angry or sad, finding the ideal sensory environment is important. 

And now onto more deep rooted issues than the design nuances of a cafe — the sense of I-need-to-do-ism. I’m sure 99% of readers are already infected by this plague. I would not say I am the role model in creating mindful moments or relaxing since I’ve stayed up until three in the morning studying for midterms, but I do know how to have an insanely productive non-productive cafe experience. 

Here’s what needs to be done: wear comfortable clothing, bring a real book i.e. paper, and set the phone to do-not-disturb for at least 1-3 hours.  Find the nearest cafe that fits the description above, and find a spot in the corner to sit down. For those 1-3 hours, look. See. Perceive. Watch the cars pass the window facing the street. Watch the barista pour espresso and cream into the brown mug. Watch the elderly couple try their scones and the little kid who was given the big responsibility of ordering his own hot chocolate. 

Next is to taste. Taste the sweetness in the mocha, or the savory cream cheese and bagel combo. At this point, become rooted in the present, and the due dates and worries about bills to pay will all start to fall away. 

But, if not quite convinced, try to feel. Feel the warmth emanating from the mocha, the comfortable chair being occupied and the sandy texture of book pages being flipped. 

The last step is simply to be. This is a place and time designated for one to be still and exist without external forces to dissuade. It’s all a part of the grand scheme of simply existing— observing the socio-environmental web that transcribes everyday life into a symphony. If the cup is empty, one must learn to fill it up again. The coffee cup, more specifically.

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Cheap and easy food recipes

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer

Living in a dorm room on campus has tremendous benefits like meeting new people, having access to resources for school and finding opportunities for new experiences. One thing that does not come easy is finding cheap and dorm-accessible foods that don’t require a kitchen. 

Here are three delicious dorm room food recipes that are $15 or less and are sure to satisfy one’s hunger without leaving the comfort of one’s room:


Start to finish: 15 minutes

½ cup banana, sliced

2 tablespoons of nutella 

2 slices of cinnamon bread 

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup cream cheese, softened 

Let the cream cheese sit in a small bowl for 8-10 minutes to allow it to soften then add sugar – and mix until smooth. Add nutella to one side of the cinnamon bread and the sweet cream cheese on the second slice. Cut the banana into smaller slices then lay them on top on the nutella side, close and enjoy. 

Recipe from


Start to finish: Overnight or 8-12 hours

½ chopped apple, or whatever fruit one prefers

½ cup old-fashioned oats

1 tablespoon raisins 

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 cup 2% milk, or whatever milk one prefers 

Chopped nuts — optional 

Chop up an apple, or fruit of choice, into small pieces then combine all ingredients in a container or mason jar. Another option is to layer; put half of  the oats, fruit, ground cinnamon, raisins and then ½ cup of milk in one layer– repeat again for the last layer. Keep cold overnight and enjoy at one’s leisure. 

Recipe from Taste of Home


Start to finish: 5 minutes 

2 tablespoons hummus 

1 wheat or flour tortilla

2 tablespoons shaved or finely cut carrots 

2 tablespoons finely sliced cucumber 

¼ cup mixed salad greens 

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 

2 tablespoons of chopped sweet onion, optional 

Spread tortilla with hummus. Layer with salad greens, carrots, cucumber and onion. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and roll up tightly. 

Recipe from Taste of Home 

Growing up is bad for you

Written by: Liberty Miller | Lifestyle Editor

t seemed like only yesterday that my biggest concern was feeling nauseous on the 30 minute bus ride back home before getting picked up by my mom at the end of the lane; everything was taken care of, and I had little to no thoughts about the future… back in the day. 

Nowadays, we are all in the unique position of having adult responsibilities like work, the dreaded annual taxes, homework and the understanding that if we sleep wrong, our necks will hurt for the next five days; and yet, we are not quite real adults. College is a buffer where one can undergo a trial phase instead of feeling the crushing reality of adulthood immediately following high school graduation. 

There are a set amount of variables that we can count on to appear as we traverse into our early 20’s: jobs, financial responsibility, stress, challenges and independence. However, I think that there is one big fallacy — a lie that’s been incorporated into our minds by society for years now. 

Childlike wonder, youthful optimism, utter refusal to abide by the stoic and unforgiving rules of society. These are the things we need to carry into the world and possess — in tandem with all of the givens that define adulthood. 

The big lie of society is the predetermined expectation to let these things go. Don’t give up on the smallest of small things that make life joyful because of societal conditioning to be put together, ultra-productive, serious and “mature.” 

If I think that the Wiggles are the greatest musical group to ever exist — bet on it that I’m going to that Wiggles concert. If I feel that crocheting, watching Disney channel or having deep conversations with my stuffed animal is going to bring me even the slightest molecular glimpse of happiness, I am going to do that. 

We supposedly only get the first 18 years of our life to act like a fool, but it takes a brave soul, and some belligerent optimism, to carry on that joyful spirit past the years we’re told are socially acceptable. So my advice is that after reading this article, we go about life doing whatever the hell we feel like doing. 

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October opportunities and activities

Written by:  Sierra Porter | Staff Writer

As students jump into the school year this fall, heads will be filled with priorities of homework, classes, jobs and of course, the pressures of everyday life. Oregon has a tremendous amount of October opportunities of all sorts stemming from screamingly scary to family friendly. 

When it comes to the scariest Oregon has to offer, Fear PDX, Nightmare Factory and the Halloween Train are the best places to look. 

Fear PDX Haunted House takes place every weekend from Sept. 29  until Nov. 1 and is the largest Halloween event in Portland. Fear PDX offers up to eight different terrifying attractions that include gore, chainsaws and escape games. 

The Nightmare Factory is at the Oregon School for the Deaf and is held every weekend in Salem from now until the end of November. Deaf students, alongside volunteers, provide a heart-racing experience with interactive lights, displays and scary characters. Proceeds from the Nightmare Factory contribute to the yearly funds for the Oregon School for the Deaf and help support the longest-running haunted house in all of Oregon. 

Mt. Hood offers the Phantom of the Rails Halloween Train — available to book online Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, the Halloween Train provides a two-and-a-half-hour ride filled with ghosts and spooks. 

Oregon has more than just spooky attractions and has a variety of events perfect for people of all ages and scare levels. Bauman’s Farm puts on a harvest festival each year from Sept. 23 through Oct. 29 that includes hay rides, pumpkin picking, a dark maze, an animal petting zoo and kids’ play areas. 

If you’ve never seen a giant pumpkin you may have a chance this October… 

From Oct. 20-21, the West Coast Pumpkin Regatta is taking place with dressed-up members of the community paddling in giant pumpkins in the Regatta Race. 

Eastern Oregon is also celebrating its fourteenth annual film festival during Oct. 19-21 — supplying various films and documentaries for the community to enjoy. 

Don’t stay cooped up in your dorm this October, and take advantage of all of Oregon’s best October opportunities.

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