Hello Penn State, Goodbye Comfort Zone (Passion Blog 1)

As everyone’s favorite mid 20th century Indian novelist, Anita Desai, once said, “wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow”.  Although I’m not exactly sure when I first heard this quote, it has always stuck with me. I have always loved traveling. The idea of submerging myself into new places or cultures has always been very exciting to me.  I can’t imagine anything that I am more passionate about than trying new things.  I love the feeling that comes with it and the fact that it is something I will be able to continue doing for the rest of my life.  Similar to how conflict photographer Linsey Addario feels when she is taking photographs, I feel alive when I’m doing something, meeting someone or going somewhere new.

Interestingly enough, I was born and raised in a town of just over 2,000 people.  There was never that much room for news experiences in Carmel, but I may do with what I had around me.  Adapting, I soon learned, is a very fun way to make something new out of nothing.  Even though I had already known everyone in my grade since elementary school, I made friends with students in other grades that I was less familiar with.  Carmel didn’t have all too many places to eat so it was hard to find new restaurants, but I could always try a new dish at some of my old favorites.  Against all odds, I made finding new experiences work.

One of the main reasons I was drawn to Penn State, even as a New Yorker, was the size.  With a big school comes some pretty big opportunities.  I love how diverse the student body at University Park is.  Another thing I love about Penn State is the town of State College.  I know that in my endeavors to find new things I will probably end up in State College for a lot of my blog posts.  Living in Atherton gives me the opportunity to leave the grand front doors of the Schreyer Honors College and immediately find myself leaving campus.  Traveling from the known to the unknown is what trying new things is all about.

The fun part about my blog is that “trying new things” is a very broad premise.  If I want to travel into State College and try a new place to eat then the obligation of writing a blog post encourages me to do so.  If I want to introduce myself to someone at random, my blog suggests I do so.  If I want to join a completely random club just because I wouldn’t have been able to do so back in Carmel, New York then my blog supports my random whims.  Essentially, I chose this premise for my blog so that I could ensure that I am making the most out of all the new and stimulating experiences Penn State has to offer and I’m really excited to leave the comfort zone that living in a small town my whole life has forced onto me.

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