If there’s two words in the English language that sound like they should never go together, it’s “summer” and “school.” So why do people at the Penn State Admissions Office keep talking about something called summer session?
When I first heard about summer session, my first thought was “summer school? No thanks.” I was so happy when my application was accepted for the fall semester. Little did I know that only a year later, I would choose to spend a summer at Penn State after all.
A few months into my freshman year, with my mom’s constant reminders that I needed to get a summer job echoing in my ears, I saw a poster in my residence hall advertising applications for LEAP Mentors for the upcoming summer. I didn’t know anything about LEAP when I applied for the job, aside from the fact that it was an option for incoming freshmen who were taking classes on campus in the summer. I thought about the people I met early in my freshmen year who did summer session; they were the people who took me to all the best restaurants in town, showed me how to use the buses on campus, and already had people who they were friends with before I even started classes.
The more I looked into the LEAP program, the more I wished that I had done it before I started; it would’ve helped me not be so overwhelmed my first semester on campus (plus it would’ve saved me from having to work my summer job at home for the fourth year in a row). I talked to a lot of people and did a lot of Googling to find out more about LEAP, and I could not find anybody who said a single negative thing about the program.
After completing the application and going through an interview, I was so happy when I learned that I had been chosen to be a Mentor. I couldn’t wait to spend a summer living on campus (for free, I might add) and helping freshmen make a transition that had been so difficult for me. In the middle of June, I arrived on campus, moved into my single room, and went to the three days of training
mentors had to go through. At the training, I met so many people who I hung out with all the time for the rest of the summer. Already, I had achieved my goal of making the campus smaller for myself in the summer.