In my last post, I talked a lot about things that your parents have often done for you throughout your childhood and now you’re responsible to take the lead. Honestly, you will most likely make mistakes. We all do. The most important part is learning from your mistakes without your parents having to yell or teach you the valuable life lessons, over the phone. Try to get to the point where you are deciding what’s best for yourself. You are the one who decided on Penn State or your selected University anyway!
So, I’d like to highlight a few incredible opportunities for Penn State freshmen specifically.
Each college of Penn State, as well as most other Universities, has some type of mentorship program to personally connect with a member of the Alumni base of the specific college. People in the Office of Alumni Engagement for that specific area of the university then match you with an alumni in your desired field. I was personally matched with someone who currently works here at Penn State but used to work in Actuarial Science. While, that is no longer my career destination, my mentor offers to meet with me anytime. Honestly, I loved meeting him. He is an outsider looking in and gave me a lot of great feedback in regards to where I am going and how he can help. He emails me frequently and is a great contact.
Also, for freshmen going into the STEM field, entering one of the five STEM colleges (IST, Engineering, Science, Agricultural Sciences, or Earth and Mineral Sciences) and also hope to pursue research and graduate studies in the field, the Millennium Scholars Program is a fantastic, life-changing opportunity. Beyond the generous financial assistance that the program provides, Millennium is an experience. The program helps to put you on the Ph.D. track while giving you access to resources that you never thought were possible. From personal academic counseling to eating ice cream with the President to assistance when applying to summer research experiences, hard work pays off.
All high-achieving freshmen applying to Penn State should also apply to be in the Schreyer Honors College. Being a part of the honors college not only grants you an academic award before coming to college, but it grants you unbelievable opportunities. Premier housing and priority scheduling (before the rest of the university) are hard to come by. Scholars can apply for summer research grants and go on particular study abroad trips with other scholars. They can take embedded classes with a study abroad portion too! Some of my friends are spending a week in places like Tanzania, China and Europe at the end of the semester. In addition, the Presidential Leadership Academy provides the opportunity for students to develop leadership fundamentals to thrive in an environment of exploration, diversity, and respect, which lead to action.
The Paterno Fellows Program is an innovative program offered jointly by the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College that encourages students to challenge themselves academically and find an education in leadership.
There’s so much opportunity for success. Take advantage and enjoy.