As I am sitting here writing this post, I am having a hard time putting into words how I feel about graduation. I really am just a mix of emotions; sad to leave the place I have called home for the last four years, but also excited for the next chapter in my life and being out in the “real world.” With only a little over a week left until graduation, change has been on my mind a lot lately. How I have changed, how Penn State has changed, really just how different everything is now, four years after starting my college journey. In the last four short years, Penn State has seen scandal but it has also seen perseverance, loyalty, and overall the university has grown because of these changes. This growth that I see in the University, I also see in myself. Over the past four years, I have gone through a lot of positive changes thanks to Penn State.
Coming in freshman year I had no idea what to expect. I had not decided on a major and was nervous to completely start fresh. After a few weeks I started to settle into a routine. I made a great group of friends, joined a sorority and finally found my way around campus. While socially I was conforming to college well, I still was having a hard time adjusting to the new course load. I started off my college career taking a lot of science classes, thinking I might want to major in something along those lines. If I could go back today, I would have immediately started off as a Communications major, however, this challenge was a good learning experience and I have grown because of it. Taking this difficult course load early on in college taught me what I was good at and what I enjoyed and I can proudly say I am pursuing a career in a field that I am genuinely excited to work in.
Other than academically, Penn State has made me grow as a person. Over the past four years of living on my own here at school, I have had to learn to be self-sufficient as well as be an overall independent person. Here at Penn State, you do not have your mom or dad telling you to do your homework or not to go out on a school night. You have to make these decisions on your own. While it was an adjustment as first, being at school has made me have to stay organized and on task so that I can do well in school, while also being able to enjoy myself. Over the past four years I can honestly say my organizational and time management skills have improved tremendously and that is something I will carry with me in all my future endeavors.
Finally, Penn State is home. The people I have met here will forever change me for the better. Just being in Happy Valley has made me a better person and I hope to be able to visit as much as possible. Leaving Penn State will be one of the hardest things I will have to do, but I can say with confidence that this school has prepared me for the road ahead and for that I will always be grateful.